If I’m positive about anything right now, it’s that I’m positive that Carolina collectively played worse against the Yellow Jackets than I ever would have thought possible.
I don’t even know how to write a column about a game like this. Instead, I’ll fall back on my primary vocation and make up a quick quiz for fans. It won’t help anything, but if it brings a small smile to anyone and makes Tuesday night come a little quicker, it’ll be worth it.
Multiple Choice Quiz.
1. Carolina’s performance against Georgia Tech was
b. Embarrassingly Bad
c. So Embarrassingly Bad I Never Want to Watch a Game of Basketball Again
d. Surely a Hallucination
2. The most troubling aspect of the game was
a. Inexplicable turnovers committed by everyone who had the ball
b. Missed layups by multiple players
c. Total inability to guard strong, skilled perimeter players like Shumpert and Rice
d. Getting out-fought repeatedly inside in the second half
e. All of the above
3. In response to this game, Roy Williams against Clemson should start with
a. The same starting lineup. Surely they can’t start three games in a row so poorly!
b. The entire second unit of Marshall, McDonald, Bullock, Watts and Knox. Give them a chance!
c. A team of walk-ons. Only they are truly blameless for Sunday night!
d. The five guys who grade on film as having the most hustle (or fewest lack of hustle) plays
4. Speaking of game film, Carolina’s staff should do the following with the Tech film:
a. Grade it, then destroy it
b. Grade it and destroy it, but only after performing an exorcism on the equipment used to play back the film
c. Save it for use in a special “what not to do” video teaching segment of future sessions of Carolina Basketball School
d. Save it as a motivational tool in case Carolina is drawn against Georgia Tech in the ACC Tournament in March
5. The best thing about Sunday night’s game is
a. It’s over
b. No need to waste time Monday morning checking to see if Carolina cracked the top 25 rankings this week
c. Carolina plays again Tuesday night
d. All of the above
6. The best explanation for what happened Sunday night is
a. Bad bio-rhythms
b. A particularly bad case of a young team taking its lumps on the road
c. Temporary insanity causing a loss of ability to perform basic basketball fundamentals
d. Misguided belief from previous two games that Carolina could play poorly throughout and still manage to steal it at the end
e. All of the above
7. The most constructive things the players can do after this game is
a. Spend a lot of time on the Internet to see what Carolina fans thinks about the game
b. Get caught up (or get ahead) on schoolwork
c. Arrive early for practice Monday and spend 45 minutes practicing basic passes and catching in a players-organized workout
d. Do whatever Roy Williams tells them to do
8. The most constructive thing Carolina fans can do after this game is
a. Conduct a complex statistical analysis to generate a rank ordering of how bad each individual player was against Tech
b. Watch the game on tape again, in case it wasn’t actually as bad as it seemed on first viewing
c. Go on a 48-hour media blackout
d. Show up in the Smith Center on Tuesday night to support the team against Clemson and keep The Streak alive.
For the record there are no definitive answers to this quiz, though I would have answered 1-B, 2-E, 3-D, 4-D, 5-D, 6-E, 7-D, and 8-D.
The most important question of all, however, is whether the players will let such a miserable showing destroy their spirits and send the season quickly snowballing downhill. For the answer to that question, tune in (or show up) Tuesday night.
Thad has return to Inside Carolina in 2011 as a regular columnist. He is the author of "More Than a Game: Why North Carolina Basketball Means So Much To So Many" (now available to be read for free online here: More Than a Game: ONLINE). A Chapel Hill native, he operated the manual scoreboard formerly located at the end of the UNC bench between the 1982-83 and 1987-88 seasons in Carmichael and the Smith Center. Thad wrote regularly for Inside Carolina and UNCbasketball.com from 1995 to 2005. He's an assistant professor of leadership studies at the University of Richmond.