Will Graves has transformed his body at North Carolina, and he also is changing the way he plays.
Sometimes the process flows smoothly. Other nights can be troublesome for Graves, a 6-6 junior from Greensboro and former player at Dudley.
"Like I'm always saying, I'm trying to do the little things," Graves said. "It starts on the defensive end. It's just hustle plays, anything I can do to ignite the crowd or ignite the team or ignite the game."
The Little Things - Graves making changes in his game, improving for struggling Tar Heels
The Winston-Salem Journal
When North Carolina beat N.C. State on Wednesday to end a three-game losing streak, the players were visibly relieved and happy.
But they also know the season is not over just yet. The Tar Heels still have a lot of work ahead of them if they hope to finish near the top of the ACC and earn a NCAA Tournament spot.
"It's a small step and you've got to start with the first step, so we'll see how it goes," senior Marcus Ginyard said.
The Tar Heels will get a chance to take the next step today when they host Virginia (7:45 p.m., Fox Sports) at the Smith Center.
Tar Heels get Cavs with eyes on streak
The Durham Herald-Sun
So now North Carolina, coming off its first true road victory of the season, has an opportunity to build precious momentum and further the corner-turning moment it seemed to create earlier this week at N.C. State.
After losing four of five games when the calendar flipped to January, the Tar Heels can close a rocky month with back-to-back wins if they defeat Virginia on Sunday night.
Tar Heels hope breakthrough victory creates more success
The Burlington Times-News
Larry Drew II had the wide-open shot on the wing Tuesday against N.C. State, but the North Carolina point guard passed up a jump shot, drove into traffic ... and promptly coughed up his only turnover of the game.
Watching the tape of the Tar Heels' 77-63 victory two days later with his father, Atlanta Hawks assistant coach Larry Drew, Drew II realized his mistake.
Drew's consistency is a key for Heels
The News and Observer
Until this week, coach Roy Williams' Monday night radio show was more interesting than his basketball team. At least on the show things happened. Williams challenged callers, got angry with callers and half-apologized to callers.
On Tuesday, his team also was compelling. After three straight losses, two of them at home, North Carolina rallied to beat N.C. State on the road 77-63.
This is how bad the Tar Heels had become - they were supposed to lose to the Wolfpack.
Williams is UNC's true star
The News and Observer
Unranked in the Top 25 for the first time in four years, North Carolina played with poise and toughness in defeating N.C. State 77-63 Tuesday night in Raleigh.
Now the Tar Heels will have to show whether they can build on that performance.
UNC (13-7, 2-3 in the ACC) will play Virginia (12-6, 3-2) at 7:45 tonight at the Smith Center, televised by Fox Sports Net
Tough times ahead?
The Chapel Hill News
The Dean E. Smith Center, aka “The Dean Dome,” has pretty much been a house of horrors for the Virginia men’s basketball team. UVa hasn’t won there since the 2001-02 season and has lost 21 of 23 all-time. Under former coach Dave Leitao, Virginia lost three games in the arena by an average of 26 points.
This is the backdrop for the Cavaliers tonight as they try and snap out of a two-game losing streak against reigning NCAA champion North Carolina.
‘Dean Dome’ has been bad to Cavs
The Daily Progress
At the mere hint that Virginia may have choked Thursday night with an ACC victory in its grasp, junior Jeff Jones shook his head and responded, "That's not us."
Maybe not, but the record suggests that this UVa team has a hard time holding onto leads, particularly double-figure leads.
The Cavaliers (12-6, 3-2 ACC) could only hope to be in that position tonight, when they visit North Carolina (13-7, 2-3) for a 7:45 tipoff.
Analysis: Cavs not good front-runners
The Roanoke Times
Timing can be everything in ACC play. North Carolina was struggling just two weeks ago, fighting through injuries and unable to find a chemistry among young teammates. Meanwhile, Virginia was off to a 3-0 start in the conference.
Unfortunately for Virginia, both trends have been reversed.
This is also the year when the Cavs won't get to play host to the Tar Heels -- the road being the one place where Roy Williams' team has been vulnerable. Instead, tonight's game will be the only regular-season matchup between the teams, and it will be in the Dean Dome.
U.Va. seeking rewind
The Richmond Times-Dispatch
When injuries hit North Carolina's offensive line early last season, one of Tar Heels' biggest liabilities in terms of depth was exposed.
With four offensive linemen committed in the class of 2010, Tar Heels coach Butch Davis is taking significant steps toward addressing that problem as national signing day approaches Wednesday.
UNC adds depth on offensive line
The News and Observer