Sore Heels In Chapel Hill

By Eric D. Graham, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: February 2, 2010
“I am about as frustrated and disappointed as I’ve ever been in my entire life…”

— UNC basketball head coach Roy Williams

NORTH CAROLINA (BASN) — What happens when a National Championship team loses four starters to the NBA?

Just ask the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who lost point guard Ty Lawson (Nuggets), 2008 Naismith College Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough (Pacers), Danny Green (Cavaliers), and Wayne Ellington (Timberwolves).

With so many great players now in the NBA, everybody knew this season was going to be a rebuilding year for UNC. But no one ever thought that the Tar Heels wouldn’t be ranked in the top 50 at this point in the 2009-10 college basketball season.
In the beginning of the season, UNC was ranked as high as six in the nation until losing to Syracuse 87-71 early in the year.

But by the time Kentucky’s freshman phenom John Wall’s came to the Dean Dome and almost single-handedly beat the Tar Heels by scoring 16 points in a 68-66 victory, fans in Chapel Hill became to question UNC’s toughness.

After losing to the Wildcats, the Tar Heels traveled to Texas in order to play at the Dallas Cowboy Stadium on Jerry Jones’ big screen television, where everybody witnessed the Texas Longhorns run them off the court by the score of 103-90.
But it was the embarrassing upset at the College of Charleston in overtime by the score of 82-79 that was the stick that broke the Tar Heels’ back.

Because after that game, the Tar Heels would go on to lose four of it’s next six games against Clemson (83-64), Georgia Tech (73-71), Wake Forest (82-69) and Sunday night to the Virginia Cavaliers (75-60).

Do you think losing so many games has affected UNC’s head coach Roy Williams? If you don’t think so, chew on this.

In a blowout win against Presbyterian College, Coach Williams had security remove a “heckler” from the Dean Dome after he yelled “MISS IT” behind the Tar Heels’ bench while Deon Thompson was attempting a free-throw.

Some where, I know there are some Duke Blue Devil fans laughing hilariously, because the Tar Heels are currently 10th in the ACC (2-4) and 13-8 overall.

But things aren’t going to get any easier for this young Tar Heel team without an outside presence from Will Graves and poor guard play from freshman Dexter Strickland and sophomore Larry Drew II.

They’ll take on Virgina Tech (16-4) Thursday night in Blacksburg, the Maryland Terps (14-6) at College Park on Sunday and their arch enemies from Duke (17-4) on February 10th.

As a result, fifth year senior Marcus Gilyard,who has been plagued with injuries his entire collegiate career and 6-foot-9 power forward Deon Thompson (14.7 ppg and 6.5 rpg) must place most of their teams’ burden on their shoulder and carry the defending National Champions if they are going to turn around this horrendous season thus far.
According to the Raleigh-News & Observer, the only way for UNC to earn an at-large NCAA berth is that they would have to finish the league regular season at 7-9 because only seven ACC teams that finished with a sub-.500 league regular-season record have earned an at-large berth since the conference schedule expanded to 16 games in 1992.