UNC Basketball: Three Key Stats in Tar Heels win over Tulane

UNC opened the season with a win. What stats stood out as key in that game?

Now that’s a way to open a season.In case you didn’t hear the Tar Heels returned from hiatus to beat Tulane by 20 points.

It took away from the sting of the football team’s bad loss to Duke on Thursday night.

The Tar Heels looked great in their season opener, as they look to return to the Final Four for the second-straight year.

So what are three key stats to take away from this opening game? Let’s take a look.

Tar Heel’s Three Point Shooting

I mentioned this in the preview but the Heels were not a great three-point shooting team last year. Last season they only average 5.5 threes made per game and shot at a little over .300 for the season.

Friday night was different. The Heels made nine three-pointers and they had two guys make at least four. Joel Berry ll  and Justin Jackson combined to shoot 8 of 12 from the three-point line. Overall Jackson had an incredible night, scoring 27 points on just 12 shots.

The Heels made nine three-pointers and they had two guys make at least four. Joel Berry ll  and Justin Jackson combined to shoot 8 of 12 from the three-point line. Overall Jackson had an incredible night, scoring 27 points on just 12 shots.

Tar Heel’s Minute Distribution

Nov 11, 2016; New Orleans, LA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Seventh Woods (21) shoots against the Tulane Green Wave during the second half of a game at the Smoothie King Center. North Carolina defeated Tulane 95-75. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Last night the Heels played 10 guys at least 10 minutes. Seven of those guys played at least 15 minutes. That is some good early quality time and helps create depth. Sure the starters played 63 percent of the time but only one got more than 30 minutes. That kind of depth will help keep players rested through games and allow Roy to wear teams down.

The three freshman combined to play only 18 percent of the game. However they each showed some promise.

Brandon Robinson knocked down a three. Seventh Woods showed off his vision with two good assists.

Tony Bradley grabbed five boards and ran the floor while scoring 10 points as well.

Tar Heel’s Defense

UNC’s defense held Tulane to 75 points on 25-72 shooting. That was only 34.7 percent shooting for the game.

Not bad overall.

However, there are a couple of things that stood out. One Tulane only scored 75 points or more in seven contests last season. Three of those were in overtime. The 75 points was also 9 points more than the team averaged for the season.

Second, the Green Wave shot 40 percent from behind the line. Most of that came from  Cameron Reynolds who went 5 for 6 from behind the arc. A lot of Tulane’s three were wide open. A better team, like Duke or Villanova, would’ve punished the Heels for that.

Third, the Heels gave up 18 offensive rebounds. That is a lot of missed shots. On the whole Carolina out-rebounded Tulane 52-38, but only 19-18 on the offensive glass. Tulane did not have the size to compete with UNC and still got boards. A taller team will make the Heels pay for not boxing out.

Tulane did not have the size to compete with UNC and still got boards. A taller team will make the Heels pay for not boxing out.

Of course, this is the first game of the season. Tulane won all of 12 games last season, so it wasn’t like UNC did this against a former top 25 squad. Still for the most part, it was encouraging overall.

Still for the most part, it was encouraging overall.

Next up for Carolina is a matchup with Chattanooga. The Mocs are picked by some to be the best Mid Major team this year. It will quite an opening game in Chapel Hill Sunday afternoon.

What stats stood out to you? Let us know in the comments below.

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