Q&A with Tar Heel Blog.

Mike Ehrmann

Miami returns to action this Thursday night in Chapel Hill. We caught up with the guys over at Tar Heel Blog to check in on UNC.

What's wrong with Carolina? Can they still contend in the ultra competitive ACC? Who are the greatest UNC legends of all time. For all that and more, check out our full Q&A with Brian Barbour of Tar Heel Blog below.

SOTU: By UNC standards, this team has struggled. What do the Heels need to do to re-establish themselves as an elite ACC team?

THB: Obviously there is a drop-off from losing four NBA 1st round picks which has left UNC thin on quality interior players and at point guard. This season will probably play out with UNC in the middle of the ACC pack with a possible finish in 4th if they can figure out some of the more pressing needs. The offense is highly disorganized at this stage with only one consistent player in Reggie Bullock. In short he needs help from his teammates to right the ship.


SOTU: How would you grade the play of freshman PG Marcus Paige to this point?

THB: He is probably a solid C right now. There are some things he does well and his offensive game is far more developed than Kendall Marshall was at this stage. Paige's grasp of the team offense and his ability to facilitate it is massive hole right now. In fact, UNC doesn't have anyone who does a great job of facilitating the offense which is a huge part of the problem right now.

SOTU: What was the primary difference between the win at UNLV, and the loss to Virginia?

THB: Clearly it was terrible match-up from a tempo standpoint. Virginia plays solid defense and the speed of the game requires a team to be really efficient with their possessions which is tougher in the half-court. UNC likes to get out in transition which opens up easier looks and with Virginia that wasn't happening. The defense, as compared to the UNLV loss was only slightly worse. It was the offense, which has struggled on the road, that ended up being a huge failure.

SOTU: Which players or match-ups on Miami are you most concerned about?

THB: Miami's guard play is going to be a handful especially since UNC loves to help off drives and I get the feeling Shane Larkin and Durand Scott are going to get into the lane at a fairly decent clip, Not having to guard Reggie Johnson is a bonus but Miami has plenty of athleticism to control the boards against UNC's frontline.

SOTU: If you had to pick an all time starting 5 for the Tar Heels, who would they be?

THB: Ty Lawson, Michael Jordan, Tyler Hansbrough, James Worthy and Antawn Jamison.

SOTU: How do you see this game playing out, and who wins by what score?

THB: UNC has played well at home and really needs to defend home court seeing how tough the ACC schedule is. I think UNC will get it done 73-68.

Thanks again to Brian for working with us. Be sure to head on over to Tar Heel Blog to see our answers to his questions, and be sure to check out the game on ESPN at 7PM on Thursday.

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