UNC Basketball: Early Season Report Cards


Nov 23, 2013; Uncasville, CT, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Brice Johnson (11) celebrates with forward Joel James (42), guard Nate Britt (0) and guard Luke Davis (right) during the first half of a game against the Richmond Spiders at Mohegan Sun Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

We’re ten games into the college basketball season and the North Carolina Tar Heels, are still a mystery. They’ve had some impressive victories and some head scratching losses. With a third of the regular season behind them, here’s how the UNC Basketball team grades out to me thus far.

G Nate Britt: The freshman from D.C. has been up and down to say the least.  Nate has been above average running the show and from time to time he has shown some offensive punch. Although he is not a great defender (mostly because of his lack of strength) , He uses his quick hands to swipe the ball and start the break, which is a major asset for the Tar Heels. Like several of his teammates, Britt’s shooting form both the outside and the free throw line is a work in progress but overall he’s solid. Grade: C+

G Marcus Paige: This guy has great. He been the Heels best and most consistent player as well as the team leader. Marcus leads this squad in scoring and is the only player on the team who isn’t terrified of the free throw line. If  it wasn’t for Paige’s stellar start to the season, Carolina would’ve been in some major trouble. Grade: A

F J.P. Tokoto: J.P. athleticism jumps of the screen but he ‘s still developing as a basketball player. He really good attacking the basket but becomes reluctant because of his woes at the free throw line. Tokoto is solid on the boards,a decent passer and has the ability to become a great defender, but his Achilles Heel remains his shooting. He really struggles from the outside and the line. Teams are daring J.P. to make a jump shots and sooner rather than later he must make them pay. Grade: C+

F James Michael McAdoo: Coming into the season I had major expectation for McAdoo. He hasn’t been terrible but his scoring and rebounding is down from last season and that’s not good. To be fair, McAdoo is once again,playing out of position but he just hasn’t become the super star many thought he would be. I love the aggression he plays with when attacking the hoop but he’s missing way too many foul shots, which is resulting in empty possessions for UNC. Carolina will need more from James Michael to realize it’s potential. Grade: C

C Joel James: The sophomore big is still an unknown. Joel is the starter at center, but he only getting 12.5 minutes per game and his production hasn’t been impressive while on the court. He does seem to be more comfortable than last season but no where close to where he needs to be. If he can begin to provide an inside presence, only good things will be ahead.  Grade: C-

F Brice Johnson: This rapidly improving sophomore has been a much-needed surprise. Last year he would show glimpses of what he was capable of, but this season Mr. Johnson has taken his game to another level. Brice is Carolina’s top post threat as well as the team’s best rebounder. If he can remain focused and play with maximum effort all the time…sky’s the limit. Grade: B+

C Kennedy Meeks: It’s been a tale of two seasons already for this young man. During the first few games, Kennedy was playing very well and it looked as if it would only be a matter of time before he took the starting center position. As of late, Meeks has looked like a freshman. He has had trouble finishing in traffic over taller, more athletic players and quite frankly, he’s looked lost some of the time. I believe Meeks will regain his form from earlier in the season and become the answer to the question at center. Grade: B

F Isaiah Hicks: The jury is still out on this young man. Isaiah hasn’t got much playing time with the log jam at the forward position, so we really haven’t seen what he can do. Hicks is very athletic and can score around the basket, but it will probably be another year before he can really showcase his talents. Grade: Incomplete

F Jackson Simmons: When Jackson plays good things usually follows. His numbers won’t overwhelm anyone but the heart & passion he plays with will. If the rest of the Tar Heels played as hard as Jackson does, this team would be undefeated. Grade: B

C Desmond Hubert: I didn’t have major expectations of him to begin with and so far this season he’s done nothing to change my mind. Hubert seems to be the same player he was when he came to Chapel Hill. He still swats at everything, struggles to rebound the ball and when he touches the rock on offense, it’s a turnover waiting to happen. At the current time, less of  Hubert equals more for the Tar Heels. Grade: D

G Luke Davis: On a team that could use some perimeter help, Luke hasn’t provided much at all. He hasn’t shot the ball well or even looked comfortable. After a few games its crystal clear that Davis isn’t ready to play at this level. Grade: D

G Leslie McDonald: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah I know he’s only played one game, but its easy to see what he means to this team. His ability to shoot the three is much-needed and some senior leadership wouldn’t hurt either. If McDonald can consistently make jumps shots (and free throws) this entire offense will open up. Grade: Incomplete

Coach Roy Williams: Flat out, Ol’Roy has been masterful on the sidelines. He’s had to mix and match line-ups, play certain players out of position and not to mention sprinkle in some zone defense every now and then. Coach Williams has put this team in position to win every game, even with the worst free throw shooting I’ve ever seen. To the Roy Williams haters, It’s time to give him some credit! Grade: A