North Carolina vs Wofford, 7:00 PM, RSN(affiliate list)
If you've paid any attention to the Roy Williams Era at UNC you know November games can be haphazard affairs. The Tar Heels will play uninspired basketball at times, let bad teams stick around way too long and generally frustrate the fan base who want to see opposing teams crushed with ferocious efficiency. Instead what sometimes happens is the likes of Fairfield still being within 3-4 possessions in the second half as was the case on Sunday. Roy Williams noted afterwards that the lineup rotation does produce mixed results In that respect the uneven play early in the season simply isn't worth getting agitated about, especially since Marcus Paige is out with an injury.
That doesn't mean UNC can't or won't play at a high level. After what happened Sunday it wouldn't be surprising to see UNC come out with more fire versus Wofford. That should be true because of how the team played Sunday but most certainly true when it comes to this opponent. Wofford is coming off a banner year where the Terriers won the Southern Conference and lost by 3 to Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament. Had Wofford pulled off the upset, the Terriers would have played UNC in the Second Round. Of note from last season was the fact Wofford beat NC State 55-54 in Raleigh.
That teams suffered some attrition with 2 of the top 3 scorers departing. Still much of the core from last season's highly successful run to the NCAA Tournament remains. Spencer Collins was one of Wofford's more efficient player and was second in three point attempts shooting 38% on 107 attempts. Wofford has two other reliable deep threats in Eric Garcia(37% on threes) and Jaylen Allen(40% on threes.) Wofford is mostly undersized with 6-8 junior Ryan Sawvell the tallest player. However the lack of size could simply mean a tougher offense to guard, especially for the Tar Heel bigs.
UNC obviously can play to its strength, pound the ball inside and taking advantage of the size mismatch. In that respect this game could be another instance whether Kennedy Meeks and Brice Johnson can truly assert the themselves. Speaking of assertions, Justin Jackson has one very little in that area through two games. Given all the work he put in one the summer, the start is somewhat disappointing. His three point and free throw shooting have been inexplicably awful while Jackson has also struggled on both ends of the floor. Jackson did manage some points late in the win over Fairfield but they were break away layups. Sometimes even a string of layups can be a catalyst for a player getting on track.
Perhaps that will be the case here for Jackson and the team as a whole get into a groove. Otherwise, business might continue to be dicey until Paige returns.
UNC 85 Wofford 66