The week break between games in the schedule came at the right time for North Carolina.
The Tar Heels won’t return to action until Saturday against Boston College, which provides enough time to evaluate all what ails the team.
Before Carolina takes the court, a complete assessment is necessary – and quite possibly a sizeable overhaul -- after last Saturday's loss at Syracuse dropped the Tar Heels to an 0-3 start in ACC play.
“This would be the equivalent of taking your car in for a tune-up where they check everything,” said UNC coach Roy Williams on the ACC coaches teleconference. “At the inspection, they check everything.”
And by everything, he means everything.
There’s really not an area right now in which the Heels don’t have a concern. Defensively, they struggle stopping dribble penetration and consistently have been beaten defending ball screens. Offensively, the Heels haven’t been able to run the way Williams’ teams typically like to run.
“It’s really hard to say, because we just need to get better in so many different areas,” Williams said. “We are going to work defensively; we’re still trying to get better there. We’ve got to get more movement on the offensive end, especially against the zones, but we need better movement against man-to-man as well.”
It’s not a stretch to say the Heels are playing a must-win game against Boston College, especially because it is at home. And it’s not a stretch to say the Heels are reaching a point of desperation. They’re not in a state of denial about where they sit right now, which is the league’s cellar.
“We are shook a little bit, but there’s no way to hide from it, so we talk about it,” Williams said. “Hey, we haven’t done as well as we wanted to do, but it’s no time to panic. The only thing that panic can do is make it worse. We talk openly about it and we realize there’s some stress, but the only thing you can do is lose yourself in the game and give 100 percent.”
Williams hinted that the players still don’t have the trust factor that he mentioned before. For whatever reason, players have had a hard time breaking their old habits.
“I think that’s our challenge -- to make sure that we can learn from these mistakes, learn from the problems that we’ve had, figure out how to correct it and then do it,” Williams said. “Every coach can look and give you a blueprint for success – if we do this better, this better and this better – but the players have to accept it and then they have to be willing to change.”