Roy’s Boys: Wofford Recap
The preseasons’ 8th ranked team open their season with a 78–67 workmanlike win over the Wofford Terriers. North Carolina was led by a trio of Luke Maye (24 points) Cameron Johnson (17 points, 5–7 from 3) and Garrison Brooks (career high 20 points), as they combined for 61 points in the road win. Overall, Carolina shot 50% from the field and 41% from behind the arc. Those numbers look great, but the more important stat was that Carolina turned it over 15 times, this is an issue head coach Roy Williams has stressed throughout the preseason. In my preview of the game, I mentioned that PG play would be something to keep our eyes on. Coby White was making his first collegiate start, and Seventh Woods was probably playing the first time as a Tar Heel, healthy. In 24 minutes Coby White produced 8 points on 3–10 shooting, with 2 rebounds and 3 assists. Seventh Woods scored 2 points, and had 3 assist in 16 minutes. White has little issue pushing the basketball up the floor, but will need to improve his decision making in the open court.
For as rough at times the Tar Heel offense looked at times, the defense traveled to Spartanburg. Kenny Williams was tremendous on the defensive end, harassing the SoCon preseason Player of the Year, Fletcher Magee to 21 points on 7–23 shooting. Magee who shot over 40% from behind the arc a season ago, was just 3–16 from deep. Cameron Jackson, who dominated the upset a season ago in Chapel Hill,struggled with foul trouble, but still managed to produce 10 points and 9 rebounds.
While Tuesdays night win wasn’t as impressive, as let’s say Kansas or Duke, but not many teams are willing to do what Carolina did, play a true road game to open the season. So let’s take a look at 3 takeaways from the win over Wofford:
Garrison Brooks’ Big Night: There were many times last season that the freshman from Alabama, looked like a freshman. Brooks struggle with consistency on both ends of the floor. A summer in the weight and film rooms have proven to be effective. Roy Williams has made it known, that Brooks is the most dependable of all the bigs on the roster, outside of Luke Maye. All of his hard work came to tuition, against Wofford as Brooks set the tone with his physicality on both ends.
Turnovers: While the Tar Heels did lose 2 of their best ball handlers, in Joel Berry and Theo Pinson, this is still worth talking about. The Tar Heels committed 15 turnovers against the Terriers, accounting for 21% of their possessions. In a game that didn’t total a high amount of possessions that number will need to decrease against better competition. With that in mind, remember Coby White is a freshman playing the toughest position on the floor and that Seventh Woods is just how healthy. Both will improve as the season moves along.
Healthy Cam Johnson: When the forward from Pittsburgh, transferred to Carolina last summer, coaches and fans expected to see what we saw Tuesday. Johnson made timely shots, mostly from behind the three point line. He also hauled in 8 rebounds, a part of his game, the coaching staff has asked more from him.
Cam won’t shoot 5–7 from distance every night, but his outside shooting threat, and his length and ability to go to the basket should make him this teams second option on offense. More importantly it’s just good to finally see him healthy.
Up Next: Carolina will play their second straight road game Friday night at Elon, to help another local school open their new arena. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU at 7.