Sunday, January 11, 2009

North Carolina at Wake Forest recap

While not topping the January 2005 game (Chris Paul vs Raymond Felton in three overtimes), this was a "game of the year nominee" in our opinion. In the grand scheme of things, the outcome may have been favorable for both teams.

Wake Forest gets the big bright spotlight win that now matches their record. North Carolina was able to stay in the game despite horrible performance shooting wise and with some of their stars being invisible/erased by the defense.

Two losses in a row will "open the ears" of the UNC stars to more "coaching" and at the same time lower expectations for the season and post-season.

Wake Forest on the other hand shows that they are indeed for real, this is no Clemson who crumbles the moment they play a Sweet16-capable team. They certainly have a versatile rotation with players they can mix and match depending on the situation.

The unassuming Dino Gaudio has done a great job in carrying on the tradition of the beloved Skip Prosser, and the future looks bright for the Deacons.

The absence of Ginyard and the injury of Zeller actually had an impact on this game, as UNC badly needed a fourth big body when Wake was playing big, and they needed someone taller/longer to harass Jeff Teague who made a lot of future-money today. Ironically adding Ishmael Smith to the line-up allowed UNC to put a taller player on Teague than Lawson, but by the time they figured that out it was too late.

Lawson was once again "exposed" as an NBA prospect and so was Hansbro when facing the trees, although Hansbrough is not likely going to be facing triple-teams in the NBA. The Wake Forest trees simply blocked him and shut off his water.

Danny Green has once again shown why he is the MVP of this team, while from the Wake Forest side, LD Williams is a very versatile player who (because of his size/width) can create mismatch against smaller/bigger players.

But obviously the star of the game, the star with a capital S was ...Jeff Teague!

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