Primarily, I just want to emphasize the volume of possessions that is currently missing from UNC's offense. I feel comfortable using last season's stats, because the Heels starting five is unchanged from last season.
Hansbrough 81% minutes 27% possessions = 22% of total off possessions
Ginyard 70% minutes 14% possessions = 10% of total off possessions
That's nearly one third of the offense, not just when the starting five were on the floor, but for the entire game. Now taking that into consideration, am I terribly concerned we settled for jump shots all game? No.
All things considered the freshmen looked good. They made some silly mistakes that should be eliminated by mid-December, such as Zeller missing a cut Lawson expected him to make and Ed Davis throwing away fast break outlet pass. On the plus side, Ed Davis is a monster on the glass (see below), Zeller has some slick range on his jumper, and I really like Larry Drew's defensive intensity against dribble penetration (were you watching Wayne?). Some things to look out for in both the short and long term, does Zeller's start Saturday mean he'll be the first big man off the bench (behind Danny of course)? I was under the assumption that Ed Davis would fill that role, but it could have been that Coach Williams thinks that Zeller's strengths (jumper with range, average rebounding) compliment Thompson better than Davis' do. Also, watch Larry Drew's progression. He is in a position similar to that of Quentin Thomas, a freshman (QT/Drew) with an established starter ahead of him (Felton/Lawson) and a star recruit nipping at his heels (Lawson/Dexter Strickland). Will Drew be a contributor this season and a starter in the future, or will he simply warm the seat through next December when Strickland assumes the mantle of the next "faster with the ball" Roy Williams point guard?
Ok, we'll go with the negatives first. Penn shot the ball way too well, nearly 50% eFG is too high for a team that needs to up the defense to win more games. Hopefully Marcus Ginyard can help out in this department, along with better teamwork as the year progresses. Also, way way way way too many threes. The team took an average of 22% of its field goals from behind the arc last year, against Penn that number ballooned to 36%. Hopefully the return of Hansbrough will help to refocus the offense inside the paint, where it belongs.
Without Tyler, the offensive rebounding did not suffer. The Heels rebounded 37% of their own misses a notch below the 42% average. Tyler returning should improve that number, both in talent level, and ideally in taking more inside shots and shooting a better percentage from the field. Helping in the cause was Ed Davis, with 4 offensive rebounds (out of 14 total boards) in only 22 minutes, a monstrous 25 OR%. Also, though jump shots and threes were the preferred method of scoring, they did come as a result of good ball movement (or friendly score keeping). 78% of the made field goals were assisted, up from only 50% last year. Lastly, Danny Green has picked up right where he left off filling the stat sheet from corner to corner: 5-7 FG, 2-4 3FG, 12 Pts, 4 Asts, 3 Stls, 4 Rbs (1 OR), and 0 TO's. Don't worry Danny, the blocks will come.
Next Up: UK, @Chapel Hill, Tues Nov 18, 9:00 pm, ESPN
Despite John's being logged in to my computer during the Panthers game, Ryan was the author of this post, sheesh