Saturday, January 12, 2008

Improved Tar Heels defense staggering Wolfpack

Midway through the first half of North Carolina’s ACC home opener, one obvious improvement over last season stands out.

The Tar Heels are so much better defensively that it’s almost ridiculous. Danny Green, Alex Stepheson and Deon Thompson all are doing an excellent job blocking shots, making up for the loss of Brandan Wright in that category.

And N.C. State had two shot-clock violations in the first 13 minutes.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams nagged the team repeatedly about its defense during nonconference play, and it’s certainly paid off.

Incidentally, you won’t see North Carolina backup shooting guard William Graves today. He’s sick and not dressed for the game. That means more playing time for Green, which isn’t a bad thing for the Tar Heels.

– Ken Tysiac