North Carolina, which won its first two games by an average of 30 points, plays against Long Beach State on Tuesday at the Smith Center. Three things to watch while the Tar Heels attempt to extend their impressive start:
1. UNC’s offensive pace and efficiency.
It’s way early, but two games into a young season UNC looks every bit as good offensively as it was last year. The Tar Heels scored at least 95 points in their first two games – their first such output in consecutive games since 2011. The last time UNC scored at least 95 points in three consecutive games? Early in the 2009 national championship season, when UNC did it in six straight games. If the Tar Heels reach 95 points again they’d join esteemed company.
2. Whether the strong perimeter shooting continues.
One game can be anomaly while two might be the start of a trend. If the Tar Heels shoot well from the outside for a third consecutive game, that would bolster the team’s belief that it really is a much-improved perimeter shooting team. During its first two games UNC made 45.7 percent of its 3-point attempts (16-for-35). Joel Berry and Justin Jackson are a combined 12-for-21 from behind the 3-point line, but it’s unrealistic to expect that to continue. Other shooters have to emerge.
3. How Kenny Williams handles success.
Williams was among the stories of UNC’s 97-57 victory against Chattanooga on Sunday. He finished with 11 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals and an unknown number of floor burns after hustling after loose balls. It was a Danny Green-like performance, UNC coach Roy Williams said afterward. Now the sophomore will attempt to build off of it. He started the season-opener last Friday but came off the bench on Sunday.
Long Beach State at North Carolina
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill
TV: ACC Now Extra