Entering Friday’s exhibition game with Guilford College, the North Carolina men's basketball team’s biggest question was how to replace senior guard and vocal leader Marcus Paige.
The game hinted that it might be a group effort. In the Tar Heels’ 99-49 victory over the Quakers, 11 different Tar Heels scored and six players had double-digit points.
In recent seasons, UNC has garnered the reputation of being a poor shooting team, but there was no hesitance from beyond the arc in the opening minutes. After Guilford took a 2-0 lead, junior guard Nate Britt and sophomore guard Theo Pinson made consecutive 3-pointers.
By the end of the half, the Tar Heels knocked down five 3-pointers and shot 41.7 percent from behind the line. As a team, UNC shot 60.5 percent from the field. Pinson led the team with 10 points in the first half, followed by sophomore guard Joel Berry who had nine.
UNC outscored Guilford 47-25 in the second half and maintained its momentum shooting the ball. The Tar Heels finished the exhibition with a 61.8 field goal percentage and a 47.1 3-point percentage.
For the game, the Tar Heels forced 20 turnovers, and outrebounded the Quakers 47-25. Britt and Meeks finished with a team-high 14 points. UNC’s defense held Guilford to just 33.3 percent shooting and 25 percent from behind the 3-point line.
“Kenny (Williams) looked more comfortable than Luke (Maye) did. Luke had two turnovers in nine minutes. We don’t want our big guys to do that. Luke and Kenny I’m very, very impressed with.” — Coach Roy Williams on the performances of Williams and Maye.
In his first collegiate game, first-year Kenny Williams scored 12 points, notched five assists and grabbed four rebounds. Williams, who has a reputation as a shooter, made one 3-pointer in the exhibition.
Three numbers that matter
8: The Tar Heels knocked down eight 3-pointers in the exhibition. Britt, Pinson and Berry each made two.
44: UNC shot only 43.8 percent from the free throw line. As a team, the Tar Heels made just seven out of 16.
40: The UNC bench scored 40 points against Guilford. Off the bench, junior forward Isaiah Hicks scored 12 points and made six of his seven field goals.
UNC will play Temple next Friday in Annapolis, Maryland for its regular season opener.
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