|Does North Carolina's Tyler Zeller dislike contact? At least one of the Tar Heels' December opponents -- and not necessarily Nicholls State, thinks so. GETTY IMAGES photo.|
I thought it’d be interesting to share it because it provides some insight into how an opposing team prepared to play UNC. I won’t identify the team that came up with this scouting report. The Tar Heels, of course, played six games at home in December.
So here’s how this particular team broke down each of UNC’s top eight players (punctuation, sentence structure, etc., are exactly as it reads in the scouting report):
Kendall Marshall: “Very crafty. Pushes the ball with the pass. Doesn’t like pressure. Must have active hands to affect vision.”
Dexter Strickland: “Very aggressive in transition. Driver!! Their best defender – Always running through passing lanes.”
Harrison Barnes: “Very efficient on offense. Good 3pt shooter. On dribble pull up. Make him uncomfortable.”
John Henson: “Long and very active. Wants to spin off of you in post. Hates it physical. Hates pressure on perimeter. Physical block outs.”
Tyler Zeller: “Runs pipe hard. Jump hook over left and right shoulder. Play the ball early. Hates it physical.”
Reggie Bullock: “Shooter. Offensive rebounder. Looks for 3’s in transition.”
James Michael McAdoo: “High energy offensive rebounder. Runs floor hard.”
P.J. Hairston: “Shooter. Looking to shoot at all times. Doesn’t guard.”
In addition to the player breakdowns, the scouting report included a “team summary” about UNC. That read like this:
-Transition team looking to ball ahead and run the pipe
-Secondary – Carolina Break & 5 up
-Half court – Pus for Barnes/Shuffle for Bigs
-Run and jump after TO’s
-Hard help on ball screens
-Marshall and Barnes don’t want to guard
The offensive keys for this particular team:
-Run it right back at them
-Earn space/get open/be strong
And the defensive keys for this particular team:
-Defensive rebounding/Physical box outs
-Getting after Marshall
So there you have it: an opposing team’s scouting report on UNC.
Some quick thoughts:
-Notice that the same sentence was used to describe both Henson and Zeller: “Hates it physical.” That’s the rap on both those guys, though when I asked Henson earlier this week whether he hated it physical he just smiled. He said he understood that’s the scouting report for both him and Zeller, and that teams will try to play them rough.
-This particular team certainly didn’t give much respect for Hairston’s defense. “Doesn’t guard.” Hairston’s offense is further along than his defense – don’t think anyone would dispute that – but it will be interesting to see how Hairston develops as a defensive player. Certainly that’s a point of emphasis for him.
-This particular team acknowledges Marshall’s excellent court vision and wants its players to have active hands to disrupt that vision. Easier said than done.
-Strickland is sometimes the forgotten man among UNC’s starting five but it’s clear he received a lot of respect in this scouting report. This particular team was afraid cautious about his ability to drive, and warned its players about his defense.
-- Andrew Carter