CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina coach Hubert Davis met with reporters Friday afternoon as a part of a media availability forward of the Tar Heels’ recreation Sunday at Virginia Tech, the ACC opener for each groups.
The 18th-ranked Tar Heels (5-3) returned dwelling within the early hours of Thursday morning, following their loss at Indiana within the ACC-Large Ten Problem. UNC departed Chapel Hill 9 days prior for the West Coast and the Phil Knight Invitational in Portland, Ore., the event held over Thanksgiving weekend.
The highway continues for UNC at Virginia Tech (7-1), which marks the staff’s fifth straight recreation away from Chapel Hill. Listed here are our operating notes from what Davis mentioned Friday on the Smith Middle …
— Davis mentioned offensively “all we discuss is a mix of ball motion and participant motion, ball motion and participant motion.” He mentioned particularly for this UNC staff, ball motion and participant motion has been communicated and talked about and drilled because the first time the Tar Heels obtained collectively as a bunch.
Davis mentioned opposing groups are being bodily on protection towards UNC. “And that physicality has bothered us,” he mentioned, by way of spacing and motion and operating performs with objective and tempo.
— UNC shot simply 33.9 p.c from the sphere Wednesday night time at Indiana, and gave the impression to be ravenous for simple baskets. Davis mentioned he remembers just one such second from the sport towards the Hoosiers, when Pete Nance discovered Armando Bacot for a dunk on an inbounds go beneath.
“They’re blitzing us loads” on ball screens, Davis mentioned of opposing groups’ defensive techniques. “Our guards aren’t in a position to penetrate and get downhill. It’s taken us off of our spots, it’s taken us off of our motion and our spacing.”
— Davis mentioned his ideas currently have centered on UNC’s points in a two-pronged means: “what’s not working and what’s not working as a result of we’re not working.”
Which has been extra prevalent in his opinion? “I consider that it’s not working as a result of we’re not working,” he mentioned, happening so as to add that tempo and objective can typically decide whether or not a play seems to be efficient.
— UNC obtained 14 factors off the bench at Indiana from Puff Johnson (six factors), D’Marco Dunn (5 factors), and Seth Trimble (three factors). Tyler Nickel additionally got here in for one minute of recreation time.
“I actually love what D’Marco, Seth and Puff are doing,” Davis mentioned when requested in regards to the Tar Heels’ bench manufacturing. “Their minutes are simply going to proceed to rise. They’re enjoying not solely nicely, however persistently nicely in follow, and so they’re additionally confirming that by their play within the recreation. And I’m very pleased with the best way that they’ve been enjoying, and so they’re going to get extra minutes. Everyone else is constant to get higher, and on the lookout for consistency in follow.”
— Bacot is coping with proper ankle and proper shoulder/collarbone accidents suffered over the last two video games. Within the UNC locker room after the loss at Indiana, he instructed Inside Carolina, “I think about once we get again, I’ll get some X-rays or one thing like that” on his higher physique.
When requested about Bacot’s standing for the Virginia Tech recreation this weekend, Davis mentioned Friday he expects the Tar Heels to have all of their regulars accessible.
“My expectation is for everyone to be enjoying on Sunday,” Davis mentioned. “I haven’t heard of any X-rays. I’m prepared for follow at 4 (p.m. immediately). North Carolina will probably be in Blacksburg on Saturday, however able to play on Sunday.”
— Davis mentioned on protection, UNC should tackle the best way it has been guarding ball screens. He mentioned opposing guards have been in a position to achieve an excessive amount of room within the paint whereas collapsing the Tar Heels defensively.
“We’re simply not doing an excellent job defending the paint,” Davis mentioned. “That’s one thing that we’re going to should tweak, alter, pivot or change. Guards are with the ability to get depth to the basket, and it’s simply breaking down our protection.”
— Davis mentioned UNC freshman ahead Jalen Washington (knee surgical procedure, lengthy restoration and rehab course of) ought to be “full go” as early as subsequent week.
The 6-foot-10 Washington has been taking part in practices and ramping up for a pair weeks now. He didn’t play throughout his senior season of highschool as a consequence of harm. After their ACC opener on Sunday at Virginia Tech, the Tar Heels don’t play once more till Dec. 10 towards Georgia Tech.
— Davis mentioned he received’t be utilizing UNC’s win at Virginia Tech final season and the run that victory sparked as a motivational nugget this time round. The Tar Heels received their last 5 ACC video games final season, beginning with their 65-57 defeat of the Hokies in Blacksburg, Va., and went 11-2 from mid-February to the top of the season.
“I simply don’t suppose that helps us on Sunday,” Davis mentioned. “We’re a distinct staff, Virginia Tech is a really totally different staff. Our focus is on going up there and competing and placing ourselves ready to achieve success. I believe including that kind of weight by way of turning every little thing round in Blacksburg, I simply don’t suppose it helps us. I don’t suppose it’s of any profit.”