The North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball Team is visiting the Bahamas Friday and Saturday on a two day stretch of exhibition games. The first one occurred Friday against the professional Providence Storm. The Tar Heels Basketball team lost 84-83 on a three point basket from Storm guard Ernest Saunders. Let’s look at some of the takeaways from the game.
Nobody Was Put At Risk
Junior forward Brice Johnson played all of seven minutes in the game and then hurt his right ankle. He did not return, like for precautionary reasons.
Junior guard Marcus Paige saw more game action but also spent some time with a minor ankle sprain. Paige shot uncharacteristically poorly, going 2 of 9 from three and 3 of 15 from the floor. Let’s say it was the first game back.
Nobody Could Shoot
The Heels shot 46% for the game. This included going 12% from the three point line on 3 for 25 shooting. This also fell over to…free throw shooting where the team shot 40% from the line. They went 8 of 20 and offered flashbacks of last year.
Scoring was balanced.
The points that did come came from many contributors. Sophomore forward Isaiah Hicks led the Tar Heel scoring with eleven. Freshman wing Justin Jackson and sophomore forward Kennedy Meeks each had ten. Paige and junior wing JP Tokoto had nine. Freshman Joel Berry II, Senior forward Desmond Hubert, and freshman Theo Pinson all had eight.
Coach Roy Williams played a number of people and experimented with lineups as he sometimes does early in the season
The Game Collapsed at the Finish
Despite the troubles that the Heels had shooting the ball, they had an eight point lead with three minutes to play. The resulting 14-5 run by the Storm brought them back as the Heels could not make free throws.
This was an important for the Heels, because it tells them how far they have to go. There will be no airs of overconfidence when the Heels play the Bahamian All-Stars tomorrow. This is also an important to work the freshmen into the team’s chemistry and get this group to come together. If they do big things, it will not be because one of them was overbearingly dominant on the opposition. It will be because they pooled their collective talents.
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