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UNC vs. Tulane: Three things we learned

The Tar Heels didn’t have much trouble against the Green Wave.

NCAA Basketball: Tulane at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

UNC improved to 8-1 against Tulane, winning their third straight game after the quite bad PK80 loss to Michigan State. The Tar Heels shot 66% while holding Tulane to just 38% shooting in an fairly easy Sunday afternoon win in Chapel Hill.

There weren’t too many negatives in the 24-point, easy victory, but here are some things to take away from the win.

Double-double machine Luke Maye is going to average a double-double, maybe

Through nine games, Maye is now averaging 20.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game after going for 22 and 10 against Tulane. He would need to average at least 5.6 points and 9.9 rebounds in the remainder of the regular season to go into the ACC Tournament with a double-double.

Obviously, that’s easier said than done, and the one game against really tough competition was also by far his worst of the season. He still has the entirety of the ACC schedule ahead of him, and there are going to be some tough challenges in there. However, even if he does take a step back, the numbers he’s already accumulated are going to put him in a potential All-ACC discussion. It would take a pretty big collapse for him not to finish with, like, 17 and 8 at a minimum.

This team is still at it’s best scoring on the inside

UNC’s transition to shooting more threes over the past couple years in understandable. Basketball in general is trending that direction. On this year’s team, you have Joel Berry and Kenny Williams, who are both very capable shooters on the wing. You have a real legit stretch 4 in Maye.

However, this game showed why Roy Williams likes to play the way his teams traditionally do. The Tar Heels scored 62 of their 97 points in the paint, contributing greatly to their 66% shooting performance. They missed just 20 field goals, but nine of them ended up as offensive rebounds. A lot of their points were fairly easy ones.

It’s not like the three-point shooting was bad either. UNC went 5-12, with two of the misses coming right near the end after Williams emptied the bench. Carolina is probably going to be more reliant on the three in future games. They’re still very young in the frontcourt and will face bigs way tougher than what Tulane had to offer. This game was still a pretty good encapsulation of what the Tar Heels can look like when things are working.

The sloppiness could use some work

The one negative about this game for UNC was the 13 turnovers. Now, that’s actually right around what they were averaging for the season, and they came into this game in the top 100 in the country in terms of least turnovers per game.

It’s not so much the number of turnovers as how they did it. A lot of them were sloppy passes, or trying to do too much in a game where they could get almost any shot they wanted inside. That many turnovers is not the biggest deal in the world, but maybe don’t try and force things that much.