When coming off of a close win over a ranked non-conference opponent in a true road game, you want some breathing room. The Tar Heels may not get that with Wofford tonight when they host the Terriers at 9:00 pm on ESPN2.
Wofford brings a 7-4 record to Chapel Hill. One of those wins, a 63-60 thriller, came over Georgia Tech and ACC Coach of the Year Josh Pastner. None of their other wins came over notable opponents. That doesn’t mean that the Tar Heels should sleep on the Terriers, either. Wofford currently boasts an offensive rating of 112.2, which is 69th in Division I. They are only scoring 77 points per game, but are slowing the pace down enough that they are holding their opponents to just over 70 points per game.
The Terriers are lead by junior guard Fletcher McGee. He’s playing 32 minutes per game and scoring 24 points. He able to do this by shooting an efficient 60% from the field. Behind him are two more who are averaging in the double digits in points. Cameron Jackson and Nathan Hoover are scoring 12 and 11 points per game, respectively. The ball seems to run through Jackson who boasts nearly seven assists per game.
North Carolina will need to keep a close eye on McGee and Hoover who are the deep threats. McGee is hitting nearly 60% of his three point attempts. He is currently second in Division I for three point percentage. Hoover is hovering around the 40% mark. Both have taken at least 30 more three pointers than anyone else on the team. McGee is shooting 52-90 while Hoover is shooting 25-61. The closest player to them would be Storm Murphy who is shooting 11-29 from behind the arc.
The Tar Heels were lucky to escape Knoxville with a win on Sunday night. The Volunteers led all but 91 seconds of the game, but the Tar Heels were ahead when it mattered the most. They seemingly couldn’t keep the ball long enough to score, though and will need to use this match up against Wofford to get their timing and rhythm fixed before conference play begins.
En route to their 10th win of the season, Joel Berry II lead the Tar Heels with 21 points. When he finds his rhythm, he is almost unstoppable. Kenny Williams and Luke Maye chipped in 15 points, each while Theo Pinson played distributor with 8 assists.
On the season, Berry, Williams, and Maye are leading the charge for North Carolina. Through 11 games, Maye is averaging a double-double at 19 points and 10 rebounds. He narrowly missed another double-double on Sunday by recording only 8 rebounds. Berry is averaging 16 points and four assists per game while Kenny Williams has become the hot hand outside of the arc. He is averaging 13 points per game and is shooting almost 55% behind the line.
The freshmen need to use this game as another primer before conference play. The “Baby Bigs” still seem to be learning where they should be and when. The Tar Heels will need them to move forward in their progression if they plan on being dominant in the ACC. Roy Williams still wants to play from the inside out, and will need to rely on more than just Luke Maye in the post. Garrison Brooks, Sterling Manley, and Brandon Huffman have all had flashes, but more consistency will be needed.
The Tar Heels will be too much for the Terriers to handle. There won’t be an upset of a former ACC Coach of the Year here, folks. Luke Maye nets another FIRST HALF double-double and Joel Berry adds in 20 points and six assists while Kenny Williams explodes from three to finish with 18.
Heels in a blowout, but no biscuits as Roy Williams gives Jalek Felton the two-handed “woah” with 10 seconds to go.
North Carolina - 98; Wofford - 65