April 20, 2024

UNC Basketball: Hubert Davis Wants More Consistent Defensive Effort

Not long ago, UNC basketball routinely held opponents to 70 points or less.

UNC basketball’s 96 points on Saturday afternoon far outweighed the 81 points the now-No. 10 Tar Heels (20-6, 12-3 ACC) allowed at unranked Virginia Tech (15-11, 7-8 ACC). All in all, it was an impressive bounceback performance after falling at Syracuse earlier in the week.

RELATED: UNC Big Man Armando Bacot Gets Back to Outworking Foes

And it’s safe to say offense hasn’t been a glaring issue across UNC’s 3-3 stretch following its 10-game winning streak. But on the defensive end, third-year head coach Hubert Davis is looking to reinstill habits in his players during their first full week of practice without a game in months.

Consider that the Tar Heels didn’t allow any foes to surpass the 70-point mark while reeling off 10 in a row. Now, they’ve given up more than 70 in each of their past six contests, and four of those opponents have eclipsed 80.

Davis addressed the suddenly recurring defensive concerns while speaking to the media via his ACC teleconference on Monday:

“In that 10-game stretch, from a defensive standpoint, I thought we were really locked in, particularly [in the] halfcourt, defending without fouling, finishing possessions with a rebound, protecting the paint, and also protecting the three. Those are things that, in these last six games or whatever, we have done but not as consistently well.

“And those are things that we’ve talked about as a team and as a group that we’ve got to get back to…just being more consistent and sound from the fundamental standpoint of defending without fouling, protecting the paint, helping the helper — the little things that make big things happen.

So, it’s one of the things I’m excited about this week is, not having a midweek game, that for the first time in a long time we can actually practice, as opposed to practicing for preparation for a particular opponent.”

NEXT UNC BASKETBALL GAME: at unranked Virginia (20-7, 11-5 ACC), 4 p.m. ET Saturday (ESPN)

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