Friday, April 25


The seemingly least likely scenario has come true, Ellington and Lawson will test the waters, Tyler is here to stay.

Projected UNC Lineup:

PG Frasor
SG Ginyard
SF Green
PF Hansbrough
C Thompson

Bench: G Larry Drew, G Will Graves, F Alex Stepheson, F Tyler Zeller, F Ed Davis

Obviously Lawson/Ellington would resume their posts at the guard spots were they to return. Looks like Will Graves is going to have to step it up if not, as the Heels' backcourt depth is suddenly nonexistent.

Thursday, April 24

Rumor Mongering

I don't know how many people actually read the blog this time of year, what with the NFL off-season and NCAA quieting down, but this is from AOL Fanhouse:

Tyler Hansbrough to enter NBA Draft

He's apparently not going to hire an agent, so he could come back, but just wants to go to the camps and see if he can help his draft stock any. I'd say now (per DraftExpress and that he's in the mid-20's. I'd guess that if he plays his way into the lottery, he'd stay, but anything short of that he'll return as he could just go pro as a senior with the same results. This is easily the smart move, since you can "test the waters" once and come back, and he isn't testing the waters next year, its for real. Also, apparently Lawson is coming back as well. He's got a similar draft position to Tyler's, around 20, and has a myriad of PGs ahead of him. If he doesn't play any better next year he'll improve his stock just by the lack of PG's in the draft.

Projected UNC Lineup:
PG Lawson
SG Ellington
SF Ginyard
PF Stepheson (Hansbrough?)
C Thompson

Bench: G Bobby Frasor, G Larry Drew, G Will Graves, F Danny Green, F Tyler Zeller, F Ed Davis

Sunday, April 6

Reliving Georgetown...

..but this time in reverse. There are some eery similarities between the two games, namely scoring droughts. In the Kansas game, the UNC offense finished the first half on an awful scoring drought, whereas in the Georgetown game the drought took place to finish the game and carried into overtime. There were a number of reasons for the overall offensive inefficiency. The Jayhawks didn't miss many shots (at least outside of their 2nd half drought) and played excellent transition defense, eliminating the Heels #1 and #2 options, the primary and secondary breaks. Then there was the smothering Kansas defense in the halfcourt which forced 18 turnovers (23.1%) and recorded 9 blocks (another 20.9%). Finally the Heels only got 29.5% of their own misses, down for their average 42%, and which is made all the more important by the fact that a poor eFG% (39.5%) and thus about 6 or 8 extra OR opportunities. Speaking of Effective Field Goal Percentage, in the past two years, 77 games, the Heels have shot under 40% eFG twice, against Georgetown in 2007 and against Kansas in 2008. Not that the Kansas defense doesn't deserve all the praise in the world for giving the Heels tough looks, but the Heels missed both dumb contested shots and a few shots I've seen them make all season.

Friday, April 4

Pouring out the Deon Thompson Haterade

Alright, in light of the recent work of Ken Pomeroy, its time to revisit some of our past work here at TFSB. In this article, Ken points out how wrong he was doubting Deon Thompson. Now, earlier in the season I looked at the main two big men filling the pterodactyl-sized hole at the 4-spot in the Heels' lineup. Also, as many of you who have taken in a game with me know, I wasn't Deon's biggest fan then. But, as you will see below, Deon Thompson has really stepped it up this year, despite the claims of idiot columnists over at SI. Ok, well, idiot is a strong word, but if KenPom has put that same prior thought in with his top 5 blunders of the year perhaps is time we stopped lamenting the loss of Brandan Wright and begun celebrating a great 4-year big man who would be getting way more props if not for this kid.

Wow, what a difference a year makes. Let's get the main complaints out of the way first: yes, Deon doesn't shoot 65% eFG (well, essentially FG% since they're big men) and his offensive rating isn't 119, but honestly, whose is? The offense isn't the issue since Tyler, Ty and Wayne have improved drastically in that category (they're all +5, from 115/116/120 to 121/124/126). Deon's ORtg has improved in its own right, from 93 to 100, mostly thanks to dropping the TORate to near Wright-ian levels (the mid teens), almost doubling his free throw rate (14 to 25), and improving his FT% (20 to 58). That's right, Deon now shoots free throws better than even Brandan Wright!! Now for the impressive part: his rebounding numbers have stayed constant, even through tougher competition, his assist rate has slightly improved, and his block rate has shot up to Brandan Wright-like levels. Ladies and gentlemen, for all intents and purposes, the Heels have replaced Brandan Wright, and it only took Deon a year to catch on. To revisit the Alex situation, he has improved very similarly to Deon, raising his ORtg a similar 7 points, dropping the TORate about 5 as well. The only problem is he's now eerily similar to the December version of Deon Thompson, while Deon is a whole new player.