Through seven games the North Carolina Tar Heels are 7-2 and ranked 21st (or 18th depending on which poll you trust) in the nation. UNC was expected to take a plunge in many key statistical categories with the losses of Tyler Zeller, John Henson, Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall who all left for the NBA and took over 66% of the teams scoring with them.
Although this isn’t nearly as dominate of a team statistically as they were last season you might be surprised to find out where Carolina is ranked. Let’s take a look at Carolina by the numbers through nine games.
The statistic that surprises me the most is the fact that the Tar Heels lead the nation in assists this season at 20.1 per game after losing the best passer in college basketball Kendall Marshall and his 9.8 assists per game and record setting season assist record of 351 total assists. It has been a total team effort with no player averaging more than 4.4 per game and five players averaging at least 2 per game.
This has also been a great rebounding and scoring team despite the losses of the majority of those contributions from last season. At 45 rebounds per game UNC ranks sixth in the nation and first in the ACC. Again it is a team effort, James Michael McAdoo leads the way at 8.4 per game with four players averaging at least four boards per game and ten players at at least two per game.
The scoring department is also well balanced with Heels averaging 83.4 points per game good for sixth in the nation and first in the ACC. UNC has four players who average double figure points per game led by McAdoo at 15.
Shooting is an area that everyone including head coach Roy Williams expected this team to excel at but so far they have not statistically speaking. UNC is shooting 46.2% from the field 64th in the nation and 6th in the ACC which is actually a bit better than last season at this point but it isn’t nearly as good as they need to be. At 37.8% from three point range they rank slightly better at 57th in the country and 5th in the ACC, for a team that relies so much on the three point shot UNC needs that figure to continuously improve as we head toward conference play.