UNC Basketball: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of the Tar Heel’s ACC season II


With another three conference games having been played, what can we take away from the Tar Heels play during that time?

With Roy’s 800th win, UNC is now six games in to the season.

During their first three games, UNC dominated the boards, wasn’t great from behind the arc, and struggled with turnovers.

Since then they are still dominating the boards having out-rebounded their last three opponents by 48 total rebounds (16 per game).

They are also shooting the three better.

During their first three games they were shooting only 35 percent from behind the arc. Since then they have shot 38 percent, though against Syracuse they only hit 29 percent of their shots behind the arc.

They have also cut back on their turnovers. In their past three games they have only had 35. Though most might consider 11 turnovers a game to be great, it is far better than the nearly 17 a game they committed in their first three.

So with three more games under their belt let’s once again take a look at the Good, the Bad, and The Ugly of UNC’s ACC season.

The Good

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at North Carolina
NCAA Basketball: Florida State at North Carolina /

Assists. It would be easy to focus on the rebounds again, and the Tar Heels are easily the best rebounding team in the country. However, it would also be unfair to look at some of the other things Carolina is doing well.

The Tar Heels have 56 assists in their last three games. That is nearly 19 a game. During that same stretch UNC has hit 99 baskets. That means the Tar Heels are assisting on 56.5 percent of their made shots.

As I mentioned above they have also kept their turnovers down, raising their assist to turnover ratio from one in their first three games to 1.6 in their past three. They are also forcing turnovers on the other end averaging more than seven steals a game.

The Bad

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at North Carolina
NCAA Basketball: Florida State at North Carolina /

Personal Fouls. Over the past three games the Tar Heels have committed 58 personal fouls. That is more than 19 per game. The bigger issue is in the distribution of those fouls. Against Wake Forest they had four guys with four fouls each. Against Florida State they had two with four and three with three.

Oddly enough despite all the fouls, no player has fouled out of those three games. Isaiah Hicks, a notorious fouling culprit, has only seven in those three games, including zero against Syracuse.

Additionally despite the foul troubles, the Tar Heels have returned the favor. UNC has gotten to the charity stripe an average of 25 times per game. They are also hitting them when they get there making right around 18 per game. That is 69.7 percent from the line. Not great but not awful either.

The Ugly

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at North Carolina
NCAA Basketball: Florida State at North Carolina /

Home Road split. After six games UNC has played exactly three home contests and three road contests. The Tar Heels have been different teams on the road as opposed to at home.

At home the Tar Heels are averaging 96 points per game on 47.8 shooting from the floor. Additionally they are outscoring opponents by 27 per game. On the road, UNC is averaging only 82 points per game on 43.2 shooting from the floor. Teams are outscoring them by one point per game on the road.

It also goes beyond just shooting.

The Tar Heels are averaging four more turnovers per game and one fewer assist than they do at home. It is not uncommon for teams to do better at home than they do on the road. However, this is still something that should concern UNC fans if it continues.

Before closing there is one more trend that stands out for UNC, second half lapses. Against Wake Forest, they allowed a 15 point halftime lead become a one point lead in just a little over 10 minutes of play.

Against Florida State they allowed a nine point halftime lead to become a three point lead in a little over five minutes of play.

Finally, against Syracuse they allowed a 12 point halftime lead to dwindle to just a three point lead in less than four minutes of play.

Now in none of these games did the Tar Heels ever relinquish the lead, but is should still be concerning for Roy Williams and his staff.

In the end UNC is currently second in the ACC standings, but clearly looks like one of the top threats in what is a very loaded conference.

If they keep playing at such a high level, the Tar Heels might be a magnum force no team wants to mess with.

Is this where the Tar Heels are struggling? Do you have a different thought? Let us know in the comments below.