A statistical view of UNC's match-up with Maryland.
|Points per game||76.0||72.8|
|Points per possession||1.07||1.06|
|Field Goal %||45.5%||44.0%|
|Offensive Reb Rate||38.6%||36.0%|
|Defensive Reb Rate||68.4%||71.9%|
|KenPom win probability||UNC 79%|
Stats sources: KenPom and Statsheet
After the offensive outage to start ACC play, UNC appears to have hit a nice groove posting an offensive efficiency over 100 in four of the past five games. The one exception was against Virginia and even then UNC was 98.0 which was well above what the Cavaliers have been allowing. The Tar Heels are also coming off back-to-back games of shooting over 70% from the free throw line. That is the first time all season that has happened and marking the fifth and sixth time in 21 games UNC has hit the 70% or better mark from the free throw line.
If there is an area for improvement in UNC's offense it would be conversion of offensive rebounding into points. UNC is the 14th best offensive rebounding team in the country at a rate of 38.6%. The problem is the Tar Heels don't follow up those rebounds with baskets. The plain truth about UNC's offense is the shooting has been and for the remainder of this season likely will be suspect. UNC won't make shots at any consistent rate which makes the offensive rebounding very important. In some ways, UNC's best offense could be the missed shot given the size and athleticism UNC has in the post. Making something out of those misses is extremely important. Improve free throw shooting helps in that regard but the bottom line is UNC needs to hit those point-blank range shots.
Maryland is competent enough on offense and defense to make this interesting. The three point shooting will obviously be a concern. Maryland comes in shooting 35% from three as a team and has a pair of 6-8 players, Evan Smotrycz and Jake Layman who hit at least 38% of their threes. That could create problems for UNC on the defensive end with players of size drawing their counterparts away from the basket or tripping up the rotations. In addition, Dez Wells is at 34% and point guard Seth Allen has hit 20-52. Maryland's best chance may be a good shooting night from three.