Heading into this season many people wondered if North Carolina could put up points and keep their fast paced offense going like they have displayed in years past.
With only two games played this season, it’s hard to judge the Carolina offense just yet. But if we had to take one thing away from this sample size of the season, it’s the struggles the Tar Heels have had with their perimeter shooting thus far.
In recent memory Carolina has had success on the perimeter with players like Rashad McCants, Raymond Felton, Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, Danny Green, Harrison Barnes and more recently Reggie Bullock, Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald.
Well Bullock, Strickland and McDonald are back this season after suffering season ending injuries last year. So the perimeter threat for the Tar Heels is still there. But why have they struggled with perimeter shooting so far?
The easy answer to this is “the season is still young”. Which is completely true, but I’d like to see the shooting be consistently good this season, especially if the Tar Heels want to compete in what looks like a very stacked ACC Conference.
Through two games in this early season Carolina is shooting just .259% from behind the arc, with Reggie Bullock leading the way with a .571% on 4 of 7 shooting from beyond the arc. Technically Luke Davis leads the team as he’s made his only attempted three pointer.
Other then Bullock, the other two perimeter stars haven’t made an impact…yet. Between McDonald and Strickland, they are just a combined 1-5 behind the arc. Something that has to change for Carolina. They need to get the perimeter production from their better perimeter shooters.
Neither of the Tar Heels two opponents this season have had a dominant defense, so the excuse isn’t there for a bad perimeter offensive start. Later on in the season and especially in ACC play, Carolina will faces defenses that will take away their perimeter game. Forcing them to move the offense inside. That’s why it’s key for Carolina to get it going, and get it going as soon as possible.
As Carolina continues to build their offensive identity, we could see the perimeter production increase. Guard Marcus Paige has the ability to score, but also create shots for the better shooters on the team.
The Tar Heels inside game will also open up the perimeter and give them chances from outside. With Joel James and James Michael McAdoo giving the Tar Heels a low inside threat, defenses will collapse on them, leaving shooters wide open.
If Carolina want’s to compete this season, the perimeter offense must get going. A lot of offensive sets can be created from a great perimeter game and will lead to success for the Tar Heels.
It’s just up to them to establish it and continue it when it’s successful.