Art Chansky

A Hot, Snowy Day On The Hill

            Maybe it has to be freezing outside for the Tar Heels to get hot inside. That was certainly the case on a cold and snowy Saturday, when Carolina played perhaps its best game of the season and, at long last, shot the lights out in the second half of a 93-81 win over Virginia. Great entertainment before an appreciative full house that braved the bad weather to make the high noon tip at the Smith Center. Not quite the journey made by Roy Williams, who flew to Minnesota Friday night to offer a scholarship to  6-5 recruit  Rashad Vaughn  and got back at 2:30 in the morning. A second straight start for P.J. Hairston could not avoid another slow start for the Heels, who fell behind by 10 with some very casual defense before Williams read them the riot act during the first two TV timeouts. But while the clamp-down “D” produced eight points off turnovers and a 5-0 dominance on the offensive board put Carolina ahead, Virginia finished its own torrid first-half with a 35-foot heave to tie the game at the horn. Get this: it was Jontel Evans’ second three-point attempt of the season and it may very well be his last. That’s how hot were the Wahoos. The showcase event had already introduced UNC’s national championship indoor women’s tennis team, and at halftime Tyler Zeller...

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Don't Be Wall Flowers!

     Win or lose tonight in Cameron, Carolina has to give Duke a game. The Tar Heels cannot knuckle under to an early tsunami as they did at Miami Saturday and during certain halves of certain games earlier in the season.   The tradition of the rivalry demands it, regardless of how mismatched the teams might be. Heck, in 1972 – the day Duke Indoor Stadium was renamed for Eddie Cameron – the BAD Blue Devils (7-6 at the time) upset a third-ranked Carolina team that would win the ACC championship and reach the Final Four. They did it by hanging tough against a far more talented opponent until reserve Robbie West came off the bench to hit a 15-foot push shot to win it at the buzzer. West (like Fred Lind, another sub who keyed a triple overtime win against UNC in 1968) has remained part of Duke Basketball lore ever since.   Then came those two games in 1974, both won by the Tar Heels over last-place Duke teams in the ACC. But not before Bobby Jones stole an inbounds pass and laid in the winner at Cameron and a few weeks later Carolina came back from eight points down with 17 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, where the Heels won 96-92 at a delirious Carmichael Auditorium.   Except for Bill Foster’s first three years as...

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Don’t Be Wall Flowers!

Win or lose tonight in Cameron, Carolina has to give Duke a game. The Tar Heels cannot knuckle under to an early tsunami as they did at Miami Saturday and during certain halves of certain games earlier in the season. The tradition of the rivalry demands it, regardless of how mismatched the teams might be. Heck, in 1972 – the day Duke Indoor Stadium was renamed for Eddie Cameron – the BAD Blue Devils (7-6 at the time) upset a third-ranked Carolina team that would win the ACC championship and reach the Final Four. They did it by hanging tough against a far more talented opponent until reserve Robbie West came off the bench to hit a 15-foot push shot to win it at the buzzer. West (like Fred Lind, another sub who keyed a triple overtime win against UNC in 1968) has remained part of Duke Basketball lore ever since. Then came those two games in 1974, both won by the Tar Heels over last-place Duke teams in the ACC. But not before Bobby Jones stole an inbounds pass and laid in the winner at Cameron and a few weeks later Carolina came back from eight points down with 17 seconds left in regulation to force overtime, where the Heels won 96-92 at a delirious Carmichael Auditorium. Except for Bill Foster’s first three years as Duke’s coach and...

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'93 Heels Head For Big Dance

All season long Chapelboro.com’s “Hoop It Up” will be republishing select excerpts from Return To The Top on the 20th Anniversary of Dean Smith’s 2nd NCAA title season in 1993. Check back on Monday of each week for the next RTTT. By Scott Cherry, UNC ‘93 It was almost 7 p.m. when we boarded the bus outside the Charlotte Coliseum after losing to Georgia Tech in the final of the ACC Tournament. Everyone was down about the game. We felt we had the better team – we’d won two earlier games by a 24-point total – but without Derrick Phelps playing, we just weren’t quite in sync. Winning the tournament had been one of our goals for the season and now it was gone. The loss was particularly disappointing personally because, with Derrick out, it was up to the other point guards to overcome his absence. We all played hard and did some good things, but obviously not enough to win. Plus, Georgia Tech played a tremendous game. James Forest was like a house afire (27 points, 10 rebounds) and we couldn’t cool him off. They won 77-75. The loss hammered home the fact that injuries are a part of the game; that maybe Derrick might not get back at all after getting hurt in the semifinals against Virginia. That meant everybody would have to pick up his intensity,...

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The Eye Of The Hurricane

This is far more about what Miami did than Carolina did not Saturday afternoon in Coral Gables. But, don’t kid yourself, what the Tar Heels couldn’t do contributed heavily to their 87-61 blowout to the ACC-unbeaten Hurricanes who, frankly, keep playing like their nickname bearing down on the Final Four in Atlanta. If there is a better college team in the country than Miami, I haven’t seen it. And probably won’t. Still, it would have helped if Carolina had made more than one of its first eight shots while the ‘Canes were going 5-for-6 out of the blocks. And getting back on defense would have been nice, especially when 6-11, 242-pound Kenny Kadji beat all of the half-hearted Heels down the court for a snowbird. Fighting through screens instead of giving into them, and getting out on the shooters, might have held Miami to under 58 percent shooting from the arc  (15 of 26). And, after proving he’s still not big enough and strong enough to play with true college post men, maybe James Michael McAdoo ought to try a two-handed dunk since his flying one-handers get blocked by real men. Carolina has a freshman point guard who’s learning the college game. Miami has a sophomore point guard who went to spring training as a kid until Shane Larkin told Barry Larkin he liked basketball more than baseball. The...

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Shoop Heads For Purdue

   When Everett Withers and the remains of the Butch Davis coaching regime were not retained, only one member of the old staff stayed in Chapel Hill.   John Shoop was still under contract for the 2012 season at UNC, so for the first time since grade school Shoop spent an autumn off the football field. Besides a completely new experience, he said it turned out to be one of the best years of his life.   He grew a beard and wore cool, outdoorsy clothes. He watched his son and daughter in their school activities, like a normal parent. The Shoops actually took weeks and weekends off to travel, see the world and visit family and friends.   While the early morning meetings and late-night game-planning were not part of his life and he barely stepped on a football field, the game he has loved forever was never far from his mind. He wrote a weekly column for Chapelboro, previewing the local college and high school games of note. He called Friday night prep games on WCHL radio with play-by-play sidekick Paul Connell.   And, as the only member of Davis’ staff who still lived in Chapel Hill, Shoop unobtrusively remained an advocate for the players he had recruited and coached at Carolina. He wanted them to succeed under new coach Larry Fedora and he supported the players who had...

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Heels Loose On, Off Court. Part II

All season long Chapelboro.com’s “Hoop It Up” will be republishing select excerpts from Return To The Top on the 20th Anniversary of Dean Smith’s 2nd NCAA title season in 1993. Check back on Monday of each week for the next RTTT. By Matt Wenstrom, UNC ‘93 The 1992-93 season started well with seven straight wins before we lost to Michigan in the semifinals of the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu. Jalen Rose, one of the Fab Five, picked up a rebound with one second left and threw it in. That game showed us we could compete with anyone. It’s one thing to feel confident, another to prove it. To lose to Michigan by one point, on a fluke shot at the buzzer, that’s nothing to be upset about. It showed everyone we were for real. The trip to Hawaii after a few days home for Christmas with our real families was good for helping to build esprit de corps among the team that we enjoyed all season. It also gave the freshmen a chance to see how the players operated together, and I think they came out of the trip with a higher comfort level of being part of the team. We played pretty good basketball when we came home until the first half of the Florida State game at the Smith Center. The bad news was we were down...

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McAdoo, Paige In The Zone

All those jokesters who claim “Roy can’t coach” may have the rethink their theories after Carolina’s stunning comeback win over Virginia Tech Saturday. Unless Williams deserves an “F” for his pre-game pep talk, very little of what went bad for the Tar Heels Saturday can be blamed on the coach. And almost everything that went right had ol’ Roy’s hand prints on it. Even after an obviously more motivated Virginia Tech team scored the first 12 points of the game, Williams called a timeout before the first official TV break. That’s a record for the coach who has disdained taking a TO, baby, until his team was down 28 on certain occasions. The Tar Heels spent barely six minutes cutting the deficit in half and from there it was a ballgame despite two of their better outside shooters being bamboozled by the Hokies’ active zone and their hottest marksman of late still too concussed to play. Carolina had the deficit down to one in the last two minutes of the first half and literally threw away a chance to take the lead into the locker room when a miss and a turnover led to five straight points for the visitors. Williams went inside good and mad but his team had wiped out half of the dirty dozen that began the game and had silenced a sold-out Smith Center crowd....

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Heels Loose On, Off Court. Part I

All season long Chapelboro.com’s “Hoop It Up” will be republishing select excerpts from Return To The Top on the 20th Anniversary of Dean Smith’s 2nd NCAA title season in 1993. Check back on Monday of each week for the next RTTT. By Matt Wenstrom, UNC ‘93 The 1992-93 Tar Heels will always be remember as a collection of great basketball players. What many people couldn’t see, however, was that this was a team of fascinating characters. The personalities meshed so well off the court as the talent did on the court. There’s no doubt that was a major influence on us developing the chemistry all championship teams have. We were a very loose team. We were focused and serious when the opening tap went up each game but we were always relaxed and having fun until then. I think Carolina basketball is an outstanding mixture of discipline and free-wheeling fun. We may look to the public like the “IBM of college basketball” as some people call us. We’re also the “Toys ‘R Us”. It’s like Coach Smith says, “The disciplined person in society is the free person.” We’re given a very disciplined structure in which to function that, in turn, provides us with the freedom to be ourselves. We had a lot of fun with little pet superstitions that most everyone on the team had. I insisted, for example, on...

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Seeing Red in a Sea of Red

By not competing, Carolina committed the cardinal sin of UNC basketball Saturday night at N.C. State. Whether underdog, undermanned or under intense pressure from a crazed crowd, the Tar Heels have rarely not been ready to fight from the opening tip. They weren’t this time, perhaps thinking their sky blue uniforms would settle a red storm and be good enough against an opponent they had defeated 13 straight times and pretty much dominated for the last 20 years. But that was then and this was now. And arrogant quotes in the preseason and silly dances in the runway before taking the court don’t automatically make them good enough against what is clearly a better team. Carolina’s mantra under Roy Williams is transition basketball, but it was State that scored 20 fast break points in the first half compared to none for the visitors who were beaten badly at their own game. It may have been the first time in the 100-year-old rivalry that the Wolfpack started better players at every position. Even the Tar Heels’ best hope foolishly fouled State’s C.J. Leslie  twice  in the first two minutes (although the second was probably a play-on that never should have been called). Regardless, James Michael McAdoo did not return until 11 minutes remained in the first half and his team already down by 12 points. After his two free throws...

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