Thursday, January 14, 2010

Heels can learn from Duke

This will be difficult for some people associated with North Carolina to hear.

It's never easy to realize that you can learn something from your rival. But after falling 83-64 on Wednesday night at Clemson, the Tar Heels could gain some perspective from the way Duke handled a 74-47 debacle at Clemson last season.

It would be tempting just to forget the Clemson game ever happened. But last season Duke didn't do that.

"We want to always try to remember how we felt," David McClure, a senior last season, said after the Blue Devils edged Miami 78-75 in overtime in their next game.

Duke guard Nolan Smith still was holding on to the memories a couple weeks ago before the Blue Devils defeated Clemson 74-53 at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

"We have a lot of guys that are veterans that played in that game," Smith said of the loss at Clemson. "It's behind us, but it's not."

As difficult as the Clemson loss was last season, the Blue Devils decided to remember the feeling in order to motivate themselves so that they would never feel that way again.

They didn't bounce back right away, losing to North Carolina and Boston College after that defeat of Miami. But ultimately they got things turned around, winning 30 games and the ACC Tournament last season and reaching the East Regional semifinals in the NCAA Tournament.

If Duke can do that, the Tar Heels can, too. They have talented big guys in Ed Davis and Deon Thompson, and freshman guards Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald are starting to make a bigger impact.

North Carolina is inexperienced, but has senior leaders such as Deon Thompson and Marcus Ginyard who understand what it takes to turn things around. All is not lost for the Tar Heels even though they're struggling now.

Their rivals in Durham can tell them that.

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Roy may be a premium recruiter, but he's no Coach K. The heels will struggle for a while. Despite landing Barnes, the tide is turning back the Blue Devils way.

Anonymous said...

oh, ok.

Anonymous said...

Until the heights of endearing and lasting prestige that is North Carolina Tarheel Basketball the Duke BlueDevils doth reach, an affront most gross beit they aspire to teach!!

Anonymous said...

This year hasn't started to well for the Heels but they'll improve. Next year, they'll be really good.

Next year starting line ups.

Duke: Kyrie Irving, Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler, Miles and Mason Plumlee. Plus Josh Hairston, Andre Dawkins of the bench

Duke looks really good though not too deep, but coach K doesn't use a his bench anyway, just skilled players.

UNC:Larry Drew/Dexter Strickland/Kendall Marshall, Harrison Barnes/Reggie Bullock/Will Graves, Harrison Barnes/Jon Henson/Will Graves, Tyler Zeller, Ed Davis. Plus Wear twins

UNC: This is the deep team Roy loves. He can run you into the ground, shoot over you, or dunk on you.

Anonymous said...

And let the Blue Devils learn from three final fours and two national titles in the last five years, not to mention four straight in 'Sham'eron Indoor... Who's your Daddy??