UNC is off to another terrific start in nonconference play. The Tar Heels won the Maui Jim Maui Invitational and only lost by nine at Indiana despite playing poorly for the entire 40 minutes. With another matchup against top-5 Kentucky in Las Vegas before ACC play starts, there’s sure to be more excitement for Carolina basketball. What’s been the most fun to watch thus far?
Kenny Williams making threes
It feels like we’ve been waiting years for this: a reliable three-point shooter. How long we’ve been waiting for sophomore Kenny Williams to bust out has felt similarly long. Well, wait no more, as it appears that Williams has finally found his shooting touch.
After only making one three in his freshman season, Williams is already up to 14 made threes this year, including a career-high five threes against Radford. He’s right around 50 percent from deep, and if he can keep it up, he’s got a tremendous chance at making an impact for this team. Recently, one of the biggest limitations of the offense has been three-point shooting, and now Williams is here to help rectify that.
How about one more look at Kenny Williams's block last night: https://t.co/eVQ7bKC4TW— InsideCarolina (@InsideCarolina) November 22, 2016
Kennedy Meeks’ old-man game, particularly his rebounding
With all the attention around Isaiah Hicks, Joel Berry II, and Justin Jackson, it was easy to forget that Meeks was a senior with the most experience and minutes of any of them. This season, he’s arguably been the most consistent Tar Heel and has taken on more of the offensive and defensive load with Brice Johnson’s graduation.
Meeks is shooting over 10 times a game currently and is over 10 rebounds a game. If he can keep those numbers up throughout the season, the loss of Johnson won’t be as bad as previously thought.
Seventh Woods’ athleticism
I’ll let the videos do the talking:
UNC's Seventh Woods chasedown swat vs Wisconsin (Vine by @TheCauldron) https://t.co/rrgcnyP43l— Aaron J. Pellot (@AJPONE) November 24, 2016
This isn’t even scratching the tip of the iceberg for Woods. He’s got the ability to be one of the highest-flyers since J.P. Tokoto.
Justin Jackson’s shooting improvement
The other player contending for Meeks’ title as most consistent 2016-17 Tar Heel would be Justin Jackson, who generally looks much more confident and capable in his third year. He just had his best game of the season, too, against Davidson. He finished that game with 27 points on 7 of 13 shooting, as well as eight rebounds. If he puts up more of those performances every week, he might just earn the contested title of best Tar Heel.
Tony Bradley’s offensive talents
Tony Bradley has been a straight-up stud on the offensive end. He’s hit a bit of a freshman wall as of late, but he started out his career with six straight games in double figures. Bradley’s efficient and smooth with a variety of moves. If he manages to stay in Chapel Hill for a few more seasons, he could certainly end up being a 20-a-night kind of scorer. As much as we might hate the comparison, Bradley might be UNC’s version of a slimmer Jahlil Okafor.