Wednesday, February 4

Tarheels Win Game, Lose Two Players

The team had just come off a seventeen point rout of Maryland, when the press release came down. Everyone was still on high, from a combined 64 percent shooting behind the arc (16 of 25). The starters were even more impressive at 16 of 21, good for 76% shooting from range. But another game and another blow to the Heels' rotation. Marcus Ginyard has played in only three games this season and will apply for a medical hardship from the ACC. Not surprising to any that has watched, but still a blow to lose a starter with the experience, defensive presence, and work ethic of Marcus. The bigger shock came with the suspension of Will Graves, a backup that had largely seen an improvement in minutes due to Ginyard's absence. The official statement reads that Will was suspended for failing to "maintain the standards we expect of a Carolina basketball player." Once considered one of the deepest team's in the nation, the Tarheels now have only an eight-man rotation, with freshmen as two of their three key reserves.

No one will weep for Carolina, but at the start of the season this team was two deep at every position, and now find themselves with only one regular reserve in the front court and two in the back court. Even more significant than the number of reserves, is the lack of scoring coming off the bench. Forward Ed Davis is the only reserve (still active) that averages more than three points per game. Combined the reserves average just over ten points per game. Come tourney time, both ACC and NCAA, the lack of an offensive spark off the bench could prove detrimental to a team that at the start of the season had a bench averaging over 25 points per game. If this team hopes to go all the way, the starters will need to carry most of the workload, something they proved against Maryland they're capable of doing.

1 comment:

Cleet said...

Shed a tear for Tom Brady and I will bawl my eyes out for Carolina. Would love to know what Graves did but I'm sure they are keeping it in-house.