Tulane at UNC: The good, the bad and the ugly


Courtesy of Tulane Athletics

Sophomore guard Ray Ona Embo dribbles down the court Sunday against the University of North Carolina in UNC’s Chapel Hill stadium. The Green Wave lost 97-73.

The Tulane men’s basketball Team travelled to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on Sunday to play the No. 13 University of North Carolina Tar Heels. The game went exactly as most fans would expect, with UNC drubbing Tulane 97-73.

Tulane rolled into the game with a 6-1 record but came out with all of its weaknesses exposed. At this early point in the season, it’s important to look at the good, the bad, and the ugly from this blowout loss to see where the team’s strengths lie and what its weaknesses are.

The good: Melvin Frazier and Cam Reynolds, the team leaders in points per game, were not stopped by a tough Tar Heels defense. Frazier put up 27 points and Reynolds added 18, and both shot over 50 percent from the field. Freshman guard Caleb Daniels also had an 11-point outing, a career high, proving that he can play well against the best of them when given a chance. The Green Wave also only turned the ball over just eight times while forcing 13 turnovers by the Tar Heels.

The bad: 68 of the team’s 73 points came from four players (Jordan Cornish, who had 12 points, was the fourth). The Tar Heels had no difficulty shutting the rest of the offense down. Excluding Daniels, the bench had two points on 1-9 shooting (for contrast, the Tar Heels’ bench had 32 points on 13-18 shooting. And to top it off, the Green Wave were outrebounded, 45-26.

The ugly: The Tar Heels shot above 65 percent from the field, proving basically unstoppable on offense. They also shot 29 free throws on 24 fouls by Tulane, which had five players with more fouls than points. The Green Wave had nine shots blocked, only blocking one itself. And worst of all, Tulane looked no better than it did when it played UNC in the season opener last year. In fact, the Wave lost by more.

These ugly points do not mark the season as a lost cause. The Tar Heels came to play on a day when the Green Wave clearly wasn’t ready to handle them. But this doesn’t diminish the talent on this team or the abilities of head coach Mike Dunleavy. This is a team that matched its win total from last season in the first seven games of this season. This team has two new transfer players on the court in Cornish and Samir Sehic, both of whom have made impacts as starters for the Green Wave. Frazier is third in the American Athletic Conference in points per game, while Reynolds is seventh. Frazier also leads the conference in shooting percentage and steals per game.

This is a team with incredible amounts of talent. This game reflected an incredibly ugly loss, but it is not a reflection on this team’s bright future.

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