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NCAAB – East: Tar Heels Continue to Struggle

The North Carolina Tar Heels’ struggles continue as they lost at home to the Miami Hurricanes to start their ACC conference schedule 0-2. Miami Hurricane Kenny Kadji scored 18 and the ‘Canes defeated the Tar Heels 68-59  to make Head Coach Roy Williams’ difficult season get even more difficult.

The win for Miami moved their record to 11-3 overall and 2-0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Miami held the lead for the better part of the second half shooting 47% from the floor and holding North Carolina to just a single field over a seven minute stretch during a crucial part of the second half.

The loss was the third time North Carolina has lost to Miami in the past 7 seasons. The Tar Heels were led by James McAdoo with 14 and Reggie Bullock with 11. North Carolina dropped to 10-5 overall and 0-2 in the ACC. The two losses to start the ACC schedule was the first time the Tar Heels have lost their first two conference games since 2008-09.

North Carolina is missing Leslie McDonald their junior redshirt who tweaked his knee and was held out of the game, as it was the same knee that sidelined him during 2011.

The Tar Heels are not accustomed to being 10-5 and much less 0-2 in the ACC. Last season it was not until February that the Tar Heels lost their fourth game overall. That loss was to eventual champion Kentucky at the buzzer on a spectacular block by the Wildcats. If not for an injury to one of their top players, the Tar Heels would have been in the title chase.

Now the Tar Heels are worried about possibly missing the NCAA Tournament again, which would be the second time they have not qualified in the past four years.

Ways to make things right include winning more on the road. The Heels are just 1-3 away from home. The players must handle the ball with more care as the team is averaging over 14 turnovers a game. Coach Williams also needs to find a solution to the starting five as nine players have started at different times during the season.

Part of North Carolina’s problem is they have had players commit to them early during their junior year in high school and then have not played as well their senior year and even once they arrived at Chapel Hill.

Kentucky has taken the majority of the top 10 players each year from high school and that has affected North Carolina, as that was once the territory of the Tar Heels. Each year for the past three of four years, the top players have signed with Kentucky and bypassed the Tar Heels.

Kendall Marshall was not expected to turn into a prospect for the NBA so early, but due to a lack of depth at point guard in last season’s draft and exceptional play on his part, he became the 13th overall pick in the draft.

He was not ready to play for an NBA team and has had to play in the D-League, but if Phoenix was willing to expense a lottery pick on the guard, who can blame Marshall for his decision.

McAdoo is the one player who is considered a star, but P.J. Hariston and Bullock have great ability and would have even been better if a playmaker like Marshall were still around to showcase their talents.

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