Wake Forest guard Jeff Teague had his way with the UNC defense Sunday night as he constantly drove to the basket for another two points.
And while the quick guard was a key reason for the Tar Heels' 92-89 loss what could be most alarming for North Carolina is that the player capable of shutting down such threats spent the entire evening on the bench in street clothes.
After playing limited minutes in the past three games following surgery in October to fix a stress fracture in his left foot senior Marcus Ginyard did not dress for Sunday's game" and his health issues continue to hurt the Tar Heels.
""Right now what we've decided is to shut him down with the basketball practices" basketball games. We don't have a set date …. a week two weeks whatever" UNC coach Roy Williams said in Tuesday's ACC teleconference, adding that more rehab is expected to see if we can get some more of his explosiveness back.""
In the meantime"" the Tar Heels will be forced to adapt to life without their ""best defensive player"" according to Williams. Because while the uncertainty surrounding the troublesome injury continues, UNC must figure out a way to get by on the defensive end of the floor.
Hansbrough struggles in ACC
While Tyler Hansbrough ended Sunday night with a double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds), he had his share of offensive issues. After putting up 13 points in the first half on 3-for-7 shooting, the reigning National Player of the Year didn't make another field goal for the entire second half — recording just four free throws in the half and missing all five shots from the floor.
Eleven of Hansbrough's points came from the free-throw line, a statistic indicative of the game's physical nature (55 combined fouls).
They swarmed me. They played physical" bumps here and there. But that's the way the game's played sometimes he said after the game. If they want to play that way" I'll play. I'll try and play my game.""
Hansbrough is 9-for-27 in UNC's two ACC games this year" more than 20 percent below his season average.
Effort not the issue for Heels
Despite UNC's surprisingly poor start to conference play" Williams doesn't think it's for lack of trying.
He cited spirited UNC comeback attempts at the end of both losses and said that the poor play is more a product of mental errors.
""You know" a guy tries hard in a math test and adds two plus two and gets five he still made a mistake he said.
And so we've got to add our brain to that part of it" and I think that that is more of the problem than our effort.""
""I don't think anybody's watched our kids play the last two games and said" ‘Oh" they're just dogging it.' I really don't believe that — but we haven't played very hard with intelligence.""
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