Iso-ball, Competitive Guards and the Miranda Watch

Well, I can speak for us al when I say that we needed this win. A little relief goes along way when you bleed red. And it feels even more sweet and satisfying when you beat those who 'bleed blue'. Now, I am not the most familiarized with writing columns or posting and this may be somewhat of a hot take (bare with me). But what I am familiar with is Wolfpack basketball and everything that comes with it. Pumped after the Duke win, and I know the entire fan base is. I mean, last week we lose to Clemson pretty convincingly and now Keatts is one Tar-Heel win away from signing a 65-year extension. Hot and cold, just like that one toxic ex-girlfriend.

We live and die by Iso-ball. Keatts does not implement any sort of motion offense, and in many cases around the country running an offense has become obsolete. When you have the talent of Calipari-Calibur or a combo of elite freshman and veteran's (Bill Self's group), you can get away with these things. Maybe even thrive on these things. Not when you have Keatts at the helm. Usually, the pack starts off hot in the first half, and 30 minutes of intense full court pressure later-- we hit the infamous scoring drought. This usually is when the opposition makes its run and buries us. My point is, we do not put enough emphasis on quality offensive possessions to run guards off screens and get Morsell or T open for some good looks. Not between the legs-crossover step backs but good looks. I mean, come on. If such emphasis would be placed on shifting our mindset to be crafty and patient in our offensive possessions just like we put into the defensive side of the court, maybe we rein the poor-shot selection in just a bit earlier. Maybe we pull off a few more possessions, and get a basket when we need it. Not pulling up from the pinky of the Tiger Paw down at LittleJohn Coliseum. Big yikes.

I was very pleased with the play from our guards in the Duke game. And dammit, they were the first- and second-best players on the floor like that duo is supposed to be most nights. They worked together, they played hard and fed off of each other's energy. There was total unison with the way they played, and there was accountability there for once in about 10-games. We will only go as far as the combination of Baby T and Jarkell will take us. If we can just dial in and have a little bit more inside-out philosophy behind our offensive possessions, we are going to be fine. If we do what we did at LittleJohn more nights than not, well... We are screwed. The fate of our season is quite literally in those two's hands.

Last but not least, I did want to bring this up. The Miranda watch continues. We have always questioned Keatts decision making and inability to adapt to the modern game of basketball. Maybe this kid just isn';t ready. But I think we need a piece in the rotation to bail out Burns or EB when foul trouble ensues. We have to see what the #30 player in the 2022 class is capable of and we need to see quickly. I am confused to why we haven't seen a minute of so of him in garbage time just to test the waters. It's like if your dad bought you a new bike but forced you not to ride it. It just sits there in the garage. I honestly feel like we may be the only school in the ACC who wouldn't have put him in just for a few minutes to see his capabilities. Whether he is too slow, or too weak, I do know that skilled seven footers are hard to come by. Seems like everyone else's freshman are working out okay. Give the kid a shot. Damn.