UNC Basketball: Where are the Tar Heels Three Point Shooters?


Both Reggie Bullock and PJ Hairston were supposed to be big time three point shooters for Carolina when they were recruited.   Hairston started off the season hot and looked like he would be the shooter UNC so desperately needs.  After a couple of 20+ point games, watching the combination of his quick, confident release and sweet stroke, PJ looked like the missing link.  But not he’s in a deep shooting slump and is not shooting just 30.3% from three.

Since being inserted into the starting lineup Bullock has provided the Heels with adequate defense replacing Dexter Strickland.  What he hasn’t done much of is lift the offense with his shooting the way he was supposed to.  Bullock, like Hairston, started off the season providing the Heels with a reliable shooting threat off the bench.  Lately they’ve the same shooting slump and have failed to stretch the defense the way Roy Williams needs him to.  The result, the half court offense isn’t nearly as effective as it could or should be.

The problem in my view is shot selection, for both players.  Both, especially Hairston, are pressing which is leading to far too many rushed shots.  Both players are struggling to regain their stroke and far too often the Heels are fining themselves on transition defense due to an ill advised shot early in the shot clock by one of these two.  UNC needs more patience in the half court, a faced paced team that looks to get out and run on every opportunity.  The Heels can’t afford to take the same approach in the half court.

Harrison Barnes has been statistically the teams top three point shooter this season.  Barnes however is taking far less jump shots, let along three pointers than he did as a freshman.  UNC needs Barnes to continue attacking the basket and not worry about giving the team a spark from beyond the arc.  Beyond Barnes, Hairston and Bullock, point guard Kendall Marshall has taken the fourth most amount of threes for the Heels.  Marshall is shooting just 30% on 46 three point FG attempts this season.  The less Marshall chucks it up from deep the better, teams often give Kendall open looks, and for good reason.

Williams needs to instill an inside out approach to Carolinas half court offense.  Quick threes before the big men are able to establish position inside isn’t helping anyone besides the opponent.   Tyler Zeller and John Henson give the Tar Heels college basketballs top 1-2 punch inside.  If James Michael McAdoo can continue to improve his play and build on his performance against Virginia, UNC is that much scarier inside.  Ball movement and making sure the defense has to keep an eye on the post can do wonders for a teams rhythm on offense.  With the ball constantly being pushed inside and sent back out to find the open man is what this team needs.  Bullock and Hairston need to find their stroke by March at the latest.  It’s mid February and it’s time Roy Williams takes the Heel by it’s horns and instill some patience in his team.

Field Goals
Free Throws
3pt Field Goals
Reggie Bullock781840.4248100.8431140.377
P.J. Hairston431340.32142490.85730990.303
Harrison Barnes1543290.468991360.72831730.425
Kendall Marshall601360.44135500.714460.304

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