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

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Jan 24, 2015; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Brice Johnson (11) scores as Florida State Seminoles forward Jarquez Smith (5) and guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (22) look on in the second half. The Tar Heels defeated the Seminoles 78-74 at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

You can look at this North Carolina team and generate two completely different opinions of whether the team is hot or not.

From the positive perspective, the Heels have won 6 straight and are currently sitting as 3rd in the ACC with a 7-1 conference record.  In this stretch of six games, they’ve shot 48.97% from the field.

From the latter view, the Heels have injuries keeping players off the court (Joel Berry II – groin, Theo Pinson – foot), as well as injuries that are affecting players on the court (Marcus Paige – plantar fasciitis: foot, Nate Britt – lip).  While they’ve won six straight, they have cut it close against teams that don’t nearly have the talent nor the physical tools that the Tar Heels have.  In this stretch, their average margin of victory has been a slim 7 points, and the bulk of strong conference games has not occurred yet.

Nate Britt, in his postgame interview following his 17-point performance in the win over Syracuse, believes that the team is materializing, with all signs pointed towards a successful second half of the season.

"I feel like our team is really coming together.  We’re starting to feel each other out a little bit more.  Kennedy and Brice have been playing off the charts, Marcus is getting his confidence back and he’s playing well, Justin’s playing well, and J.P. is doing what he does, so I feel like when we are working and everyone is doing their job well, we can be really good."

Individually, it is essentially the same story.  While the Heels are no longer as deep as they like to be, especially in the backcourt, many North Carolina players are playing well.

Click to the next slide, using your arrow keys, to see who is hot and who is not for the North Carolina Tar Heels.