The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday March 3rd

M. Basketball: Lawson's 11 assists open up offense

With more than 14 minutes left in Saturday's game against Georgia Tech North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson streaked down the floor at his usual breakneck speed.

Scanning his teammates filling the lanes around him Lawson threaded a bounce pass to Danny Green on the right for a layup to put UNC up 66-41.

As he made his way back down the court all fingers back on the Tar Heel bench pointed to Lawson — the longtime UNC tradition of recognizing the player who made the pass.

After a performance one week ago against Maryland that didn't exactly scream teamwork there was a lot more finger-pointing going on in the Smith Center during Saturday's 104-74 rout.

The Tar Heels managed a mere five assists to score their 85 points in the overtime loss to the Terps" and ""selfish"" was used multiple times in postgame interviews — not exactly a word to be throwing around lightly at this point in the season.

But that would change in a hurry against the Yellow Jackets" and UNC consistently spread the ball around in the half-court sets and found streakers on the break.

The Tar Heels matched their Maryland total in assists before six minutes had ticked off the clock" and they ended up with 26.

""Well" we didn't emphasize just the assists" said coach Roy Williams, who led what players described as very intense practices during the week.

We emphasized sharing the basketball" and we emphasized the 16 really really" really bad shots that we took up at Maryland.""

Green was the beneficiary on one play midway through the first half when UNC worked the ball around the perimeter and Green found himself open in the left corner for a 3-ball.

Then minutes later it was Lawson who spotted Bobby Frasor at the top of the arc for a 3-ball swish.

""Just making the extra pass" like to Bob. I think I had a shot but Bob was wide open and he knocked down the 3" Lawson said. So just making the extra pass is making us a lot better because we have a bunch of different scoring threats on the team.""

Lawson" who had a season-low two assists against Maryland" tied a career high with 11 on Saturday against two turnovers while scoring just four points — all from the free throw line.

""Ty Lawson" I told him in the locker room — that may be as good as I've ever seen a point guard play when he didn't score a field goal" Williams said.

And Lawson wasn't the only one getting involved in the passing. Six UNC players recorded at least two dimes, and nine had at least one.

After just five assists on 29 baskets up in College Park, the Tar Heels had 13 assists for 17 first-half buckets on Saturday and 26 for 37 during the entire game.

Today we were hitting some more shots" and guys were sharing the ball passing the ball around Green said.

We play like that" I feel like we have a good chance of being a good team.""



Contact the Sports Editor at sports@unc.edu.


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