North Carolina had a lot of potential to take over the NCAA and be a force to be wrecking with. But after various injuries to the team, it has pushed them back a tad as they have fallen out of the Top 25 and are now looking for ways to get their team back on the right track.
Everything seemed to have went well for the Tar Heels to begin the season. They were able to win their first 5 games of the season and seemed to be clicking on all cylinders. Even when they lost to tough teams like Michigan State, the team still played their X’s and O’s through 40 minutes of action and showed signs that they were an elite team on any given night.
Cole Anthony has been the star leading the show for the Tar Heels. With his talent and skill that he is able to provide on the floor, he has been one of the most unstoppable Point Guards in all of College basketball.
Anthony this season has averaged 19.3 points per game with 6.4 rebounds as well. He may be small for his size but he displays signs of assertiveness by attacking around the rim and trying to make a winning play. When Anthony is on the floor, his assertiveness gives his team an extra boost and it motivates them to play even harder when watching their leader set the tone.
As December rolled around, the Tar Heels didn’t have that same confidence that they had during the first portion of the season. On offense, they were shooting the ball horrifically and were giving up transition baskets to teams. And everything began to get much worse once Anthony was sidelined with a knee injury that would turn the Tar Heels’ season upside down.
Anthony’s presence would be missed for a good stretch of North Carolina’s season. Guys in Garrison Brooks and Brandon Robinson were called upon to carry the team and set the tone for them on both ends. And how did that turn out? Not so well! This team struggled badly without their leading point guard and their record continued to drop as he sat out game after game.
The team has looked disengaged on the floor during Cole’s absence. Offensively they were shooting poorly and on defense they continued to give up easy opportunities to their opponents. Looking at the team, they seem as if they don’t know when to turn things up on the floor. Some games they can have a good first half and horrible second half. Then there are other games where they have a horrible first half and crawl themselves back into the game in the second half.
The inconsistency has been the reason why they are 3-12 in the conference. Head Coach Roy Williams has not had the chance to fix this team’s flaws due to all of the lineup changes. And even with Anthony returning from injury, things just could not turn around for the Tar Heels. The team has been put in a hole that they honestly cannot get out of.
After recently losing 6 games in a row, it has left everyone around the team frustrated with how everything has went down. But no one has been more frustrated than Coach Williams. A man who has had nothing but success through the course of his coaching career, it is without question that he has been in an uncomfortable position as of now trying to find ways to get his players motivated and back on track.
“You’ve got two choices. You can compete your butt off or you can get up in fetal position and curl up and start crying.” It sounds as if Williams is questioning the mental toughness of his players on the court. Are they built to win? Can they embrace the pressure in various situations? The Tar Heel players haven’t displayed any sense of urgency over the past couple months and it has the basketball world wondering what’s next for the team going forward.
The team stands today at 10-16 overall while being 3-12 against teams in the ACC. There is more likely no hope for this team to turn it around this season. So the main focus for Williams and this team now is to look forward to getting themselves prepared for next season to make a run in the their respective conference. It may not have worked out this season due to injuries and different lineups. But as great of a coach Roy Williams is, he will have a plan for the world to watch coming next season.