Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Heels' swoon puzzles ESPN's Bilas

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas admits that he’s baffled by the turn for the worse of North Carolina (13-10, 2-6 ACC) as the Tar Heels prepare to play host to No. 8-ranked Duke (19-4, 7-2) at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Bilas said there’s nothing wrong with the schemes, defenses or technical aspects of the game Roy Williams is coaching. For whatever reason, Bilas said, the Tar Heels seem to be suffering from a crisis of confidence and a lack of fight.

"I think there are knowledgeable basketball people around the country that are shocked and have no answer for it," said Bilas, who lives in Charlotte and played at Duke. “We can sit here and pretend like, ‘Well, here’s the reason.’ There’s nothing you can point to - that isn’t thumping inside their chests – for an answer."

According to Bilas, North Carolina was a good team in December. The Tar Heels posted impressive wins over Big Ten foes Ohio State and Michigan State early in the season, but a loss at the College of Charleston started them on a 2-7 swoon.

"They went from being a good team in December to being a bad team now,” said Bilas, who will be working in ESPN’s studio in Connecticut on Wednesday night. “They’re not a good team. They’re getting drilled by teams that are good teams. I think it has more to do with their lack of confidence and sort of collective fight than anything else.”

Bilas said North Carolina has great kids and talented players. He said it’s rare when they line up against an opponent more talented than they are.

He said he has never seen the Tar Heels lose confidence in this way, and he’s sure Williams has never seen it happen, either.

“Ed Davis is an All-American,” Bilas said. “Deon Thompson has been a really good player in the league. All their players have been highly rated and they’re not playing. They’re not fighting, more importantly. They’re playing, but they’re not fighting.”

Ken Tysiac


TERPS! said...

AND I LOVE IT! All the inbred, Walmarters have no idea what to do now. Bandwagon is unloading by the millions....Even ESPN, the ACC, and it's refs have no idea. The marketing machines couldn't save em.

They've had more Free Throws awarded in every contest by 2:1 ratio and still getting drummed by 20 at home.

I hope Duke stomps them into the ground. Then takes all that arrogance and shoves it as far as it can go.

YOU SUCK HEELS. 7 All Americans and sitting on the outside of the NIT.

Anonymous said...

"Looking good Jay". That's a funny commercial, but not in the way intended. Bilas, like everyone else, neglects to point to the real reason for the "slump". He acknowledges that they rarely play teams with more talent, but won't say the problem is on the bench. I think he's being nice. Facts are stubborn things. Roy win the blowouts and is only average in close games where you have to coach. His record in close games is .526 and .500 in overtime games.

Anonymous said...

Like Bilas said, that is the problem with this team but it has been the problem with every UNC team led by Roy. Even the two national championship teams had there heart or desire questioned throughout the year. How many times does this need to happen before people start looking at Roy as the problem. CaHe's already proves that he struggles greatly at getting a team to play with high intesity on defense and is a question coach when it comes to half court offense. Being young isn't an excuse in college basketball anymore. The best teams are always young now.

Anonymous said...

hey Terps, love the hate.

Guess you didn't see the Heels cut down those nets twice in the last 5 years huh?

If you can't handle the tough times, you won't be able to enjoy the good ones.

And anonymous with those stats and percentages, you know what they say? Stats are for losers. They way you de-value blowouts, but then blame Roy for close games? The same man coaching the blowouts is the same man coaching close games, but don't worry he only has 600 some odd more wins than you, not to mention the 2 national titles.

Anonymous said...

Stats are just numbers..

But who is the better coach? One that wins over 600 games an still has a Winning percentage? or the coach that has only coached 300 games and has the same winning percentage? Experiance is ALWAYS the better player!

Anonymous said...

that shiny new national championship trophy still looks good to me, and don't worry the cavalry comes next year so you can watch them go for another title while maryland tries to make the nit again. The schaden freude is pretty cute though, hey when you've got nothing going for you what else can you do but enjoy not getting raped for once.

Ryan said...

I'd agree. They're young and extremely talented but their confidence is down. You can tell they're hurting. A big win or 2 can be a momentum changer for the heels.

Anonymous said...

Bilas is an idiot an he questions NC's heart and fight because that's what he does on every team that goes from being great to bad. Since he knows very little about basketball, he has to blame their heart. When in reality it is simply that these players are not elite talent. Nor were they graded as such, in particular Larry Drew. Here's his Dec 2007 recruiting eval from ESPN. Note that ESPN noticed the same problems back then, i.e. turnovers, erratic decision making and poor fundamentals, jump shot...so why was he ranked so highly by the same damn website?

December, 2007: After a pedestrian effort in the semis (2007 Westchester Tip-Off Classic) against Dominguez where he was very turnover prone, Drew stepped it up in a big way in the finals against city rival Westchester. After Westchester took a 13-point lead midway through the second quarter, Drew put together a Jason Kidd-like effort to rally his team. He relied on his strengths (breaking down defenders and finding open teammates) and not his weakness (jump shot) to lead his team to a great win. The much-maligned Drew has been condemned by scouts -- myself included -- for his erratic decision-making and poor fundamentals (jumping in the air in traffic when attempting to make a pass) but in the finals he was quite efficient. He broke down defenders at will and delivered some nifty passes and made some big shots (pull-up) down the stretch. Drew is a solid point guard who is a gifted playmaker, but next season at UNC he must become more efficient (has a tendency to be turnover prone) and smoothen out his jump shot if he's to make an immediate impact.

Anonymous said...

So Drew is bum? Since 'Ole Roy is the master recruiter, what does that make him? A poor evaluator of talent?