basketball-men-d1 flag

John McCann | The Herald-Sun | September 30, 2016

UNC rookies learning fast-break concepts

  Last year, North Carolina made it to the Final Four Championship Game.

CHAPEL HILL, NC -- There's being in shape, and there's actually having the cardiovascular fortitude to get up and down a basketball court the way North Carolina coach Roy Williams wants his Tar Heels running.

As good as UNC point guard Joel Berry II has been for the Tar Heels, and as nice of a player as rookie set-up man Seventh Woods could be in baby blue, neither one will get an A+ when Williams hands out grades for running the fast break. The coach has an impossible standard, and not even Ty Lawson, who's in the NBA with the Sacramento Kings, measured up when he played for UNC.

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world. Lawson during his best days with a basketball in his hands would have given Bolt a run for all of his gold medals. Yet, Lawson couldn't get the Tar Heels in transition fast enough for Williams, who has described himself as being a little wacko.

Last season, UNC was No. 19 out of 351 Division I teams when it came to possessing the ball for the shortest amount of time. That's a nod toward playing fast, and the Tar Heels had an average length of possession of 15.5 seconds, according to kenpom.com, a trusted source for college basketball statistics. That means the Tar Heels were getting off shots in about half the time allotted by the 30-second shot clock. It means they were running at a pretty good clip.

Green Bay, out of the Horizon League, had the shortest possession time in the country at 13.4 seconds, according to kenpom.com.

The Tar Heels start practicing for the upcoming season on Monday. Williams used the summer to get his freshmen to understand that they absolutely have to get in better shape, because fast-break basketball is part of the so-called Carolina way, and a guy has to have great lungs in order to play with the freneticism with which he insists.

Of course, there is this concept called defense that opposing teams use to stifle UNC's fast breaks, getting enough guys properly positioned to negate numerical mismatches. But that's when the Tar Heels go into their secondary fast break. Williams said he also uses summer sessions to show his rookies how it's done.

Think of UNC's secondary break as a pre-planned scoring attack that allows the Tar Heels to keep running in order to create mismatches when the primary option at the rim isn't there. It's about keeping things moving.

This article was written by John McCann from The Herald-Sun, Durham, N.C. and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

 

College wrestling rankings: Garden State Grapple results cause shuffle

The top 10 college wrestling teams in this week’s NWCA poll held steady, but the previous week still featured a slew of action-packed duals that shook up the standings in the bottom half of the Top 25. Here are the key takeaways from this week’s rankings and the main headlines you need to know heading into the winter tournaments. 
READ MORE

College wrestling: Top storylines to follow at the Garden State Grapple

In an event designed to “celebrate humankind’s original form of recreational combat,” the first-annual Garden State Grapple at the Prudential Center will feature three Top-25 college wrestling teams as well as the strength of the Hofstra Pride. These are three storylines you’ll want to know before following this unconventional, exciting, wrestling event.
READ MORE

Men's college basketball: the good, bad and ugly from a busy pre-Thanksgiving weekend

A rundown of the good, the bad and the ugly from teams that played over a busy pre-Thanksgiving weekend, according to NCAA.com contributor Mike Lopresti.
READ MORE
Presented by
Presented by
Presented by

Subscribe To Email Updates

Enter your information to receive emails about offers, promotions from NCAA.com and our partners