Monday’s practice for the Tar Heels probably felt more like another class. UNC coach Roy Williams said on his radio show that the team just lifted weights and reviewed tape of their 83-80 loss to Belmont.
For two hours.
And they will continue to review again tomorrow.
“We only watched it for a little over two hours,” Williams said. “Some plays we watched once. Some plays we watched twice or three or four or five times. We’re going to finish watching tomorrow because we have to learn. It’s part of the process, we have to learn and not make the same mistakes again.”
Some of those mistakes were without a doubt how the Heels defended Belmont from 3-point range. Even after Williams instructed his team to switch on picks, the players were sometimes a step slow to communicate and left Belmont shooters open.
“Initially we (guards) usually guard the ball screen(er) when a big hedges out and the guard goes under,” guard Nate Britt said. “But since they were picking and popping we wanted to squeeze the screen where the guard goes under and the big has a chance to get to their big popping out to catch and shoot the 3. It was just a different way to guard the ball screen that we don’t do on a regular basis.”
By Carolina defenders going under the screen it gave the Bruins’ shooters enough clearance to fire away.
Belmont made just 15 3-pointers combined in its first three games, but duplicated that number on Sunday. Carolina seemed surprised the Bruins pulled up from 3 so much, but maybe they should have expected it all along.
As Belmont’s J.J. Mann, who scored a game-high 28 points including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 14 seconds left, indicated they had to make up for Carolina’s size some kind of way.
“We hadn’t played anybody who had a front line like these guys we knew we were going to have to shoot really well from 3,” Mann said. “They were so long and athletic it was tough to get in there (the lane.) We kind of went back to old faithful and started firing.”
That left Carolina going back to the proverbial dry erase board to learn how to defend it. Williams said there was a combination of anger, hurt and embarrassment in the locker room after the loss. Williams believes he can use it to gain his players’ attention.
“I’m a guy who loves it when people are hurt badly when you lose,” he said. “Because I think those people change their behavior more.”