The UNC Tar Heels Basketball trip to the Bahamas was meant to get loose, have fun, and play basketball. It is arguable how much of the latter occurred yesterday in an 84-83 loss to the Providence Storm. Yesterday’s loss did remind them that playing basketball was sort of important too.
Today, the Tar Heels were back on the court for one final match in the Bahamas against the Bahamas All-Stars. The result was different this time, with a 109-52 victory. Shooting and decision-making were much improved, suggesting that focus was also much improved. Here some things learned from the game:
Brice Johnson was Still Limited in Game Action
Junior Brice Johnson again played only seven minutes. Then he was pulled for precautionary reasons. Junior Marcus Paige, who also was slightly hurt yesterday, played his normal share of minutes for a game like this.
Shooting Got Better
The Tar Heels came back from a bizarre shooting performance yesterday to shoot a good 62% on the afternoon. Free throws are still not quite where they need to be, with the team going 6 of 12 for 50%. Three point shooting was much improved as well, with the team shooting 7 of 13 for a solid 53%. Paige shot 3-3 from behind the arc after shooting 2 for 9 yesterday.
Isaiah Hicks is Still Leading the Scoring
Sophomore forward Hicks led the Heels with 11 points against the Providence Storm, and then followed that up with 19 against the All-Stars. He shot 8 of 14 on the game and added seven rebounds. It will be interesting to see how Coach Roy Williams continues to use Hicks this season.
Balanced Scoring remained
Eight Tar Heels scored seven or more points on the night. Included in that number were freshmen Justin Jackson (16), Joel Berry (7), and Theo Pinson (7). This means that unselfish play prevailed and team ball was embraced. The Heels had 28 assists to 14 turnovers. This is the formula that the team will have to rely on all season long.
So the Tar Heels trip to the Bahamas comes to an end, with one win and one loss. The loss should help convince that they can be beaten if they do not play with high effort. The win should show them how good they can be if they put it all together.
Next Stop: Late Night with Roy in October. Until then: football.
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