Friday, November 9, 2001
Morrison Looks to
Eradicate Wild Play
Brian Morrison showed
flashes of brilliance as a
rookie but must improve
his poise on the court.
By Owen A. Hassell
Assistant Sport Saturday Editor
North Carolina shooting guard
Joseph Forte left for the NBA, and point
guard Ronald Curry is questionable for
this season’s Tar Heel basketball team.
And it all sets up a chance for UNC
guard Brian Morrison to walk through a
wide-open door -one that holds a start
ing guard position.
“The door is open,” Morrison said.
“It’s your choice to get through it or not"
For Morrison, he might not have a
choice. Returning as one of the team’s
few experienced guards, the sophomore
has an opportunity to see a drastic
increase in playing time.
And Morrison looks forward to every
minute on the court.
“I’m hoping to play as much as I can
and get in there and do what I can to
help the team,” Morrison said. “I’m con
fident in myself. I think it is going to be
a different year for me this year.”
Morrison played all but one game last
season and averaged three points per
contest. He began the year alternating
time at the point with Adam Boone and
scored 14 points in the opener against
Winthrop and 13 at Appalachian State.
But Curry’s sudden emergence as the
Tar Heels’ floor general placed
Morrison in a reserve role.
He also made plenty of mistakes that
caused the shift. Morrison tallied 38
turnovers last year but dished out just 38
Morrison said his erratic play was
caused by his transition from high
school to college basketball.
“I think you just mature after your
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“You get used to
things. It’s a tough
you start to deal
with it after a
realizes it is up to
the remaining play
ers to contribute
“I think that
averaged 3.0 points
and 1.2 assists in
32 games during the
needs to step up and try to score more,”
Morrison said. “I’m going to do my best
to score and just play basketball, play an
all-around game, really.”
And on offense, Morrison remained
shaky at best. He connected on just 29
out of 88 attempts at the basket.
“Brian is a kid that understands he
needs to improve on shot selection and
making decisions with the basketball,
and he’s tried to do that,” UNC coach
Matt Doherty said.
Morrison did make some good deci
sions at this year’s Blue-White Game, fin
ishing with 15 points and six assists.
Fellow UNC guardjonathan Holmes
believes Morrison has the tools to chal
lenge for a starting spot.
“For Brian, he’s such a great athlete,”
Holmes said. “He’s fast From one end of
the court to the other, he’s unbelievably
gifted as far as going from point A to point
B. I think those are his biggest assets.”
Those assets could help Morrison
earn more playing time. Until that hap
pens, he is content on improving his
“You can’t worry about that,”
Morrison said. “You just work hard, do
what you can, and then when it comes
down to it. Coach makes those deci
Boone Trying to Settle Into Spot
UNC point guard Adam
Boone hopes to built upon
a difficult freshman season
and better guide the team.
By lan Gordon
Assistant Sports Editor
Adam Boone wouldn’t be sidelined
for six weeks. He couldn’t, especially in
the middle of the basketball season.
But when he broke his wrist during
his sophomore year at Minnetonka
(Minn.) High School, six weeks of rest
were what Boone’s physician mandated.
Boone would have none of that A sec
ond opinion and three weeks of strength
ening later, Boone was back on the court.
Not only does Boone’s search for the
quickest recovery illustrate his desire to
play basketball, but it also explains his
wish to one day become a doctor.
“I just got into the whole process of
getting athletes back on the court,”
Boone said. “I enjoyed it and saw it as
something I could see myself doing.”
For now, he can look forward to a more
immediate, and possibly more stressful,
occupation: North Carolina point guard.
The sophomore from Minneapolis
most likely again will be the one running
the Tar Heels’ offense this season,
despite his preseason competition with
Jonathan Holmes and Melvin Scott.
“There’s a fine line between Adam,
Jon and Melvin,” said UNC coach Matt
Young Guns to Play Significant Roles
North Carolina's freshmen
have been called on in
recent years to make big
contributions on the court.
By Mike Ogle
Tradition went out the window a
Jerry Stackhouse and Rasheed
Wallace left, so freshmen Vince Carter
and Antawn Jamison started on North
Carolina’s 1995-96 team. Current
seniors Jason Capel and Kris Lang start
ed their freshman season when Carter
Joseph Forte became the first fresh
man to lead the Tar Heels in scoring in
1999-2000. Adam Boone began last year
as the starting point guard.
The story of this season’s fresh faces
- Jackie Manuel, Melvin Scott and
Jawad Williams - is nothing new.
Good Luck Heels!
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Kaplan gets you in.
Doherty. “I think
Adam’s earned the
right to start right
And like last
year, the midsea
son playing time
he gets might not
be entirely in his
With the possi
ble return of
Ronald Curry, it’s
can’t be too secure
in his starting role.
“I need to pre-
UNC point guard
averaged 1.5 points
and 1.4 assists
in 32 games
pare myself to be on the floor as much as
possible, and hopefully, whatever Coach
Doherty deems fit, that’s obviously what
I’ll play,” Boone said. “It doesn’t really
matter whether (Curry is) coming back
or not in terms of a waiting game.”
Last year, Boone reacted well to com
ing off the bench after Curry’s return. He
played steadily in UNC’s win at Duke,
dishing out three assists in 15 minutes.
But when Boone went down with a left
ankle injury before the game at Clemson,
North Carolina lost its safety blanket. The
team also lost the game and its 18-game
winning streak. For the rest of the season,
Boone was relatively ineffective, averag
ing less than 10 minutes per game.
The Tar Heels could have used a quick
recovery from Boone a season ago. Now,
they need him to keep progressing from
his freshman year and be more aggres-
are gone, and
UNC needs big
things from its
newcomers, and it
needs them fast.
“We need all
three of them to
have good years,
and take it from
me, they will,”
6-foo t - 9 ,
averaged 22 points,
and three blocks
as a senior.
American, will likely become the next
bright-eyed starter at the three.
Williams averaged 22 points, 11
rebounds and three blocks as a high
“The hardest part of starting as a
freshman is that there’s so many
unknowns,” Boone said. “It’s somewhat
obvious, but when you come into it, I
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Adam Boone drives during the Blue-White Game. With Ronald Curry's
return questionable, Boone could assume the starting point guard duty.
sive, especially with dribble penetration.
He attempted just 12 free throws last year.
“I think right now, Adam Boone’s
know when I came into it I had played
a lot of basketball in my life, and I did
n’t figure it would be too different. But
there’s no level like ACC.
“There’s no way to prepare you. You
just have to go out there and experience
Scott could get that same experience
before the season is done.
Boone has once again become the
year’s front-runner, partly by default, to
run the point. But some believe that the
6-2 Scott could snatch that spot if
Ronald Curry doesn’t get to it first.
“Melvin Scott is playing hard and
really learning,” Capel said. “He may
take the job later on in, thq season
because he’s that talented.”
Manuel, a 6-5 guard, could see a lot
of minutes off the bench, as well, for a
team that returns two of last season’s top
seven - at least for now.
Last year, North Carolina coach Matt
Doherty made no bones about yanking
guard Brian Morrison out of the game
when he made sloppy mistakes on the
One thing seems for sure: These
freshmen won’t be too shy.
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ahr flatly (Tar Urd
stepped to the forefront,” forward Jason
Capel said. “He’s separated himself
from the others.”
The trio fired up 22 shots in the first
game against outside competition - an
107-76 exhibition loss to the EA Sports
However, they combined for just five
points as only two of their heaves found
their way through the hoop, both by
Doherty didn’t mind the jitters and
said he knows the freshmen are better
than what they showed. Doherty said he
likes that they didn't show fear despite
“You can always pull in the reins as
opposed to try to encourage a passive
kid to be more aggressive,” Doherty
“1 like the fact that they're aggressive.
I can rein them a little bit to show, ‘Hey,
this wasn’t a good shot,’ and still give
them confidence and still have them in
With a potentially more athletic and
active team, Manuel, Scott and Williams
- Doherty’s first crop of recruits - could
come in quite handy
“They all like to get out there and
mn,” Morrison said. “I like that a lot. We
like to push it."
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