Actually, this was a different Carolina team from the one who lost to Belmont. They actually hustled today against the Cards. Let me be the first to say that Ol' Roy out-coached the Slickmiester. Carolina continuously ran the floor while Louisville showed a reluctance to do so. I think they are learning how to play without Hairston and it took them a few games to get it right. I still think they are a little off with their spacing, but when you constantly get run-outs, it doesn't matter all that much.
The Tarheels have no depth in the back court, but I'm not sure they really need much with Marcus Paige in the game. Paige finished the game with 32 points on 9-13, 3-6 beyond the arc and 11-11 at the charity stripe. He also had 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal with only four turnovers. The North Carolina front court contributed another 55 points with Kennedy Meeks and Brice Johnson leading the bunch with 13 points each from the bench. Surprisingly, UNC only outrebounded the Cards by three. Kentucky plays at North Carolina on Dec. 14th in the Dean Dome.
Russ Smith and Chris Jones score 36 and 18 respectively while Harrell and Van Treese scored 5 and 2. Wayne Blackshear failed to score. The bench scored 23 points: Hancock had 10; the much-heralded Methiang had two; the "suspended" Chane Behanan had 7 and the "suspended" Kevin Ware had 4 points. Behanan did have 10 rebounds while Harrell had 8 before fouling out with 7-1/2 minutes to play. When the Hall of Fame and Porcini's favorite coach decided to press, UNC simply threw over it for some easy baskets. Kentucky hosts Louisville on Dec. 28th at Rupp Arena.
I believe North Carolina poses a bigger threat than Louisville because of their size. Kennedy Meeks, James McAdoo and Brice Johnson are all 6-9. Joel James is 6-10 and all played well today against Louisville. It will be interesting to see how Willie, Julius, Alex, Dakari, Marcus and Derek Willis match up. I don't see how any of the Tarheels are going to stop Julius, but by the same token, I'm not sure our guards are ready to be able to stop Paige. It will be a test for the young Cats since it is a road game.
As for Louisville, they're going to have to make some significant improvements before the visit Rupp. Russ Smith will get his points as he always does, but from what I saw today, Randle should have a double-double. I also believe the twins will have improved significantly by Dec. 28th.