Friday, January 6, 2012

Scouting: How one team sees Tar Heels

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.
CHAPEL HILL - True story: A team that played at North Carolina in December left a copy of its scouting report on a copier in the Smith Center. And that scouting report, which includes a few lines about each of the Tar Heels’ top eight players, made its way to me.

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


-Deny wings

-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:

-Transition D

-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


Anonymous said...

Not sure why you feel the need to protect the identity of the team that left this report on the copier, but good scoop nonetheless.

Anonymous said...

Hairston’s defense. “Doesn’t guard.” I laugh, but am not in disagreement. Just wait. Before this youngman is done in Chapel Hill he will likely be the best defender on the team and at what 6'6". My prediction on defense you will soon be looking at a Marcus Ginyard type.

Dookie-flusher said...

And this team probably lost by 40.

Anonymous said...

Very,very Accurate. The players should take this as constructive criticism and continue to improve.

Anonymous said...

I mean Rick Barnes. not that there is much difference.

Anonymous said...

Hey, wasn't Cliff Barnes (the guy in "Dallas") an attorney?

Anonymous said...

I guess whichever team left it wasn't able to put the info to good use as North Carolina's December home opponents lost by an average of 30 points.

MAB said...

UNC's Scouting report on other teams, left on the road in each opponents gym:

Don't worry about their game, play UNC's game, on both ends of the floor for 40 minutes.


Anonymous said...

Swahili 101 is popular with UNC players.

Anonymous said...

The entire team is a bunch of arrogant d-bags.

Anonymous said...

My irony meter broke after reading these comments.

Anonymous said...

who is thia "anonymous said"?

Anonymous said...

I think other web site proprietors should take this website as an model, very clean and great user friendly style and design, let alone the content. You're an expert in this topic!
ACDelco 2SX41F2 Battery Cable

Host Pay Per Head said...

wow that basketball player looks really small when you see the other basketball player haha, but I bet the little one is more skilful than the other