After their first loss of the season, the Heels need a strong showing at the CBE Hall of Fame Classic to reestablish momentum heading into their ACC/Big 10 challenge match up with Maryland. The Heels will be looking to find some consistency for the first time all season since the team has played a complete and comfortable 40 minutes yet this year. Marcus Paige is still missing and the Heels have really missed his play making in their four games. However, these growing pains could develop players who will stand out down the stretch as Carolina gets into the postseason. This week would be a good place for Joel Berry, Theo Pinson and Nate Britt to show that they learned from the loss to Northern Iowa and that they have developed.
Point Guards Produce:
Joel Berry and Nate Britt really struggled against Northern Iowa to make a real impact on the game. In their first two games, Berry and Britt played very well together and they especially jelled in transition play. They also had their shots falling in week one so their recent struggles could just be a cold stretch. Either way, the Heels need more out of Berry and Britt until Paige gets back if they want to stay afloat into January.
Kennedy Meeks Stands Out:
Meeks had a great season opener but has been inconsistent and failed to live up to those expectations. The Heels need Meeks to step up and be the best or second best Carolina player in each game. Meeks needs to improve his work rate in the post and fight for better position in the post. Meeks needs to keep up the performance he had at the beginning of the Northern Iowa game for 40 minutes and have some standout performances this coming week.
Justin Jackson Establishes Consistency:
Jackson had his best game of the season with 25 points in the loss to the Panthers. Jackson had struggled mightily prior to that game and needs to consistently perform at a high level if Carolina wants to realize its title hopes. An impressive performance this week would waylay a lot of fans' concerns and keep the Heels afloat until Paige returns.
Theo Pinson Creates For Himself:
Pinson leads the Heels in assists but scored four points last week. Pinson has shown flashes of great athleticism with his ability to get into the lane at ease. The Heels need to get able to get some offense from all of their starters and although Pinson's assists are nice, he needs to put the ball in the basket himself this week and provide Carolina with a consistent perimeter creator that the Heels are not getting anywhere else. Pinson needs to take his athleticism and use it to score if the Heels want to reach their potential.
The Heels Find a Half-Court Offense:
Carolina's struggles this season have all been in the half court. The Heels need to figure out what their plan is when the game slows down. Against Northern Iowa, this was by far their biggest weakness and they could not get the ball inside to their big men who almost always had a favorable matchup. Carolina needs to find some answers in the half court and they need to do it soon if they want to be successful even once Paige returns.