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Month: December 2016

Four Factor Friday: Non-Conference Recap (Dec. 30)

Four Factor Friday: Non-Conference Recap (Dec. 30)

It’s Four Factor Friday and as the Tar Heels head into ACC play, we’ll take a look back at the 14 non-conference games. What went well? Carolina is 12-2 overall. The Tar Heels are one of five teams that rank in the top 10 in both offensive (118.6) and defensive (90.5) efficiency according to Ken Pomeroy. The reason why is UNC’s performance across the four factors—the building blocks of efficiency. Here is how the Tar Heels shape up in those…

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The Understated Elegance of Justin Jackson

The Understated Elegance of Justin Jackson

Justin Jackson’s game has never been flashy. Rather than explosive leaping ability or a lightning-quick first step, he relies on quick-release, odd-angle craftiness to score in the paint. Instead of blowing by or powering through to get to the rim, he’s more likely to use a subtle cut or baseline flash to receive a pass for a close score. That said, as Jackson continues to add legitimate 3-point range to his scoring arsenal, he’s now too good offensively to fly…

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The 10 Best Lineups of the Roy Williams Era

The 10 Best Lineups of the Roy Williams Era

With both the Joel Berry-Kenny Williams-Justin Jackson-Isaiah Hicks-Kennedy Meeks lineup (Efficiency Margin of +61.1 in 85 minutes) and the Berry-Williams-Jackson-Hicks-Tony Bradley one (Efficiency Margin of +64.8 in 28 minutes) off to ridiculously good +/- starts this season, let’s take a look at some historically strong Williams-era combinations. To qualify for this list, a lineup needed to play at least 50 minutes together in a given season. These aren’t strictly ranked by raw net efficiency; it’s a combination of +/-, total…

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The Blueprint of a Great Carolina Offense

The Blueprint of a Great Carolina Offense

Yesterday, I had a post comparing the 2009 Tar Heels to the current team. Today, I’ll briefly extend that comparison to include a side-by-side look at the two offenses in general. As seen in the table below, the 2009 version of Carolina looked exceedingly similar to the modern-day version—at least the first 13 games of it. And that’s the huge caveat in this analysis: I’m comparing whole-season numbers in 2009 (including an entire ACC campaign, plus a dominant six-game run through…

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More on 3-Point Shooting: The ’09 Heels vs. The Current Heels

More on 3-Point Shooting: The ’09 Heels vs. The Current Heels

Earlier today, I posted some data on the 3-point shooting tendencies of the 2016-17 Tar Heels. Check it out if you haven’t yet had a chance. Writing that article got me to thinking about the 2008-09 national championship Heels (mainly how they compared as a transition 3-point-shooting team) so, after doing a little digging through my old stats, I decided to share my findings. First, here’s the data comparison in the below table: Now, let’s interpret what’s in that table:…

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Shooting Their Way to the Top

Shooting Their Way to the Top

Despite advancing the whole way to the final game last season (and coming seconds away from winning it), the 2015-16 Heels certainly weren’t considered a great perimeter shooting team. Carolina shot 32.7% from behind the arc last year, knocking down just 5.6 3s per game. After losing Marcus Paige, the program’s most prolific shooter of all-time (with a UNC-record 299 made 3s), reasonable Tar Heel fans were justifiably concerned about the team’s perimeter outlook for the 2016-17 season. However, through…

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Droppin’ Dimes for the Holidays

Droppin’ Dimes for the Holidays

Hope your holidays are as cool as Ed Cota lounging by the scorer’s table at Cameron Indoor Stadium waiting to check in to once again terrorize Wojo. And if that simile felt forced and ham-handed, well, it was just an excuse to post that sweet photo of a vintage Cota. In fact, here it comes again:  BOOM! And speaking of Cota, who delivered assists like Santa Claus delivers presents, let’s proceed with a generous holiday helping of passing stats for…

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UNC +/- Stats through 13 Games

UNC +/- Stats through 13 Games

With Carolina’s non-conference schedule almost completed (the Heels play Monmouth on Wednesday in Chapel Hill before traveling to Atlanta to tip off the ACC season against Georgia Tech), let’s take a look at the season-to-date +/- numbers. The usual +/- caveats apply here: 1.) this metric is very noisy, especially with a sample as size as 13 games (and certainly for any subsets of that sample); 2.) even the best/most impactful player only controls a small fraction of what occurs…

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Big-to-Big Passing

Big-to-Big Passing

After having just 11 big-to-big assists in the season’s first 12 games, Carolina connected on five such plays against Northern Iowa—most notably, the Meeks-to-Hicks pass for Isaiah’s thunderous dunk (Hicks also assisted Meeks twice, and one each from Maye-to-Jackson (as a small-ball 4 in the post) and Maye-to-Bradley). In UNC’s system, most big-to-big passes occur in one of two situations: 1.) high/low passes against the zone (see Syracuse) or 2.) big-to-big passes after a post entry (usually after the opponent…

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Four Factor Friday: Front Line Fouls (Dec. 23)

Four Factor Friday: Front Line Fouls (Dec. 23)

In this edition of Four Factor Friday, we’re taking a look at the free throw rate of three UNC big men — Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks, and Tony Bradley. What is free throw rate? The more free throws a team attempts, the better opportunity it has to score and win games. This is measured through a team’s free throw rate. It’s the amount of free throw attempts divided by the amount of the field goal attempts. FTRate = Free Throw…

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