Updated: Jan 5, 2020
Carolina hosts Elon tonight inside the Dean E Smith Center, as this game serves as the on campus game for the upcoming Battle 4 Atlantis Thanksgiving week. The last time we saw the Tar Heels, they prevailed past Gardner-Webb 77-61. Cole Anthony led the way once again, scoring 28 points on 7-17 shooting. After only leading 30-27 at the intermission, the team cleaned up the turnovers in the second half, to avoid the home upset.
Elon enters tonight's with a record of 2-2, having beaten Mars Hill & Milligan. Following those two wins, they lost back to back against Georgia Tech & Michigan. Marcus Sheffield II leads the Phoenix in scoring, averaging just over 17 points per contest. The only problem is that he's the only player on the team that averages double figures in scoring, outlining the issues the team has putting the ball in the basket. A positive for Elon is that they rebound the ball at a decent clip, bringing down just over 44 rebounds a game, if they want to upset Carolina they'll have to hold their own on the glass.
Carolina wasn't as its best the last time they took the floor, and although it's only November and this team is young, it left Roy Williams frustrated with his team in the post game press conference. After struggling the first week with turnovers & foul shooting, they cleaned that area up, but committed too many turnovers that allowed to keep Gardner-Webb in the game. This is the final game before they head to the Bahamas, and the non-conference schedule heats up. With that in mind, it puts pressure on this Carolina squad to start finding itself soon. While watching the game tonight, here's what you need to keep any eye on:
1. Half-Court Offense: Carolina is used to be very efficient in the half-court, and so far this season they've had issues scoring the ball in its set offense. A big issue is because after the Notre Dame game, the guys got content with letting Cole Anthony something happen. The good news is that Anthony is good enough to make winning plays. The bad news is that when the competition stiffens starting next week, they'll be able to limit him more than some other teams. There needs to be more movement with guys without the basketball, setting screens, etc. This will make life easier on not only Cole Anthony, but all the Tar Heels on the floor.
2. Armando's Response: It's not everyday that you drop a first career double double, and your head coach is still frustrated with you afterwards. Well that's exactly what happened to Armando Bacot after dropping 12 & 11 last Friday night. Roy Williams wasn't pleased with his turnovers, as Bacot struggled to keep the ball high when getting the rock in the post. If he can break that bad habit, he will be a force to reckon with on the interior moving forward.
3. Turnovers: Miscues plagued the team in the first half against the Running Bulldogs. They cleaned it up in the second half, as Carolina ran away from the instate opponent. For the season UNC is averaging 15.7 assists compared to 14 turnovers. That's not Carolina Basketball. They can't continue to make those mistakes, even they want to become the team they want to be.
Series History: Carolina is 19-4 against Elon all time, having won the last 12 games. The last time these two teams tangled was last season over in Elon, a 116-67 win for the visiting Tar Heels.
UNC: 7th overall. Adjusted Offensive Efficiency- 109.5 (5th) Adjusted Defensive Efficiency- 86.5 (10th)
Elon: 325th overall. Adjusted Offensive Efficiency- 88.9 (330th) Adjusted Defensive Efficiency- 103.8 (293rd)
TV Info: Tonight's game will be televised on ACC Network Extra, with a 8:30 tip time from the Dean Dome.
(Photo Courtesy of Robert Willett)
Roy's Boys Podcast Preview: <a class="spreaker-player" href="https://www.spreaker.com/episode/20130207" data-resource="episode_id=20130207" data-width="100%" data-height="200px" data-theme="light" data-playlist="false" data-playlist-continuous="false" data-autoplay="false" data-live-autoplay="false" data-chapters-image="true" data-episode-image-position="right" data-hide-logo="false" data-hide-likes="false" data-hide-comments="false" data-hide-sharing="false" data-hide-download="true">Listen to "Ep. 81: Elon Preview" on Spreaker.</a><script async src="https://widget.spreaker.com/widgets.js"></script>