- Robbi Pickeral, College Basketball
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Some notes from North Carolina coach Roy Williams’ radio show on Monday night…
LOOKING FOR BULLOCK: Over his last four games (not including the win over UNLV, when he had to sit out because of a concussion), UNC junior Reggie Bullock is averaging 17.7 points and making 55 percent of his shots.
Williams, whose team lost 61-52 at Virginia on Sunday, recognizes that his Tar Heels need to get the ball to the sharpshooting wing more often. But he needs his team to recognize it, too.
“He scored 22 points and took nine shots [at Virginia],’’ Williams said. “That’s just amazing right there. … If your whole team’s that efficient, you’re never going to lose.
“And what we’ve got to do is be aware; it’s not an equal opportunity. Some guys can shoot better than others, some guys can score better than others, and we’ve got to figure that crap out. And we’re pushing them in a direction to figure it out, but still, they’ve got to do it out on the court. We need to work harder, when someone’s as hot as Reggie was [Sunday] night, we need to work harder to get him shots.”
For example, Williams recalled a game during his years at Kansas, when he instructed his Jayhawks to get the ball to hot-handed Steve Woodberry during the second half of a game against DePaul. The player made six 3-pointers after halftime, Williams said.
“Steve was the one that was going to win the game for us,’’ Williams said. “That team accepted it, and this team has got to understand when someone [is playing] like Reggie was playing [Sunday] night, we have to do a better job to help him get shots.”
MCADOO’S CONFIDENCE: Forward James Michael McAdoo, meanwhile, hasn’t been on a tear like his teammate. Over his last four games, the sophomore starter has averaged 12.3 points and three-plus turnovers.
Asked about McAdoo's confidence, Williams said he thinks it’s “OK.”
“His confidence would be a lot better if he was shooting 70 percent and averaging 20 instead of 45 or 46 percent and averaging 14 or 15 [points], there’s no question,’’ Williams said. “But James Michael is doing some good things for us. We’d like him to be a little more consistent. We’d like him to stop turning the basketball over as much. We’d like for him to shoot a higher percentage. We’d like for him to do a better job rebounding. And guess what? He would like those same things, in every area.
“But when the other team is making up their defensive game plan, they’ve got to be aware of James Michael. It’s a process. He’s getting better and better and better. Last year, early in the season was really a struggle for him. But he hung in there, and all of a sudden when he was called on when John [Henson] went down, he was ready to go and played great. … We needed James Michael, and I’m just hoping it will be the type of year where he just gets better and better.”
TALKING D: One of the reasons the Tar Heels’ defense keeps breaking down: a lack of communication on the court.
“We were better in practice [defensively] three days last week than we were at any time last year, but we get into the game, and we don’t talk,’’ Williams said. “They’ve got to be able to transfer from the practice court to the game.”
“They’ve got to make a decision to do it,’’ he said. “I can run the crap out of them and everything, it makes no difference. They’ve got to do it. … They’ve got to try to buy into it, we’ve got to get it done. … It’s like I tell Joel [James], Rome was not built in a day, but it was worked on every dadgum day.”
BRIEFLY: After losing their third straight road game on Sunday, the Tar Heels didn’t practice on Monday, and instead watched tape of the game and had a team meeting. “It lasted three hours and 25 minutes,’’ Williams said. “Other than that, it was a wonderful day in the neighborhood.” … Williams said he went to everybody on his staff Monday, and asked for everyone to tell him the team’s biggest problem: “And everybody gave me a different answer. That’s good and bad. It’s bad, because it’s not just one thing. It’s easier to fix one thing. But it’s also not like we’ve got this glaring thing, that we’ve got to do this better. It’s also what you would expect from a young team, and we’ve got to keep after it.”
62dJeff Goodman and Jeff Borzello