UNC Basketball: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not


UNC Basketball is two games into the ACC season and has a big match-up against Louisville coming up on Saturday at home in Chapel Hill. It is imperative that the Tar Heels win that game to solidify their ranking in the polls and get back on the right track after a tough loss to Notre Dame earlier this week.

In order to beat the Cardinals, UNC will need big contributions from a lot of players. Let’s take a look at who has been hot and not for the North Carolina Tar Heels:


Kennedy Meeks

 The big man from Charlotte has arguably been the Heels most consistent player so far this season with six double-doubles and 11 double digit scoring games so far this season. The sophomore leads the team in rebounding with 8.8 boards per game and is 2nd on the team in scoring averaging 12 points per game while shooting 58% from the field. Over the last six games, the big man is averaging 11.8 points and 7.8 points.

Not only has Meeks been possibly the team’s most consistent player and he has become one of it’s most important ones, both times that he fouled out this season the Heels ended up losing to Iowa and then again in Monday’s loss to Notre Dame proving how valuable it is to have the big man on the floor.


Joel James

 During the non-conference part of the schedule it appeared that James had finally turned the corner with impressive games against both UNC-Greensboro and Ohio State, showing off a nice touch around the rim with a smooth hook shot and face up jumper.

However, since those two games, the forward has only scored 6 points, all in the blowout win at Clemson. He has been held scoreless in 3 out of the last 4 games while not being much of a factor on the glass. It is important for him to get back on track so he can allow Meeks to get some rest during the games.


Justin Jackson

The freshman from Texas has had an up and down start to his career in Chapel Hill, which is to be expected when adjusting to the college game. After struggling through most of December, Jackson played well in wins over Ohio State and UAB before only scoring 7 points in the Tar Heels win over William and Mary than bouncing back with a solid game in the ACC opener against Clemson.

The biggest problem for Jackson so far has been his 3-point shot, he was looked at as someone who could finally help with the team’s shooting woes from the 3-point line but so far that has not been the case. The freshman has only hit 20% of his 3-point tries through 15 games, he needs to start making those shots soon.

Getting Warmer

Theo Pinson

More from North Carolina Tar Heels

Anyone who watched the game against Notre Dame knows that the Heels would have not gotten back into the game without the great play of Pinson in the second half. He had season-highs with 7 points and 8 rebounds but it was more than that his hustle and energy got both the team and the crowd back into the game when it looked like the Heels might get blowing out at home. One thing the coaching staff can count on from Pinson is high-energy and effort, which could result in more playing time for the freshman moving forward.