UNC vs. Florida: Score and Twitter Reaction from Battle 4 Atlantis 2014

 The fifth-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels knocked off their second Top-25 team in as many games, beating the No. 18 Florida Gators 75-64 to earn fifth place at the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis.

Three games in three days can be exhausting. Both teams entered Friday having played a lot of basketball recently. Former North Carolina star Sean May commented on how fatigue can often affect shooters, thus changing a team’s game plan:

The Tar Heels didn’t show any ill effects from all the time on the court. They shot an impressive 23-of-54 from the floor and 6-of-13 from three-point range. Kennedy Meeks finished with a double-double, scoring 18 points and collecting 14 rebounds. Marcus Paige also played well with 16 points and four assists.

Meanwhile, this loss compounds what’s been a slow start to 2014 for Florida. The Gators are now 3-3, with the two other defeats coming to Miami (FL) and Georgetown.

Head coach Billy Donovan is counting on short-term frustration to provide long-term gains.

“Before December 1st, we’re going to know a lot about our team,” he said before Friday’s game, per Antonya English of the Tampa Bay Times. “Of course, we’ve had to deal with some injuries and some suspensions, but I still think we’re finding out things about our team, which is good.”

Kasey Hill and Michael Frazier II combined to score 37 points, but they received little support to speak of. Dorian Finney-Smith really struggled, missing eight of his shots and scoring four points.

One of the problems Florida’s encountered over the last few years is a dearth of scoring. The Gators offense has really sputtered to start the 2014 season, averaging 63.4 points (255th) on 40.1 percent shooting (259th).

The Gators defense is more times than not enough to compensate for whatever issues are plaguing the team offensively. In the first half against the Tar Heels, Florida’s scoring troubles were impossible to ignore.

Florida’s first points didn’t come until 6:45 into the game, with Kasey Hill getting the Gators to within 10 points, 12-2. It’s hard to score when you miss 10 shots to start, via Chris Harry of GatorZone.com:

The Tar Heels’ lead continued to grow, with UNC eventually getting on top 25-8 with 7:05 until halftime.

ESPN’s Andy Katz noted that having a healthy Eli Carter would’ve helped Florida but that there are clear issues Donovan needs to resolve:

North Carolina continued applying pressure throughout the first half, carrying a 39-23 lead into the locker room. As a team, the Tar Heels shot 15-of-26 from the floor, with J.P. Tokoto, Meeks and Justin Jackson scoring eight points apiece. Marcus Paige added seven points and three assists.

On the other side, Florida shot 9-of-31, including 1-of-15 from behind the arc in the first half. The Gators also turned the ball over nine times, compared to four for North Carolina. Frazier and Finney-Smith combined to go 4-of-14, scoring 12 points.

Kevin Brockway of The Gainesville Sun spoke with ESPN’s Jay Bilas, who commented that Florida’s failure to establish a post offense created problems away from the basket:

After that shaky first half, Florida started out the second well, closing the gap to eight points, 43-35, 4:33 in after making four of its first five shots. Sports Illustrated‘s Seth Davis felt that the Gators were benefiting from UNC’s sloppy play on the offensive end:

However, the Tar Heels righted the ship and found their groove, slowly earning a 15-point lead, 58-43, with 8:13 left to play. Andrew Carter of the Charlotte Observer highlighted how well North Carolina’s defense has performed through the team’s first six games:

While Florida didn’t capitulate as time ticked away in the second half, the Gators couldn’t get to within striking distance. Every time they strung together a couple of buckets, somebody from North Carolina would stop the momentum, helping the Heels maintain a comfortable advantage.

Frazier nailed a three-pointer with two minutes to go that got Florida to within seven points, 67-60, but Brockway wondered whether a comeback was truly in the offing:

North Carolina made its free throws down the stretch to ice the game away.

Things don’t get much easier for Florida. The Gators meet the 11th-ranked Kansas Jayhawks a week from tonight. Injuries have hit them hard already, so it will be interesting to see how good this team is at full strength. Like Donovan said, playing all a bunch of tough games early in the season can provide big dividends by the end of the season.

North Carolina plays Iowa in its next game, with the date against the top-ranked Kentucky Wildcats looming on Dec. 13. With the college basketball season being so long, it’s hard to add too much emphasis to a game in December, but beating the Wildcats would be a major statement from UNC.

Exclusive: Havoc Talks New Project ’13 Reloaded’ & More!

This month, Havoc released his latest mixtape “13 Reloaded.” We caught up with the legendary artist to discuss his latest creation. 

Q: What can fans expect from “13 Reloaded?”

More of that, you know what I’m saying, Mobb Deep sound. Good production, lyrics, all that. You know, the sh*t that I do.

 

Q: How is this different to your previous “13” release?

It’s not additional add ons or anything like that, the reason why I named it “13 Reloaded” was for the simple fact that I like “13” so much that I thought I would make an extension of that. You know what I’m saying, somewhere in the same vein of the first “13.”

 

Q: What was your favorite track to record on the album?

I really don’t have a favorite, I like all of them a lot. Offhand I couldn’t say which one was my favorite but I’m definitely feeling the album as a whole.

 

Q: What do you think about hip-hop’s landscape compared to the mid 1990′s, what’s better and what’s worse right now?

I would say what’s better right now is it’s easier to get your music out there, you don’t have to wait for no labels or nothing like that. We got the internet and all these social media sites that you could put your music up to, and you can accumulate a lot of fans on your own, without some label or company waiting for a major release. It’s more endorsements, raps much bigger now, it’s a lot more opportunity out there for successful artists. I would say the downside of it is that I think people’s attention span, being that we live in the 24 hour news cycle now, is a little bit shorter. So you have to put products out more frequently to stay relevant, that’s from the top on down, it doesn’t matter who you are. The 90′s? Things was kind of slow, the process of making albums was slow. It took like three months to promote an album, that’s like unimaginable now. But the good thing about the 90′s is people paid more attention to work, to music that came out at the time because we didn’t have the 24 hour news cycle with the internet and all that stuff. You got to take the good with the bad and I’m not mad at the state of hip-hop at all right now.

 

Q: What about lyrical content? What do you think about what rappers are talking about today as compared to the 90′s?

It’s almost like the same sh*t to me just with a different beat, a different generation. Back then you had party records, you had straight hip-hop records, your commercial records, and today it’s like the same sh*t. It’s just a different generation, a different beat, but the same idea basically.

 

Q: You’ve been in the game for a long time now, what’s one thing you wish you could’ve told your younger self about the industry back then?

Own masters, that’s number one! (laughs) It don’t get no iller than that.

 

Q: Who do you see as some of the new faces of hip-hop that will carry tap into the future, who are some of your favorites?

I don’t want to single out just one artist and be like he’s my favorite and he’s going to carry it into the future but there’s a lot of new artists out there and it’s yet to be proven if they can even last that long. It’s like one percent of artists really last to have a career span of 20 years. I don’t know the percentage I’m just making it up but it just seems like that. So that has to be proven, we would have to wait about another 10-15 years to see who carried it on in. But there’s a lot of good artists out there, I hate to sound cliché or be on a bandwagon/be commercial sounding but somebody like Drake. You could look at him and and you could tell that’s somebody that’s going to have a long career. I don’t see him stopping at all, and not just with rap but with entertainment in general.

Q: Who are your top five all-time favorite MC’s?

Top five? That’s pretty hard just to name five but if I could think of the top of my head, my list is normal. It’s not exotic, it’s like Nas, Jay-Z, B.I.G., Rakim, and I would have to go with Eminem.

 

Q: You have an established legacy, where do you go from here? Where does Havoc go from here?

A couple of things, I would like to get into movie music. Scoring movies, things of that nature. And then also lending my expertise to artists. Pulling out artists or whatever conglomerate I’ll come up with in the future. But it’s definitely music, you know what I’m saying? I don’t plan to be rapping until I’m 80 but I definitely would like to get into movie scoring, that’s my next thing.

 

Q: Any particular genre?

A: It don’t even matter, classical or whatever. I’m just an all around music man.

 

Q: Any shout outs?

A: I just want to give a shout out to the Source magazine for holding it down all these years and still being here and giving me the interview.

Havoc – 13 Reloaded

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