Roy Williams has seen enough missed 3-pointers, in North Carolina’s win over Davidson and really through the first eight games of the season.
“If you’re shooting 3s and not making the sucker then stop shooting them,” Williams said.
Brandon Robinson quickly got the message against Davidson and turned in one of the best game of his short career.
“He was aggressive attacking the basket because I was so ticked off at his 3-point shot,” Williams said.
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Williams would like to see more of the same, out of Robinson and his perimeter options off the bench, in Sunday’s home game (2 p.m., ESPN2) with Tulane (6-1).
Robinson had a season-high eight points in the 85-75 win over the Wildcats. The lanky sophomore wing hit his first shot, a step-back jumper and was feeling pretty good. So he tried a 3-pointer about a minute later. Mistake.
The missed 3 led to some words from Williams about shot selection. That led to Robinson taking the ball to the basket more and eight quick points.
Robinson, a 6-5, 170-pound sophomore wing, has moved to the top Williams’ perimeter rotation with the extended absence of wing Cam Johnson (knee) and the temporary absence of guard Seventh Woods (foot).
UNC has done a lot of good things early this season but the 3-point line has been an issue. The Heels were 5 of 20 against Davidson and everyone not named Joel Berry was 1 of 9. On the season, UNC has made 35.1 percent of its 3s (54 of 154).
When Johnson comes back, and he is on track to be ready for ACC play, that will be a big boost. UNC doesn’t need Robinson, who fits more of the Theo Pinson/Jackie Manuel mold of long-armed, versatile wing, to be a great scorer.
“We don’t need people to score, we just people to come in and give us that energy and effort,” Berry said. “That’s what B-Rob did.”
Robinson had scored only 10 points in his first five games of the season. He missed two games (Bucknell, Stanford) with a shoulder injury, so he has been trying to find his niche while also missing time.
Williams has been using freshman Sterling Manley as the first big off of the bench and Robinson as the first perimeter sub (with freshman guard Andrew Platek). Robinson played 23 minutes the previous two games but didn’t score.
In Wednesday’s 86-71 win over Michigan, Robinson was on the floor for 13 minutes but had a minus-15 rating. He completely turned that around on Friday. He played 13 minutes and was a plus-14 (second only to Manley’s plus-15).
The 3-pointer was Robinson’s only miss, he made his other four shots, in an eight-point, 5-minute outburst in the first half. You can’t argue with Williams’ logic.
Joe Giglio: 919-829-8938, @jwgiglio