The Jackets are coming off a relatively successful road trip, defeating Boston College before being put away in overtime against North Carolina State. In both of these games, the Jackets held leads entering in the last 10 minute of the game and seemed to struggle to hold onto the lead at the clock ran down. A double digit lead was blown against NC State and fans sat waiting to see how long it would take until Boston College got back in the game. Which leaves the question, why can't the Jackets finish?
And the answer is very easy, depth and maturity. Remember, the Jackets are without two of their top 8 players in my opinion in Robert Carter Jr. and Travis Jorgenson. Furthermore, I don't imagine we will be seeing much more of Solomon Poole this season. All of that being said, the Jackets are basically playing with 9 scholarship players- starters Golden, Heyward, Georges-Hunt, Holsey and Miller and off the bench with Bolden, Stephens, Morris and Poole Jr. How can a team expect to win when they are missing one fourth of their players?
All of this being said, the Jackets have proven the nay-sayers wrong so far, beating BC and going the distance with NCST before just falling short. The question now is how can they fair against the UNC's, Duke's, Syracuse's, etc. Unfortunately I do not see the season being much of a success if they cannot find help elsewhere on their bench. The Starting 5 cannot hold the team up much longer. Take the NCST game- Quinton Stephens held the team up while others were turning the ball over and missing shots. I really hope for the best always for this team, however unfortunately I do not see how they can outlast some of the top players in the ACC without a full, healthy squad. It is real unfortunate too, because I had high hopes for these young athletes on this team being led by Trae Golden and Daniel Miller.
The ACC has been a bit of a surprise though, so anything is possible. The Tar Heels have had a very odd season as well, with their unit has had a few personnel losses as well, which started their season off on the wrong foot. Leslie McDonald was able to return to the team, however P.J. Hairston will no longer wear Carolina Blue. In the ACC, they are close to Tech in standings surprisingly at 2-4, with losses to Miami, Syracuse, UVa and Wake Forest and wins versus Boston College and Clemson. The surprise there is Miami and Wake Forest, but we lost to them too so I can't say much on that subject.
The Tar Heels displayed an impressive win against Clemson this weekend, with McAdoo putting up 22 points. McAdoo and Paige both average double digits in conference play and if the Jackets want to win this game today, they better limit their performance. This Tar Heel team is on the shorter side in my opinion, but their guards are so quick. It will be very interesting to see how the Jackets match up against this UNC team. The winner will exploit the other teams weakness, either height or lack of strong guards.
Tip off is set for 7pm at McCamish Pavilion and the game can be heard on 106.7 WYAY-FM and Sirius/XM ch.85. The TV coverage has been canceled, as the snow has caused the city to time travel to 1938.
GT vs NC ESPN telecast cancelled. Radio only option. 106.7 FM in ATL. Sirius/XM & Mobile App also. Yes, it's 1938. http://t.co/moCjnEAder— Brandon Gaudin (@BrandonGaudin) January 29, 2014
What do y'all think? Can the Jackets win at home against UNC?
Update: As of now, the game is still on. Per ACC's rules, as long as the two teams and officials can get to the game safely, the game will be played. UNC basketball arrived into ATL sometime around 11pm last night at Hartsfield-Jackson and took MARTA to their hotel, arriving past 1:30am.