CHAPEL HILL– The 10-4 North Carolina men’s basketball team will be hoping to defend its home court Wednesday night against the 8-6 Miami Hurricanes.
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The Tar Heels dropped their ACC opener 73-67 at Wake Forest Sunday night while the Hurricanes lost to league favorite Syracuse in a tight contest, 49-44.
Head Coach Roy Williams says one of the most disappointing aspects of the Wake defeat was the free throw disparity.
“You know it’s a frustrating game. They shot 33 free throws. We shot 11. We get eight million offensive rebounds, but we can finish the play around the basket. It was just a frustrating game in so many different ways. But the bottom line is WakeForest played better than North Carolina,” Coach Williams says.
As a result, Coach Williams says Monday’s practice was the most physical the team has had all year.
“It was the most physical practice we’ve had for an hour all year long. They were beating each other up, and it didn’t bother me in the least bit. We’ve got be more forceful around the basket and finish plays,” Coach Williams says.
The Tar Heels committed 17 turnovers against the Demon Deacons. And Coach Williams says most of those were “silly turnovers.”
“We had four turnovers passing the ball from A to B where the defense was not involved. We had three turnovers just dribbling the basketball. […] So those were silly turnovers,” Coach Williams says.
It’s been nearly impossible to know which Carolina team will hit the floor on any given night this season. Coach Williams says he shouldn’t have to coach intensity and effort, but that’s exactly what it has come to for this group of Tar Heels.
“Some way, somehow, Roy Williams has got to do a better job of getting the kids more fired up and more enthused. I’ve always said I shouldn’t have to coach effort. I shouldn’t have to coach interest. I shouldn’t have to coach desire. […] But I’ve done a poor job of getting these kids fired up to play, and it better change,” Coach Williams says.
A tough road trip up to the Carrier Dome on Saturday to face the No. 2 team in the nation, the Syracuse Orange, looms for the Tar Heels.
But the Miami game comes first. UNC leads the all-time series with Miami 18-5, including a 9-2 mark in Chapel Hill. Tipoff is slated for just after 9 p.m. Wednesday in the Dean Smith Center.