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Justin Jackson

Roy Williams Notches 800th Career Win as No. 9 UNC Pounds Syracuse 85-68

Two days after he deployed a never-before-seen small lineup to beat Florida State, UNC head coach Roy Williams saw his team return to the style he’s become known for on Monday against Syracuse. The ninth-ranked Tar Heels pounded the ball inside with great success against the Orange’s trademark 2-3 zone on the way to an 85-68 victory at the Dean Dome—a win that gave Williams 800 for his career. With freshman center Tony Bradley out for the second straight game with a concussion, senior big men Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks were again put in a position where they...

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NBC Names Joel Berry, Justin Jackson as Co-National Players of the Week

After losing its ACC opener to Georgia Tech in a stunning upset, the UNC men’s basketball team has won its last four conference games and has risen to second place in the league standings. While the Tar Heels have certainly used their depth with great success this season, two players consistently seem to shine above the rest on a game-by-game basis. Following UNC’s recent wins over Wake Forest and Florida State, NBC didn’t even try to pick one over the other–naming point guard Joel Berry and wing Justin Jackson as its Co-National Players of the Week. Both juniors in...

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Small-Ball Strategy Guides No. 11 UNC to Crucial Victory Over No. 9 Florida State

With freshman center Tony Bradley out with a concussion on Saturday, UNC head coach Roy Williams was left short on big men for the 11th-ranked Tar Heels’ big-time matchup with No. 9 Florida State. It ended up making no difference, as Williams went with a small-ball approach that ultimately carried UNC to a 96-83 win over the ACC leaders–in front of a raucous Dean Dome crowd. It’s not often when three players combine for over two-thirds of their team’s points and become afterthoughts. But that’s exactly what happened for UNC on Saturday. Point guard Joel Berry hit a number...

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Joel Berry, Justin Jackson Named to Midseason Wooden Award Top 25

The race for college basketball’s version of the Heisman Trophy was narrowed down to 25 candidates on Wednesday, with a pair of Tar Heels making the cut. Point guard Joel Berry and small forward Justin Jackson–both juniors–were each listed among the Wooden Award’s Midseason Top 25 after their hot starts have helped No. 11 UNC get off to a 14-3 start this season. Berry has admirably filled the leadership void left behind by Marcus Paige, while also averaging 15 points and nearly four rebounds and assists per game. The Florida native has also been recognized as the ACC Player...

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No. 11 UNC Nearly Blows 19-Point Second Half Lead, Pulls Together to Close Out Wake Forest

As if it hadn’t been preached enough already, Wednesday night provided the latest proof that nothing can be taken for granted in this year’s ACC. On the road against unranked Wake Forest, No. 11 UNC let a 19-point lead slip away in the second half—before eventually holding on for a 93-87 victory. All five starters scored in double figures for the Tar Heels (15-3, 3-1 ACC), led by 19 points from junior wing Justin Jackson—whose clutch three-pointer put the game on ice with just over a minute remaining. Point guard Joel Berry added 18 points, while the senior frontcourt...

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Berry Fuels No. 14 UNC’s Thrilling OT Road Win at Clemson

After struggling through each of UNC’s two games last week with an illness—including the shocking loss to Georgia Tech—junior point guard Joel Berry recovered just in time on Tuesday to lead the 14th-ranked Tar Heels to a thrilling 89-86 overtime win over the Clemson Tigers. The Florida native scored 21 of his career-high 31 points after halftime–single-handedly willing UNC back into a game that, early on, looked as if it could turn into a second straight upset loss. With both Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks struggling to convert on numerous second-chance layups in the post—not to mention the Tar...

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Georgia Tech Stuns Lifeless Tar Heels in ACC Opener

Everything looks better when the ball goes in the basket. That’s one of Roy Williams’ favorite sayings any time his UNC squad has a particularly good game. Saturday afternoon in Atlanta, the head coach discovered what the opposite of that looks like–as his ninth-ranked Tar Heels struggled to show many positives during their shocking 75-63 upset at the hands of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. On many occasions, statistics aren’t always the best indicator of how a game played out. A bounce here or a bounce there is the difference in the final score more often than not. Then...

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No. 9 UNC Rides Jackson’s Hot Hand to Victory Over Monmouth

By now, the rest of the ACC should be on high-alert. UNC wing forward Justin Jackson has turned himself into arguably the Tar Heels’ most dangerous weapon. The junior poured in 28 points and six three-pointers on Wednesday in his team’s final non-conference game of the year, as the ninth-ranked Tar Heels cruised to a 102-74 victory over the Monmouth Hawks at the Smith Center. Although the game was marred by extremely physical play that resulted in both teams combining to shoot 72 free throws, Jackson provided all the highlights UNC would need. With double figure scoring performances inside...

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No. 8 UNC Pounds Northern Iowa Inside, Avenges Last Year’s Upset Loss

Seeking a bit of revenge against Northern Iowa after being shocked by the Panthers in Cedar Falls last season, the eighth-ranked UNC men’s basketball team did what it does best on Wednesday night at the Dean Dome. Despite a slow start–and an offense that appeared stagnant more often than not– the Tar Heels rode Kennedy Meeks and the rest of their powerful inside presence to an 83-42 blowout victory. Meeks led the Tar Heels with 18 points and eight rebounds as they improved to 11-2 this season with only one more non-conference game left to play. It didn’t come...

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UNC Falls to No. 8 in AP Poll After Loss to Kentucky

An argument can be made that neither team deserved to lose Saturday’s thriller between UNC and Kentucky, but the fact remains that Malik Monk’s incredible 47-point outing was enough to hand the Tar Heels their second defeat of the season. A showdown between a pair of top ten teams, the game showcased everything great about college basketball. Because they took the blemish, however, the Tar Heels fell one spot in the rankings–checking in at No. 8 in the latest AP Top 25 released on Monday. It’s the lowest UNC has been ranked all year. Villanova remains atop the poll, while...

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