For much of the season, Jawad Williams was the steadying force for North Carolina.
While other individuals went through dry spells during the early stretches of the season, Williams was the most consistent Tar Heel, hitting double figures in the team’s first 19 games.
But since the calendar turned to March, Williams has struggled, reaching double digits just once in the last eight games.
The senior, who was third in the ACC in field goal percentage, has been particularly off during the NCAA Tournament, scoring just 18 points in four games on 8-of-22 shooting.
“One shot goes down, then you’re on the top of the world, you miss a shot, everyone’s all, ‘What’s wrong?’” said Williams, who was hampered in the tournament’s first weekend by a hip flexor and a knee injury.
“I can care less what I’m doing right now. I’m still playing; that’s the most important thing.”
The injuries most affected his jump shot.
After connecting on 39 percent of his 3-pointers in the regular season, Williams has missed his last seven attempts and has not made one since the opening-round victory against Oakland.
“He’s had a combination of things that have been bothering him for a couple of weeks,” said UNC coach Roy Williams. “I did tell him, ‘You’ve got to get your legs underneath you, get a little more bounce and get the ball up in the air.’”