CHAPEL HILL– The 4-2 Tar Heel basketball team will be looking to rebound from their disappointing setback at UAB Sunday. But the task won’t be easy.
Carolina will head to East Lansing, Michigan for a match-up with the undefeated and No. 1-ranked Michigan State Spartans on Wednesday.
Understandably, Head Coach Roy Williams says you can’t win games, especially on the road, with any kind of deficit in the energy and hustle department.
“They outplayed us. That was the bottom line. They wanted it more. They hustled more. They had more intensity. That’s aggravating to a coach. I’ve always felt like I should coach execution. I shouldn’t have to coach effort,” Coach Williams says.
As a result of the lack of hustle on Sunday, Coach Williams says he’s going to be extra hard on his players. He even readjusted and intensified the Wednesday game day schedule before the contest against the Spartans.
“I was on their case in the locker room yesterday. I was on their case at practice today. I’m going to be on their case tomorrow. I’m going to be on their case Wednesday. They hate it, because we don’t play until Wednesday at 9 o’clock. We had this pretty itinerary. […] I changed it. We have a film session at 9 am Wednesday morning. And that’s just the start, because I am going to be one of the meanest ‘blankety-blanks’ in the valley the next 48 hours,” Coach Williams says.
Michigan State is riding high after taking down No. 4 Kentucky earlier in the season and rolling along unscathed ever since. Head Coach Tom Izzo’s squad is leading the nation in assists per game and features three players who are each averaging over 15 points per contest.
Sophomore Brice Johnson got into some foul trouble early against UAB, but the energetic spark plug for Carolina says if his teammates play at the level they all know they can, UNC will emerge victorious.
“We have to go out there and play the way we know that we can play, the way Coach wants us to play. At the end of the day, whatever he knows the way we know how to play, that’s how we need to play. And at the end of the day, we will end up with a win if we play that way,” Johnson says.
Will the Tar Heels raise their level once again in 2013 and take down a second top five opponent away from the Smith Center? We’ll find out in primetime.
WCHL , 97.9 FM will have your pregame coverage starting at 8 p.m., and the showdown will be broadcast nationally on ESPN at 9 p.m.