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Tale of the Tape: UNC-Northwestern

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Heels vs Wildcats

North Carolina Northwestern
Record 3-1 3-0
Conference ACC B1G
KenPom Rank #7 #69
Points per game 82.0 80.3
Adj. Off. Efficiency(Rank) 114.5(5th) 105.5(81st)
Ad. Def. Efficiency(Rank) 93.8(24th) 97.0(69th)
Tempo(Rank) 74.2(41st) 68.4(331st)
Offensive eFG% 53.6% 58.8%
Defensive eFG% 47.1% 48.0%
Field Goal % 49.4% 47.3%
2P FG% 54.5% 56.3%
3P FG% 33.9% 35.8%
FT% 65.5% 64.4%
Offensive Reb Rate 35.0% 15.8%
Defensive Reb Rate 78.4% 70.6%
TO Rate 15.1% 19.9%
FT Rate 34.2% 34.3%
3PA% 24.5% 46.1%

With four games in the books the sample size is still fairly small but there are a couple of weak spots in UNC's numbers. The foremost among them in the offensive rebounding rate. Last season UNC rebounded 40% of its own misses which was 5th nationally. So far this season that number is 35% which is still in the upper third nationally but not nearly as good as one would expect from this team.

The issue so far lies with the perimeter players. Justin Jackson, Theo Pinson and Nate Britt are all below their OR% last season and UNC is missing J.P. Tokoto's 6.1%.  UNC's interior trio of Kennedy Meeks, Brice Johnson and Isaiah Hicks are all running about the same or better in their personal OR%. So for UNC's to get the offensive rebounding rate up to 2015 standards, the perimeter players need to do a better job on the offensive glass.

On the defensive glass, UNC is actually much improved over last season. The Tar Heels were below 70% in DR% last season. So far this season, UNC is close to 80% which isn't likely to hold but certainly a trend in the right direction.

Looking at Northwestern, this will be the fourth straight opponent that is over 40% in 3PA/FGA. The Wildcats, coached by former Blue Devil Chris Collins, are take 44% of all field goal attempts from beyond the arc. However Northwestern is not necessarily a great shooting perimeter team checking in at just 35.8% as a team. Bryant McIntosh is 9-16 in three games this season while Aaron Falzon is 8-18 from three. Tre Demps, a career 34.3% shooter from three, is off to a 5-20 start.

Unlike Northern Iowa and Wofford where perimeter shooting was leaned upon due to a lack of size, Northwestern has players who can match UNC on the interior. Alex Olah is a seven footer with an ORtg of 121.5 through three games and is one of three Wildcats averaging in double figures to go along with 8.0 rpg.

Granted Northwestern's schedule hasn't been a murderer's row with no one ranked higher than 109th in KenPom and that was Columbia who the Wildcats needs overtime to beat on Friday.