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Heel Tough Blog: Iowa Recap

You knew going in that it was going to be tough to win in Iowa City, and that was proven to be true as the Hawkeyes downed the Tar Heels 93-80 tonight. Iowa put 4 starters in double figures scoring, as their offense lived up to the hype coming in. They converted on 17-40 three pointers, as Carolina simply didn’t have an answer for them defensively. It was another slow start for Carolina on offense, as they trailed 43-31 at the half. A similar surge to start the second half like we saw against Texas, got them back in the game. They eventually took a brief 68-67 lead, before a 25-12 Iowa determined the outcome of this one.

Carolina put 5 players in double figures, led by Garrison Brooks’ team best 17 points. Both Andrew Platek & Day’Ron Sharpe had double figures off the bench, as Carolina tried to match the scoring prowess of the Hawkeyes. As was the case in Asheville, turnovers and miss free throws plagued the team again. UNC turned it over 18 times, which Iowa turned into 23 points. At the foul line, they were just 12-20. Also like the loss to Texas, Carolina proved they can play with some of the nation’s better teams, as long as they improve in certain areas. Here’s what to take away:

  1. Fast Break Offense: Carolina finally broke 80 points as the offense is still a work in progress. A big reason for the best offensive performance of the season was that Carolina scored 24 fast break points. There were times that Carolina’s young guards knew when to run, and when to set the offense. Caleb Love made a handful of plays in the open court, after an Iowa made basket, which is a good sign this early in his Tar Heel career. They still made too many mistakes in the open floor, and still didn’t run as much as they could have, but they made progress which is what you’re looking for at this point of the season.

  2. Three Point Defense: Iowa is one of the nation’s best three point shooting teams, but that doesn’t excuse the effort defensively for the Tar Heels. Jordan Bohannon alone went 7-16 from behind the arc, as every time Carolina doubled down on Luka Garza, he found an open teammate for three. CJ Frederick and Joe Wieskamp combined to make the other 10 triples for Iowa, who literally shot themselves to a marquee home win.

  3. Bench Scoring: Another positive in the loss was the production off the bench, mainly from Day’Ron Sharpe and Andrew Platek. If Sharpe wouldn’t have been in foul trouble there’s no telling how the game would’ve played out, but he scored 13 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Platek continues his solid play off the bench as well, scoring 10 points. While you want more from the others, if they can count on getting consistent production from Sharpe and Platek, you’ll take it.

  4. Rebounding: Carolina may have out-rebounded Iowa, but they didn’t get the rebounds when they needed to the most. They also allowed 14 offensive rebounds, which got converted into 21 second chance points. Factor in that Carolina grabbed 15 offensive rebounds of their own, but only converted them into 14 second chance points, leaves room for improvement in this department.

Up Next: Carolina was scheduled to play Elon at home this Saturday, but COVID issues within their program have postponed that game temporarily. That means, as of right now, Carolina is scheduled to play next on Saturday December 19th against Ohio State in the CBS Sports Classic in Cleveland, Ohio.

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