Carolina ultimately cruised to victory in both of their games last week, winning each game by more than 20 points. However, the Heels performance in those games did not really inspire confidence in the team. Carolina will need to show more steady improvement this coming week if they want to have a good showing against Maryland in the ACC-Big Ten challenge. The Heels are still looking to find their footing without Marcus Paige and will be looking to address a few key areas in this week's games.
Pinson Keeps it Up:
Theo Pinson has been Carolina's most improved player so far this season and he will need to keep that up if he wants to solidify his starting spot. Fans should keep an eye on his three point shooting as well as his ability to create for others with his passing. If Pinson plays at the level he did in the first week, there is no reason why the Heels can not bring their record to 4-0.
Kennedy Meeks Shows Consistency:
Meeks had a great first game and then failed to crack ten points in game two. Meeks needs to be consistently good and probably average a double-double if the Heels want to have a shot at the national title. Meeks needs to be assertive on offense and make his free throws consistently compared with his performace last week. One thing to note so far is that the opposing team's center has fouled out in both game so far, if Carolina can make a habit of getting opposing bigs in foul trouble, then the Heels will be poised for success this year.
Johnson Avoids Foul Trouble:
Brice Johnson has been very good on the court this season, but has also been on the court for only a few first half minutes each game. Johnson needs to avoid the cheap offensive fouls he picks up if he wants to stay on the court and help guide the Heels to wins.
Keep that Shooting Up:
Carolina shot 42.9% from three last week. If the Heels keep that up while Marcus Paige is out and the three perimeter shooters of Nate Britt, Joel Berry and Theo Pinson can shoot above 40% all year, then the Heels could have one of their best offenses ever. Two more games should show how much of the first week was just getting hot at the right time and how much of it is demonstrated improvement from Pinson, Britt and Berry.
Create Outside of Joel Berry:
On the note of Berry, he has been the Heels' only creator in the half-court so far this season. The Heels can not rely on Berry to create all the offense while Marcus Paige is out if they want to avoid losses. Someone else will need to step up to give Carolina another option. Whether or not its the post players being able to get around double teams, Justin Jackson reemerging as a viable player or Nate Britt taking on a more active creating role, the Heels need to find an alternative to Berry while Paige is out or the first good defense they play will make life very difficult for them.