North Carolina’s contest against Albany on Wednesday night brought another win for the Tar Heels, but also increased consternation on the part of coaches, players and fans.
The Heels took control of the game early against its outclassed opponent, but proceeded to allow a 23-to-2 run over the final eight minutes of the game in an embarrassing display of offensive and defensive efficiency.
For the second consecutive game, senior Marcus Ginyard sat out with a sprained ankle, and he was joined last night by sophomore Justin Watts, also out with an ankle injury.
Dexter Strickland got the start at wing guard alongside Larry Drew, and freshman Leslie McDonald — who scored nine points — benefited from the absence of the other wings.
Carolina was led, as usual, by sophomore big man Ed Davis. The slender southpaw went for 18 points and eight rebounds, adding another four blocks to his team-leading total as well. Davis finished much better against the Great Danes than he did against Rutgers earlier this week, hitting 7-for-9 shots from the floor.
The Heels shot 60 percent in the second half, giving up the big run mostly because of an overabundance of turnovers — against an inferior foe, 18 errors is way too many.
Roy Williams expressed his recurring frustrations in the postgame press conference, and he said that the team would hold a meeting this afternoon to clear the air and hopefully regain focus.
Carolina will benefit from ample practice time the next 10 days, playing only once — against Charleston — prior to hosting Virginia Tech in the ACC opener on January 10.
To see the UNC/Albany box score, click here.