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Georgia Tech vs. UNC: Discussing the Heels with Tar Heel Fan Blog

Doc of Tar Heel Fan Blog fame has crossed the picket lines to discuss Tar Heel basketball. Tech is coming off an embarrassing loss to the Clemson Tigers while the Heels rallied past, spat on, and donkey punched the Virginia Tech Hokies last night. Here is the exchange we had with Doc:

FTRS: The Jackets are struggling mightily this season. What can the GT team learn from Texas, Vandy, Minnesota, or Illinois? Basically, what beats the Heels in the 2010-2011 season?
Doc: The common thread in those games has been hot outside shooting and solid inside play. UNC has historically been weak in defending the three-point shot dating back to Dean Smith and teams that can make Carolina pay for that weakness have had some success. Also in the four losses, teams were able to match UNC's strengths inside with Tyler Zeller and John Henson. In the college game, when the threes start falling, anyone can stay in a game. This is even more evident against the Heels, who just don't defend the three well in the first place.
FTRS: Roy Williams is 2-5 in Atlanta and is the only ACC coach alongside Sidney Lowe with a losing record against Hewitt. Is this a fluke or a trend? If it's a trend, what philosophy of Williams' has doomed his UNC squads against Paul Hewitt?
Doc: There must be some Carolina blue kryptonite in the girders at Alexander Memorial Coliseum because UNC has traditionally not fared well at Tech. I can't find an identifiable trend, so I would tend to call it a fluke, seeing as how UNC has a much better record at Duke than at Georgia Tech. I don't know if it's the sight lines in the gym or some of the amazing individual performances that Jacket players seem to produce against the Heels. I do know that nearly every Carolina fan cringes at the thoughts of playing in Atlanta.
FTRS: Hewitt's teams are getting killed in the second half this season. We allowed Clemson to shoot 9 for 9 of 3 point attempts in the second half on Wednesday night and were outscored 53-29 in the second half. How is UNC handling second half adjustments this season?
Doc: UNC has handled second half adjustments well this season. Just look at the Heels' two wins this week for proof of that, as Carolina faced halftime deficits against both Virginia and Virginia Tech before coming back to win. Also, UNC has played a 10-deep rotation lately and that has allowed for fresher legs in the second half, again clearly evidenced in both the UVa and VT games.
FTRS: When we look at the minutes played last season, four of the top five minute earners are no longer on the roster. Has this lineup shakeup benefited the Heels?
Doc: It would seem so as UNC is clearly in better shape than they were at this point last season, when the bus was teetering on the edge of the cliff before finally plummeting over and exploding in a fiery cataclysm. I think one thing that has benefited UNC is that for the first time in a while the Heels are injury-free, and again Roy is playing 10 players significant minutes so the wear and tear has not been there.
FTRS: What are the postseason goals for the 2010-2011 Tar Heels?
Doc: Getting back the NCAA tournament is a given, and beyond that at this point is gravy. Now this may change as the season progresses, but right now UNC fans are simply hoping that order will be restored and UNC makes the dance.
FTRS: Who wins this game and why?
Doc: There's a difference in who should win and who will win. UNC has quietly been one of the country's hottest teams, going 8-1 since December 1st, with the only loss to Texas. They are deep and talented and far better defensively than they have been in a while. Still, UNC has struggled in Atlanta for whatever reason and the offense has been less than stellar. UNC should win, but it's always a toss-up when it comes to Tech.
Thanks goes out to Doc for taking time to e-mail us and impart us with his UNC basketball knowledge.