Hate to say it….
The game has only been over for about 2 hours now and I’m already writing the obituary on the 2012 season. What a season it was. It all started ranked #1 as well they should have been. It started by opening the season on an air craft carrier! How cool was that game? It ended last weekend. I know. I know. It actually ended about two hours ago at the hands of Kansas in the Elite 8. Like I said in my last post, let’s be honest…it ended last weekend. I’m not a pessimist. I am a realist. Kendall Marshall makes all of these parts work. NBA talent? Sure. Even NBA teams need a point guard that makes it all go.
This is in no way a knock on Stilman White. Dude flat out played! 13 assists and no turnovers in 2 games? Are you kidding me? A kid that was a walk-on insurance policy played in the most critical games of UNC’s season and had zero turnovers. Remarkable. Yet in both games this weekend the offense went stagnant. It missed the floor general that knew where to get the ball and where it needed to go. More than once the center and power forward were outside the three point arch in the half court. Hint..that’s not where they need or want to be.
Winning a Championship takes a lot of luck, good health and talent. The Tar Heels ran out of two of the three and were running on empty in the last one. The starting backcourt AND the teams best shooter were sitting on the bench in suits (McDonald, Strickland and Marshall). John Henson was getting numbing shots in his heavily taped wrist just to play. Oh, by the way, he rolled his ankle 3 minutes into the Kansas game and limped through the remainder of the game. Harrison Barnes twisted his ankle early in the season and his stat line would show he never was the same. Yet this team kept pushing. With all of the talent, they should be able to do what they did. I can’t question their heart or their effort. Each player stepped up when called on. Yet there was one player they couldn’t afford to lose and they did last weekend.
All that being said, no excuses. You have to put the ball in the basket and they didn’t do that enough in the second half to win. Zeller now graduates with honors. Barnes and Henson most likely bolt for the NBA. Marshall and even a long shot MacAdoo could at least entertain it. This was the team that had the best shot to hang another banner. Now they rebuild and start the process all over again. I’m still proud to be a Tar Heel. Always have been. Always will be.