Seven straight wins, including several of the double-digit variety, with a few come-from-behind victories sprinkled in and all seems well again in Tar Heel country, right?
Well, not quite.
As UNC coach Roy Williams will tell you, there’s ALWAYS room for improvement, and that’s true for this squad as well.
Despite a now impressive 18-7, 8-4 ACC mark and “relatively comfortable NCAA Tournament credentials” (as a USA Today article surmised prior to Monday’s win over Florida State), the Tar Heels still have work to do.
Take their shooting, please … as the old joke goes. From the field, the Tar Heels are connecting on just under 46 percent of their shots, not even good enough to crack the top 100 in the nation.
UNC’s numbers would be far worse if not for Brice Johnson connecting on nearly 55 percent of his shots and Kennedy Meeks’ 56.5 percent success rate.
The free-throw stripe is a true Achilles “Heel,” as only Marcus Paige excels at just under 90 percent. It has helped bolster his scoring to a team-best 17.2 points per game heading into Thursday’s neighborhood battle vs. Duke.
The stats get grim after the sophomore guard, however, as opponents can send a key Heel to the line in the closing minutes like James Michael McAdoo (52.5 percent), Leslie McDonald (63.5), Johnson (64.6) or gulp! J.P. Tokoto (47.1).
As much as the Tar Heels have improved their overall play, Williams want to see even more balance from his squad. He expressed as much following the nail-biting win over Pitt.
“We’ve got to get some other guys to step up and make shots. That’s the bottom line. Other guys have to step up and help.”
Or even a dangerous team like UNC may not be March-ing for long.