Roy’s Boys: Elon Preview

For the second time this week, Carolina will play a road game against a local mid major program, Elon. Carolina notched a 78–67 win over the Wofford Terriers, Tuesday night to open the season. Elon also started off the season with a win over Manhattan, also on the road. The game against the Tar Heels will be very special to Elon, as it’s the first time Carolina is in town since 1950. If that wasn’t neat enough, Elon will also be dedicating their new arena, the Schar Center.

Even with all the good feelings around the campus of Elon, there is still a basketball game to be played. Carolina wasn’t very sharp against Wofford, Tuesday as you’d expect in a season opener. Led by seniors Luke Maye and Cameron Johnson, and some unexpected offense from Garrison Brooks, Carolina did enough to win a road game. Meanwhile Elon was paced by Tyler Seibrings’ 17 points and 8 rebounds, at Manhattan. If Carolina wants to improve to 2–0 , and spoil the party at Elon, let’s look at 3 things to keep our eyes on:

Can Garrison Back up Tuesday’s Performance: Even though it was against less quality competition, Garrison Brooks really stood out against Wofford. He recorded a career high 20 points, on an effective 9–15 shooting. He also drew praise from his head coach, for diving on the floor for a loose ball 30 seconds into the game. Elon might be another lesser opponent, but these games are important for Brooks to gain confidence in himself.

Turnovers: This might be a common theme I write about early this season, as the team searches for consistent play from the point guard position. Carolina turned the basketball over 15 times, or 21% of their possessions earlier this week. Those numbers are survivable during the early part of the non-conference schedule, but they’ll need to improve as competition gets better.

Kenny Williams Offensive Production: While the senior failed to score against Wofford, head coach Roy Williams felt like he dominated the game with his defense on Fletcher Magee. It won’t be every night that 3 players combine for over 60 points in a game. I don’t want to come across as overreacting, because I’m not, but it’ll be important for Kenny to be involved and making shots.

Series Stats: UNC is 18–4 all time against Elon. Including 4–3 on the road. The last time these two teams played, UNC won 100–62 back in 2011.

KenPom Rankings:

UNC: Adjusted Offense-115.3 (5th) Adjusted Defense-89.9 (6th)

Elon: Adjusted Offense-99.8 (195th) Adjusted Defense-103.5 (236th)

The game starts at 7 pm and will be broadcasted on ESPNU.