Carolina played two uninspiring games this past week with a win over Wofford before the four point loss to Northern Iowa. The Heels' offense has not yet sorted itself out without Marcus Paige to lead the team. Carolina has also had issues on the defensive end across all five positions at various times. All in all, the Heels need to put in some work and get a lot better if they want to live up their preseason #1 ranking.
Pinson Keeps it Up: D
Theo Pinson had a mediocre week passing the ball, with 8 assists to 4 turnovers. Pinson did play solid defense but provided Carolina with little to no offensive punch. The frustrating aspect of Pinson's play was that against Wofford there were multiple instances where he cut into the lane with athleticism and looked like one of the best creators on the team. However, he has not shown any ability to build those flashes into something sustainable on a potential title team. He needs to move beyond his assists to creating his own offense if he is to help Carolina take the next step.
Kennedy Meeks Shows Consistency: C-
Kennedy Meeks' stat line was not bad in this week's games, but you would expect him to do better as an experienced starter against undersized teams. Meeks failed to get 10 rebounds in a game this week and only shot 13-25, off a bit from his normal efficiency. Against Wofford, Meeks seemed inactive and visibly irritated Roy Williams. Meeks then shot out of the gate against Northern Iowa but faded for the final 36 minutes of the game. Meeks needs to improve his work rate down low; some of that is that he needs the ball more, with Brice Johnson on the floor more this past week, Meeks faced a far lower usage rate. But Meeks needs the ball, so he needs to work for it; he needs to turn up his energy and effort to help the Heels win. Meeks should get down low and stick his butt into defenders to create space close to the basket while creating room for entry passes. Once he gets the ball, he's shown that he can score, but he needs to work for the ball.
Johnson Avoids Foul Trouble: B-
Brice Johnson did not face the same foul problems as he did the previous week, but he still picked up pointless fouls on both ends of the court in each game. Johnson needs to clean up his hip checks, over the backs and moving screens before ACC play starts since he will not have room for foul trouble in future games.
Keep that Shooting Up: F
Carolina went 6-27 from three this past week with a glorious 1-9 effort against Wofford. The Heels apparent consistency in week one faded completely in week two. Nate Britt went 2-5 this week but struggled in all aspects of the game other than shooting. Carolina might have had a cold week, but if they go cold during ACC play then they probably lose both games. Carolina seems to have found four players who have the license to shoot threes; Pinson, Joel Berry, Britt and Justin Jackson but they need to try to now find consistency with this group from distance if they want to have a special season.
Create Outside of Joel Berry: F
Joel Berry was Carolina's primary creator again and when he got into foul trouble against Northern Iowa Carolina's offense fell apart. Berry was also seemingly overwhelmed against the veterans on Northern Iowa. However, the main issue was that no one outside of Berry stepped up. Pinson continues to be the Heels' assist leader and Nate Britt did nothing against Northern Iowa when thrust into the spotlight. The Heels failed to get creativity outside of Berry and really just failed to find anyone who could drive into the lane this past week. If they cannot generate secondary offense when Paige comes back, then the Heels will be in real trouble down the stretch.