Following the North Carolina women’s basketball team’s season opening loss to Hampton on Friday night, it became quite evident that this group is very inexperienced, in part because of the conditions that have surrounded the program over the past few seasons.
Due to a mixture of unfortunate circumstances that arose from the infamous academic scandal that negatively affected the whole UNC athletic department, the women’s basketball program arguably suffered the most. Through a sequencing of events which included untimely transfers, inconsistent recruiting and a massive influx of injuries across the last couple of seasons, this all culminated in UNC launching its 2017-18 campaign by playing only seven players, with five of them being first-years or sophomores.
Throughout the course of the Hampton game, many players made several miscues ranging from bad transition defense off the fast break, costly turnovers that could have easily been avoided, foul trouble, as well as an inability to execute down the stretch when the game was on the line.
According to head coach Sylvia Hatchell, the majority of these mistakes all stemmed from one simple problem that will improve over time — and with practice.
“The difference in the game was experience,” head coach Sylvia Hatchell said. “They started three seniors and two juniors. We got one senior and one junior along with two freshmen and a sophomore. If we had three seniors and two juniors out there, it would be a whole different ball game.”