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Tar Heel Blog has new update
1 day ago Where is the Leader for UNC Basketball?
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports Is the season salvageable because of a leadership void? To say frustration is running high among Carolina fans is stating the obvious. All one has to do is look around the various comment sections, Twitter replies, and message boards to get the angriest reaction among fans after yet another blowout loss. This one on Tuesday night to Miami, 85-57. Frustration leads to a lot of takes so hot the sun is jealous, and there are a myriad of reasons to basically ignore them because of the place where they come from. One take, though, deserves attention because no less than Coach Hubert Davis confirmed there’s an issue: lack of leadership. #UNC Hubert Davis:In order to be a good team, you need leadership. There has to be someone outside of myself, that binds us together, at this moment, we don’t have that voice.— Luck (@Quierra_Luck) January 19, 2022 #UNC Hubert Davis:I don’t know why we don’t have a leader for this team. That’s a great question. It’s needed immediately.— Luck (@Quierra_Luck) January 19, 2022 Of all the reasons to not blame Davis for these constant blowouts, it’s this one: he’s still not the primary constructor of this roster. Yes, he brought in three transfers, recruited some talent, and worked hard to keep guys that Roy Williams first brought in on the team. Still, the guy that he’s referring to: the guy who steps up when the team needs a kick in the backside doesn’t appear to be there, and that’s something he just can’t control yet. A “leader” isn’t just an old guy for the team, either. Think of guys who would fit this mold: Joel Berry, Marcus Page, Tyler Hansbrough, Jawad Williams, and George Lynch among others. At least a couple of those players exuded that leadership quality from the jump, and the rest of the team just fell in around it. Ask yourself, does someone like that exist in the locker room right now? To that point, my colleague Brandon asked your opinion yesterday on who it should be: So, here’s a question now that we’re finally addressing the leadership elephant in the room for #UNC: who do y’all think SHOULD be the leader of this team? Like…who would you expect to wake up tomorrow and say, you know what? I gotta take this team over.— Brandon Anderson (@THBBrandon) January 19, 2022 On the surface, Bacot is an easy answer. The big man is a beast with the basketball right now, coming off two ACC Player of the week awards and was a national player of the week last week. As the only post-dominant big man on the team this season, the offense should flow around Bacot and he has the strength to demand the ball when others around him are deciding to play hero ball. As you saw above, there’s a history of dominant big men being that leader. The problem is that some people just aren’t meant to be leaders, and to an extent true strength is recognizing when others should lead and you should follow. After three years, Bacot has not shown that he desires to be that leader on the court. That’s not a character flaw! As he showed off in his hit with Jay Bilas, he’s ridiculously intelligent, has a lot of interests, and there has been very few people that have been as loud an advocate for UNC and Carolina basketball as Bacot. As a highly heralded recruit, it’s easy to say his career so far has not gone as he thought, and yet he has persisted through a pandemic, coaching changes, and various point guards. But that likely also means he’s not the “leader” that Davis is looking for. If he were a player that the team were to rally around, he’d likely have shown it by now. It makes sense when you think about it, as he’s played with ball-dominant guards who had a goal of making it to the NBA, all while trying to find his place with someone like Garrison Brooks who was fighting for the time in the middle. In short, he’s never been asked to lead, and at this point in his career it’s almost unfair to ask him to do so. The other main option listed was one of the two guards Caleb Love and RJ Davis, and unlike other years where there’s been a Joel Berry to a Marcus Paige, Love and Davis are in the same class. Both came in without being known as the singular point guard, both have the ability to get hot at any moment, and it’s unlikely either wants to step on the other due to this. Those are your three best options, because everyone else is either too new (Manek and Garcia) or it’s just not their lot in life (Leaky Black). So you put all of this together and you suddenly get a leadership void that shows up time and time again when things get tough. On some level it does actually speak to how much the guys likely do enjoy each other, because no one wants to step up and essentially hurt someone else on the team by trying to assume a role they didn’t have. It also speaks to why you can have so many feast or famine type of games, because when it goes well, since there isn’t one guy who seems like he is in charge, everyone feasts and everyone has a good game. It also speaks to how easily Carolina can get thrown out of their rhythm. Can this be fixed? The thing is this is something Coach Davis can’t really do here. He can say they need a leader, but it’s up to someone on the team to actually step up. To do that, he’s going to have to step on some toes, and do it in such a way that makes everyone else realize that it’s for the ultimate goal of winning a championship. Is it possible for one guy to not worry about the rest of the egos on the team and do this? If the answer is no, then the chances of this being a successful season for Carolina are non-existent.
Tar Heel Blog has new update
1 day ago Carolina Fan Caves: Have a seat!
What’s better than having a souvenir shop full of UNC treasures? How about the best seat in the house! It’s been a hot minute since we’ve featured a Tar Heel fan’s collection of mementos, but this one was worth the wait. Tom Hicks—a Durham resident, but Chapel Hill native—is the latest Tar Heel to share his Carolina Fan Cave with Tar Heel Blog. Tom, a second-generation Tar Heel, was born on campus, and maintains close ties to the school and athletic program as a Rams Club member and season ticket holder for football, basketball (men’s and women’s), and baseball. Let’s hear how Tom put together this spectacular collection: Tar Heel Blog: When did you first become a Tar Heel fan? Were you born into it or is it because it was the home team? Tom Hicks: I’m the classic “Tar Heel born, Tar Heel bred,” having been born at what was then known as Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. My dad attended UNC, and started taking me to baseball, football, and basketball games when I was very young. I go back far enough to have attended hoops games in Woollen Gym, and baseball games at Emerson Field. I have missed just four home football games since 1964... three because I was in either Vegas or Hawaii with the hoops team. THB: When did you begin collecting items? TH: I really haven’t been collecting stuff for all that long... maybe 20 years? My favorite piece is the Carmichael chairs. I actually have two sets of them, but one is pretty beat up. My summer job between my junior and senior years at UNC was helping to remove the original chair seats in Carmichael and replace them with the bench seats. One day after work, a set of three chair seats somehow managed to end up in the trunk of my car! Those seats were mounted on my parent’s deck, and stayed there about 30 years before the house was sold. As you can imagine, they are fairly weatherworn. They are stored in my garage. THB: What is your favorite piece? How did you acquire it? TH: The set of five Carmichael seats mounted in my house was acquired about 15 years ago. A friend was moving to Florida, and was going to have a yard sale to get rid of a lot of stuff. When I saw he was going to sell his Carmichael seats, I said there was no way I would let anyone else get them. THB: Are your signed magazines bought, or have you run into players/coaches to get them signed? TH: I only have one signed magazine cover, and my wife got Tyler Hansbrough to sign it. Other signed items include a reprint of the 2004-05 hoops season ticket signed by Roy, and a large photo of Hansbrough and Dustin Ackley in their uniforms in front of the Old Well. Both were national player of the year when the photo was taken. The signed season ticket was acquired at a fund raising auction for Reece Holbrook... now a member of the UNC baseball team. The signed photo was acquired during the auction portion of the First Pitch Dinner to raise money for the UNC baseball team. THB: Do you have any rituals for game day? Do you watch in your Fan Cave? Are others allowed in there with you? TH: I don’t have any game day rituals, other than watching from the John Elway recliners in the room, although I attend pretty much every football game both home and away, as well as all home and some road hoops games, so that limits the number of games watched at home. If you have an amazing Carolina Fan Cave like Tom, hit me up on Twitter at @LABMcKay so I can share your story!
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