Lucas: Quick Responses from Gardner-Webb – University of North Carolina Athletics

By Adam Lucas

1. It wasn’t pretty, but Carolina did just enough to beat Gardner-Webb 72-66.

2. Caleb love caught fire coming out of half time and provided the Tar Heels with a needed cushion. Love showed off his entire arsenal of offensive moves, including a pair of three-pointers, a Eurostep to the rim, a fadeaway baseline jumper, and a midrange driving bank shot on his way to a game-high 20 points.

3. Carolina’s paint production and glass results remain a mystery. Tuesday night’s best rebounder was…RJ Daviswhich ended with ten, running out by Armando Bacot nine. Overall, the board battle was much closer than expected (40-38 in favor of Carolina). The Heels did a better job of keeping GWU off the offensive glass, as they allowed only eight offensive rebounds on 37 missed shots, a better percentage than they had gotten on the night.

4. Leaking black made the 100th start of his career on Tuesday evening. He has now played in 125 matches as Tar Heel. No official statistics are kept on who leads the game starts category, because starts have only been officially tracked for the last 20 years. By comparison, Tyler Hansbrough started 141 games during his four years with Carolina. Black had seven points and four rebounds on Tuesday.

5. The first half can best be summed up by: Pete Nancy. Other than that you haven’t missed much. The graded transfer hit five of his seven shots in the first 20 minutes and scored 16 points. That was a nice distraction from the rest of the team going 4-for-24. Nance finished with 18 before being eliminated.

6. The attack wasn’t pretty, but it’s a safe bet Hubert Davis took specific note of the defense with his team at half-time. Five of Gardner-Webb’s ten field goals made in the first half were dunks, and they outscored the Tar Heels by a whopping 18-4 in the paint during that first period. Both stats are unacceptable numbers in a Tuesday night non-conference game, with more formidable competition ahead. The last points in the paint count: 30-14, Gardner-Webb. The Heels will probably hear that song a few more times during practice for the rest of this week.

7. Carolina hasn’t started the running game yet either. They only scored two quick break points on Tuesday.

8. The Tar Heels had two poor possessions in a six-point game with five minutes remaining. One ended in a long one RJ Davis missed three, and the next ended with a long missed Caleb love three. That led to one Hubert Davis timeout for some substitutions, but Pete Nancy was called for a dubious loading error.

9. Justin McKoy gave Carolina some fun energy – on a night they needed it – in the second half. McKoy got on the ground for a loose ball in his first play of the season and also grabbed a rebound in his six minutes.

10. McKoy is part of a bench that Davis wants more production from. The Bulldogs dominated the benchpoints category, 14-2. The only Tar Heel bench basket came out Seth Trimble late in the second half, and he also added a free throw with 18 seconds left. It’s pretty obvious that Carolina’s rotations aren’t settled yet; Davis is still looking for someone to definitely work his way into the rotation.

11. Love needs 14 points against James Madison on Sunday to become Carolina’s 80th all-time 1,000-point scorer. That’s more participants in that club than in any program in college basketball.

12. Two Positives: Carolina shared the ball better (eight assists on 23 baskets) than so far in the season. And they also shot the ball slightly better from the three-point line, making eight after sinking just seven in two combined games to start the year. The bad news was that those eight brands came on 25 tries (everyone except Nance was 5-for-20), putting them at 32 percent for the game. The Heels probably think they’re a better shooting team than that.

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