The first meeting between the Tar Heels and Blue Devils went a little something like this...
DUKE BLUE DEVILSPlayerPosMinFG-AFT-A3P-AOffRebAstStToBlkPFPtsGreg PaulusG316-90-26-8033430418Jon Scheyer 334-117-82-4263310117Kyle SinglerF375-111-23-62102222314DeMarcus NelsonG233-96-71-3145140413Gerald HendersonG295-102-60-2373012312Lance ThomasF255-70-20-0250012410Nolan Smith 132-50-01-400012035Taylor King 20-20-00-200000000David McClure 70-20-00-012001020Team Totals: 30-6616-2713-29113716111562489 .455.593.448Team Reb: 1Team TO: 0
NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELSPlayerPosMinFG-AFT-A3P-AOffRebAstStToBlkPFPtsTyler HansbroughF3812-214-90-05180030428Marcus GinyardG333-108-82-4353120116Deon ThompsonF185-62-30-0350011512Quentin ThomasG354-82-40-2037060410Wayne EllingtonG343-142-20-625212048Danny Green 231-100-01-523411133Will Graves 60-01-20-011100031Alex Stepheson 130-00-20-024005220Team Totals: 28-6919-303-1718441732042678 .406.633.176Team Reb: 5Team TO: 0
This time around it's going to be in Cameron Indoor. Cameron Crazies are relentless college students. They dont stop bouncing up and down, nor do they ever shut up.
Now, we must address the player that is Wayne Ellington. Ellington is plainly, a shooter. By that I mean, he's the guy who stands in a spot and receives the ball from say, a point guard and spots up for a jumper. Ellington's jumpshot is a thing of beauty, and it is best used when standing wide open as someone like Ty Lawson quickly slashes into the paint and kicks out. Ellington is NOT a pure scorer. He has the ability to on his own put up some numbers, but since we're talking about Duke and UNC, lets see what he did in the first matchup.
Eight points. That's it. Without Ty Lawson in the lineup, he's limited to having to put the ball on the floor and create for himself. Lawson brings to the Tar Heels another gear in the offense, one they've lacked since his absence. He's back now, and with him in the lineup, he can create both in the transition and half-court game. His speed and agility allows him to split defenders to create his own shot, but also distribute at a high level.
With Lawson in the lineup, the Heels are a completely different team. We saw in the first matchup that it didnt matter if Hansbrough, SI's newly acclaimed Player of the Year, put up 28 points. The Heels still lacked something.
Perimeter defense for one. The Blue Devils shot an amazing 13 of 29 from the 3-point arch, as guys like Greg Paulus torched the Heels with six 3's. The Heels did a dreadful job in getting out to their man and putting a hand in his face. And at times, it didnt seem to matter as the Dukies seemed to be putting the ball into the Atlantic Ocean.
Duke will not shoot the 3-ball that well again.
In my mind, this game will be a close one. There wont be any free-throw battles, because it will be less than a five point game all the way down to the final seconds. Regardless of how much better the Heels are with Ty Lawson on the floor, it's still a game versus the Blue Devils and it's in Cameron Indoor.
What to Look For
Transition game out of the Heels will be key. Ty Lawson flying down the floor, slicing to the rack and deciding whether to lay it in or dish it for a open dunk by a teammate. When the Dukies crank up the D, the Heels will rely on SI's Player of the Year, Tyler Hansbrough aka Psycho - T to pound it inside. The Blue Devils showed no ability to stop him before, and they wont again.
As far as the Blue Devils, they can find anyone to score the ball. Shutting down Nelson, they'll give it to Henderson. No Henderson, there goes Scheyer...and then Paulus, or Singler...yada, yada, yada...
Both teams have a slew of options to go too for points. It will depend on who can stop who. And I'm not expecting a low-scoring game.
I'll take North Carolina 75, Duke 71 Alex for $500.
Call me a homer...but something tells me that having Lawson in the lineup will make a big difference. I watched the first game and saw that, really, the things that got UNC beat the first time are correctable.
This blog wasnt anything special, as it was very short and probably not too sweet...but hell, I'm Mac. I do what I want.
Enjoy the Heels/Duke game, ladies and gents. It'll be a beauty.
My Latest Man Crush: Tyler Hansbrough.