For me, the Iowa loss still stings. Yes Iowa is a very good team, and yes Iowa is a national contender, but had the Tar Heels made improvements in the areas they are capable of; good starts, turnovers, and free throw shooting, the Heels could have left Iowa City with a huge win. The positives are the Tar Heels are gaining experience and coming together as a team. Saturday’s game vs North Carolina Central is a far more important game than it appears on paper. More than an opportunity to stack a win, it is an opportunity for important steps forward.
The team needs to prove to themselves they can get off to a good start, they can take care of the basketball, they can consistently defend at a high level, and they are capable of shooting better (free throw and three) than they have shown so far. If the Tar Heels can do that, it will bode well for their confidence.
North Carolina Central is from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and enters Saturday’s game with an overall record of 1-2. The Eagles are shooting 35% from three and averaging 74.3 points per game.
NCCU players to note:
*Guard-C. J. Keyser-averaging 22.3 points per game. Shooting 45% (5/11) from three.
*Guard-Jordan Perkins-a stat sheet stuffer, averaging 9.7 pts, 4.7 rebs, and 4.7 assists
Things to watch for the Tar Heels:
*Getting off to a good start-not just getting a lead, but playing well, establishing an identity
*Overall shooting-can the Heels find consistency at the line and gain some confidence from deep
*Dominate the paint-this will be a theme all year long. Feed the post and use easy buckets to open up the perimeter. Also, must win the rebounding battle.
As mentioned above, this is a game the Tar Heels should, and more importantly need, to take care of business. Yes we want a win, but how the Tar Heels look and play is equally as important.
UNC lost 80-93
NCCU lost 67-97
TV info-the matchup will be televised on ACCNX or RSN at 2:00 PM eastern time
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