Based on North Carolina’s 3-point shooting defense Sunday against Maryland, Jon Scheyer of Duke should have a decent chance to break the ACC scoring record when the Blue Devils go to Chapel Hill on Wednesday.
The record is 58 points, set by Duke forward Danny Ferry on Dec. 12, 1988 against Miami in what then was a non-conference game for the Devils.
Ferry made only two 3-pointers in that game. In fact, he didn’t attempt but three.
Maryland, in its 92-71 rout of the Tar Heels in College Park on Sunday, attempted 22 shots behind the arc and converted 12 for a 54.5 shooting percentage. The Terps probably could not have shot more accurately had Carolina’s players simply walked off the court.
But while the Tar Heels (2-6 ACC, 13-10 overall) may well be on their way to a losing record and perhaps even a last-place finish in the league standings, they will put on a better performance against Duke than was the case Sunday.
That’s not to say Carolina’s players will jump out of their collective funk and upset the No. 1 team in the conference.
To use football’s Bill Parcells’ measuring stick, the Heels are exactly what their record says they are - a bad team. They do have some talent, although not nearly as much as the recruit ratings promised a year ago this time.
There is not one single aspect of team basketball that this team does well. You name it - defense, shooting, rebounding, passing, catching, dribbling, spacing, court intelligence, court intensity - and Carolina can’t do it with any sort of consistency.
But even awful teams occasionally play decent games, and that’s what you can expect from the Tar Heels on Wednesday. If nothing else, simply playing against Duke in the Smith Center will provide Carolina’s players with a rare dash of focus.
It’s also likely that the Heels bottomed out Sunday. They probably get significantly better during the remaining handful of games. But odds are, they won’t lose another one by as more than 20 points and will soon realize that what they do the rest of this season will have an impact on playing time in 2010-11.
Sunday’s performance at Maryland should serve as a landmark in the program. It’s gone beyond simply surviving a rare bad season. Roy Williams now has a full-blown competitive crisis on his hands. Furthermore, it’s one that he can’t just assume will disappear when signees Harrison Barnes, Reggie Bullock and Kendall Marshall arrive on campus.