But that's exactly the situation the Tar HeelsACC are in as the year winds to a close. A loss to Notre Dame on Monday night was another nail in a coffin full of them for UNC this season, a game in which the Irish erased a point deficit in the second half and won on a last-second 3-pointer by Nate Laszewski.
Roy Williams' team is in sole possession of last place in the conference, worse than the likes of Wake Forest and Miami With not much to play for besides pride — barring a miracle run in the ACC Tournament — the only question left for North Carolina fans is this: just how bad has this season been, really? How to reconcile a disheartening, Murphy's Law-testing campaign with decades of near-uninterrupted hoops excellence?
You have to go back to to find a season that even approaches this one: the Tar Heels, then one year removed from an NCAA title, went and lost in the NIT final.
But that campaign never sunk to the depths of this one. A six-game ACC losing streak earlier this year broke a program record, and the loss to Notre Dame was part of another skid that, if it continues against gulp Louisville on Saturday, would make seven straight conference defeats. All that is to say: this year is a virtual lock to become the first losing season for the Tar Heels under Williams.
State and Wake Forest. In that case, the Tar Heels would be and would have to rip off five wins in five days in the ACC Tournament — a heretofore unaccomplished feat for any team — to even up their record, qualify for the NCAA Tournament and keep the hope of a winning season alive. In 15 years at Kansas, too, Williams never posted one below the. Who could have predicted that Williams' 32nd season as a head coach would be the one to end that run? Consider the state of things from a program standpoint: per Sports Reference, the Tar Heels have finished with a losing record just ten times in seasons.
Under Matt Doherty, they went inthe worst year by winning percentage in UNC history; before that, you have to go all the way back toDean Smith's inaugural campaign, to find a season with more losses than wins. That's two about to be three losing seasons in 60 years. Forgive the Tar Heels — players, coaches, fans — for not knowing how to react.
The season stats for this team are just as historically weighty. UNC currently averages Only one Tar Heel squad since has scored less — the national title team, oddly enough — and only one other Roy Williams team has dipped below 76 points per outing the team, at Going into the game against Notre Dame, this year's squad had posted its lowest field goal percentage These are some of the things the Tar Heels will be remembered for — not just loss after heart-rending loss, but an offensive ineffectiveness unseen in Chapel Hill since before the inception of the shot clock.
Combine that with personnel that has yet to gel, a brutal conference slate and a steady and unforgiving stream of injuries, and you have a season of North Carolina basketball that will be historic for all the wrong reasons. DTHSports sports dailytarheel. To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters. Our Black Friday sale is starting now! Order by Nov.Inside Carolina is breaking down the top 10 storylines for North Carolina basketball heading into the season.
North Carolina senior guard Andrew Platek said it best.Marketing mix strategy place inch
It's not going to happen again. We're going to do everything in our power to make sure it doesn't happen, and not even comes close to that. We're going to get back to winning.
Inside Carolina's Greg Barnes and Sherrell McMillan discussed how Williams will approach the season and use what happened last year as motivation.Binghamton university responsible conduct of research
So if that means starting four freshmen, they are going to do it. If that is playing an exclusive zone, they may do that too. McMillan's point is that nothing is sacred this season. It is a win at all costs mentality. To help that effort, the Tar Heels have more firepower this season, with three starters returning and the No. From a coaching standpoint, it will be back to basics for Williams.
InWilliams will have a full complement of what he needs for the Tar Heels to be successful: quick, dynamic, scoring guards, some veteran experience, and a full complement of talented big men. I think you are going to see a lot of his traditional stylings. McMillan indicated that practice has been a little bit different entering the season.
The intensity has been ramped up and details are maybe a little more important. Williams is making sure the little things are done right, focusing on things like loafs on defense, not boxing out, or setting a poor screen. All that is being corrected on the spot and with emphasis. I think there are going to be a lot of players who can help Carolina for 10 or 15 minutes a game, whereas last year guys had to play extended minutes, maybe they got fatigued -- but this is a much better overall roster.Though North Carolina's defense has struggled in — the offense has lived up to the preseason hype.
Their percentage of "explosive plays" After six games, UNC ranks No. A significant reason the Tar Heels have seen an uptick in their amount of big plays is due to the increased effectiveness of Carter and Williams.
Seen as the thunder to Carter's lightning, Williams has bolstered his rushing average from 5.Geographic tongue painful stomach treatment
UNC and SDSU are the only two teams in the country to have two or more running backs in the top in yards per carry. The Tar Heels have been making big plays in the passing game as well. Howell is fifth in the nation in yards per pass attempt Helping Howell achieve these numbers is Brown, whose Brown has been targeted 17 times on passes that have traveled at least 20 yards downfield, catching seven for yards and four touchdowns. This season, the senior wideout has been targeted six times on such passes, coming down with two for 59 yards.
ADavidHaleJoint November 2, Overall, Howell has been stellar when throwing to his receivers down the field. Howell has been especially dangerous targeting the middle of the field. This season, the Indian Trail, N. What makes Howell's success this season even more remarkable is the fact that his offensive line has not done him many favors. The Indian Trail, N. However, under pressure, Howell ranks No. His NFL passer rating of A record and top-five ranking had Chapel Hill buzzing.
Notre Dame had the Dean Dome faithful believing a special year was on the horizon. Luckily for fans, that reality should be short-lived. Adding in the motivation of avoiding a campaign as difficult as the previous one, there's reason to believe that UNC will take strides next season in returning to national prominence.
The No. Skipping ahead to the front court, the Tar Heels should have one of the deepest big-man rotations in the country. With four highly-touted big men on the roster, head coach Roy Williams will always have two of them playing at full energy.
Bacot showed flashes in his first season by averaging 9. Kessler, at 6-foot, can comfortably step out to the three-point line and knock down jumpers. Predicting the wings is also complicated, but this group will ultimately dictate how successful UNC can be next season. At shooting guard, there are a few candidates that can assume this position. The favorite figures to be rising sophomore Anthony Harris, who thrived in limited minutes before tearing his ACL last season.
With Harris' health an unknown, though, incoming first-year R. Davis could also step into the role. He averaged Basketball award.
Another possibility would be to move Black to shooting guard and start first-year Puff Johnson at the other wing. Johnson is the younger brother of former Tar Heel Cameron Johnson, and looks to have much of the latter's shooting prowess.
The reserve front court will feature two starting-caliber players on most teams. Early signs point to Sharpe and Kessler handling those duties.
Analysis: Putting UNC basketball's 10-16 season in context of program history
Rising sophomore Jeremiah Francis looked comfortable running an up-tempo Carolina offense during the brief stint when he was fully healthy.
Barring any injury setbacks, he should be ready to handle that backup role once again in the fall. In addition, returning senior Andrew Platek can use the experience he gained last season to fill in on the wing when called upon.
The last time UNC had a season like was inwhich was followed by a tremendous recruiting class that made the Tar Heels title contenders once again. This class has the chance to restore the hope like its predecessors did 10 years earlier. Each season begins with a new slate, and once Late Night with Roy rolls around, the six national championship banners that shine in the Dean Dome will illuminate a promise for greater days ahead.
DTHSports sports dailytarheel. To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters. Our Black Friday sale is starting now! Order by Nov. Multimedia Video Galleries Podcasts. Celebrations Obituaries.Albert Long, one of the greatest athletes in UNC history and whose ACC accomplishment hasn't been matched since, died this week at the age of This article originally appeared in a issue of the Inside Carolina Magazine.
I t will probably never happen again. Albert Anderson Long, Jr. He grew up in Durham and graduated from the old Durham High School in Participation in four sports -- forget about lettering in four -- wasn't part of the plan at the time. Long had his sights set on the major leagues and would attend UNC on a half-basketball, half-baseball scholarship.
He was good enough to play in those other sports, but he was more of a back-up in basketball and football. He'd finish second or third in most of the track meets. In baseball he played everyday for us.Duke law journal
He was a darn good shortstop. In his first year at Carolina, Long had planned to play JV basketball in the fall and join the baseball team in the spring, but during the spring of UNC had decided that the fall season would be Carl Snavely's last as head coach and began using the T-formation.
They were saying to themselves, 'We've got seven or eight single-wing tailbacks here, we're bringing in a new coach, and we don't have a quarterback. In high school Long had played quarterback in a running offense -- and defensive back on defense -- and he appeared to be the best option they had at the time, so they began to negotiate.
That year they brought Otto Graham, of the Cleveland Browns, in to work with the quarterbacks, and Long was named the back-up behind the starter, who had never played quarterback before. Ironically, Long would see playing time only as a defensive back, not the position of quarterback, for which he was specifically recruited to play. Meanwhile, the track coach at UNC at the time, Dale Ranson, was in need of a participant for the long jump -- then called the "broad jump.
Long agreed. After JV basketball and spring football had ended, Long began participating in the broad jump. He did not win a meet, but he garnered enough points over the course of the season to earn a letter, thanks to the coaching from Joe Hilton, who taught him to the proper technique.
Because the sports information directors of the charter members of the ACC agreed that all records would be grandfathered into the conference at its inception, Long's track letter from in the Southern Conference counts as an ACC letter even though the conference wasn't formed officially until The next September, Long reported to football practice ready to run the T-formation and suffered a broken rib, which kept him out of the first three games.
After about a week of working out, they sent me to Virginia with the JV team -- as a defensive back. I was probably the worst tackler in the world, but nobody beat me deep. That day, still recovering from the injury and with a shoulder pad taped to his side, Long ran back two punts for touchdowns against the Virginia JV team.
Several weeks later, he was promoted to the varsity and played the rest of the season as a defensive back.
He earned a letter that season in football in addition to his senior year at quarterback. After the football season had ended, Long prepared to join the basketball team -- his first year on varsity -- just at the time that Frank McGuire was taking the reins.
It was a great lesson in life for me; I learned a little bit about discipline right there. In one of the first games of the season, Grimaldi suffered a hamstring pull and Long was inserted in his place. During shootaround prior to the game, McGuire called for one more basket before going in. Long went up, hit the jump shot, and came down on teammate Tony Radovich's foot.
It was so bad that I got nauseated. I was on crutches for four weeks. Hedgepath said it would have been better to have broken it because I tore everything up. It took four additional weeks to get into the lineup. Because the games were played in quarters and the way to win a letter was to play in a minimum number of quarters, Long did not qualify for a letter in basketball that year. The next year, my junior year, I played and did OK. I was co-high scorer one game.Delivered to your inbox.
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UNC's Offense Among The Most Explosive in College Football
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