Four Factor Friday: 4 Questions (Jan. 20)

Four Factor Friday: 4 Questions (Jan. 20)

UNC is 17-3 and 5-1 in the ACC after 20 games. The Tar Heels have won five in a row after dropping its ACC opener on the road at Georgia Tech. Carolina resumes play at Boston College on noon Saturday. Now that we’re through 20 games, in this edition of Four Factor Friday, we’ll try to answer four questions using the four factors, box score data, and a couple different online resources: 1) What’s the most dependable factor for this…

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Lawson ’09 vs. Berry ’17

Lawson ’09 vs. Berry ’17

Although Joel Berry’s been great this year, his season still pales in comparison to Ty Lawson’s sublime 2009 campaign—the G.O.A.T. point-guard statline in Carolina history (with apologies to a couple of Phil Ford seasons, Kenny Smith in ’87, Raymond Felton in ’05, etc.). He does stack up quite favorably to Lawson in some key categories, while falling well short in some others. Let’s break it down with a series of side-by-side comparisons for: I.) Shooting/Scoring; II.) Passing/Turnovers; III.) Defense; and…

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What to Do About the Starting 5

What to Do About the Starting 5

First: the big story of Monday night’s game was indisputably Roy Williams securing his 800th win (against only 212 losses—the second-fastest coach to reach that milestone). I don’t want to gloss over that achievement, so congratulations to Coach Williams for another impressive accomplishment in a Hall-of-Fame career. So now let’s move on to the type of decision for which all-time great coaches earn their millions to make. It took nearly 20 games, but Carolina fans finally got to see its…

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The Pinson-Hicks Effect

The Pinson-Hicks Effect

After only playing together a couple minutes during the NC State and Wake Forest games (when Pinson was used more as a 3 alongside Maye-Bradley frontcourts, and as a small-ball 4 with Meeks at the 5), Isaiah Hicks and Theo Pinson have been sharing the court much more frequently against Florida State and Syracuse (averaging over 11 MPG together over those games). The eye test has indicated that the Pinson-Hicks chemistry has been strong, and Hicks’ offensive numbers have certainly…

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The Primary Break: UNC-Syracuse Quick Takes

The Primary Break: UNC-Syracuse Quick Takes

In the spirit of the great Adam Lucas’s “Rapid Reactions,” here are some quick insights/statistical nuggets from Roy Williams’s 800th win—an 85-68 victory over Syracuse. Three of Theo Pinson’s five assists on the night were for Tar Heel layups and dunks. He also had a pass that led directly to free throws at the rim. On the season, 10 of his 15 assists are for layups/dunks (plus two close free throw assists). His rate (per-40 minutes) of creating potential close…

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Welcome Back, Theo!

Welcome Back, Theo!

Although Theo Pinson returned to the court three games ago, Saturday’s game against Florida State served as his official “I’m back!” moment. It wasn’t just the 12-point, 10-rebound double-double he posted. Nor was it merely the thunderous dunk he threw down to bring the Dean Dome to a fever pitch. It was all the little things that Pinson did to help the Tar Heels emerge victorious. In this piece, we’ll focus on some of the winning plays that Pinson made…

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Facing (Up) His Problems: Hicks’s 22 Points

Facing (Up) His Problems: Hicks’s 22 Points

Through the first 18 games of the season, Carolina averaged 26 post entry passes per game. That’s nothing new under Roy Williams, who has always prioritizing pounding the paint in his double-post offense. And it’s certainly hard to argue with the results; the Heels have ranked in the top-12 in adjusted offensive efficiency 10 times in Williams’s 14 seasons (including a current ranking of 11th). Against Florida State, however, UNC largely abandoned its preferred method of entering the paint via…

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Jackson & Berry: Best-Shooting UNC Duo Ever?

Jackson & Berry: Best-Shooting UNC Duo Ever?

Justin Jackson and Joel Berry combined to make 6-of-11 3-pointers in the big home win over Florida State. That’s nothing new, though—that combo is shooting 41.5% (88-212) from behind the arc this season on a healthy 11.8 attempts per game (accounting for the two games that Berry missed). So how does that compare to the greatest Carolina 3-point shooting tandems of all-time? To answer that question, let’s use Points Above Replacement Shooter (PARS), a metric that combines shooting efficiency and…

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Winning the Transition Battle

Winning the Transition Battle

Led by Roy Williams and his love of up-tempo basketball, North Carolina generally doesn’t worry about winning the transition game. The Heels, in fact, usually relish the opportunity to play a fast-paced opponent who won’t mind running with them (like, say, Florida State this season). But is this a typical Carolina team? If you believe the numbers, this particular edition of UNC has been more comfortable in the half-court (on both ends) than in transition. When Florida State, 16-1 overall…

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Four Factor Friday: Board Games (Jan. 13)

Four Factor Friday: Board Games (Jan. 13)

North Carolina is 15-3 and 3-1 in ACC play as it prepares to host Florida State (16-1, 4-0 ACC) Saturday at the Dean E. Smith Center. After 18 games, this Carolina team is excelling in one of the Four Factors more than any previous Roy Williams UNC team. We’ll cover how the Tar Heels are keeping opponents off the offensive glass in this edition of Four Factor Friday. Rebounding Totals versus Percentages North Carolina has grabbed 530 defensive rebounds to…

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