Friday, February 16, 2007

Ginyard: Tar Heels need to rediscover their team-first attitude

Sophomore guard Marcus Ginyard sounded the alarm for North Carolina on Friday before the Tar Heels left Chapel Hill for Saturday’s game at Boston College.
“We kind of got away from that team-first thing,” Ginyard said, describing the Tar Heels’ problems. “I think we really got away from that. It’s definitely a big thing that has to be changed.”
North Carolina (22-4, 8-3 ACC) has lost two of its past four games heading into a meeting that will decide first place atop the crowded ACC standings. Boston College (18-7, 9-3) holds a slim lead, and Virginia and Virginia Tech are tied for second with North Carolina with 8-3 conference records.
Ginyard said his team-first comment means players have to take their responsibilities seriously so they won’t let down the rest of the team. Of primary concern after an 81-80 overtime loss to Virginia Tech on Tuesday were missed box-outs after Deron Washington and Coleman Collins combined for several key Hokie offensive rebounds.
The idea that Washington and other quick power forwards are exploiting a North Carolina weakness because the Tar Heels play with two traditional post players upsets Ginyard.
“It’s just another excuse for us to get out of our defensive intensity,” Ginyard said.
Coach Roy Williams tried to get his players to refocus on their team goals after Tuesday’s game. He explained that players get rings and banners for winning ACC championships, and that they need to play well now to get themselves good seeds for the ACC and NCAA tournaments.
He said the increased attention basketball players receive at an early age makes it more difficult to get players to put the team first.
“Kids that are really, really good players nowadays, when they’re eighth- or ninth-graders, they’re in Sports Illustrated,” Williams said. “So it’s such an individual outlet.”

North Carolina point guard Bobby Frasor has just five points in 40 minutes over five games since returning from an injured right foot. Williams said Frasor is a long way from healthy.
“He just doesn’t have the speed and quickness right now,” Williams said. “Doesn’t have the stamina.”

The 78-70 victory Duke posted Wednesday at Boston College appears to have injected confidence into a young team that entered the game with a four-game losing streak.
“We dominated them for a lot of the game and played really well,” said Duke freshman guard Jon Scheyer. “If we can do that against them, we can do it against a lot of teams.”
On Sunday, Duke gets another shot at Georgia Tech, which defeated the Blue Devils 74-63 on Jan.10 in Atlanta.
Against Boston College, Duke dominated the lane with center Josh McRoberts scoring 18 points and other players getting loose for transition baskets after turnovers.
Duke sophomore point guard Greg Paulus said the post will be a point of emphasis again when Georgia Tech visits.
“They did a good job of establishing the paint early in the game (in Atlanta), and when we went to help out, they’ve got shooters,” Paulus said. “They’ve got some really good players that can shoot the ball.”
Ken Tysiac