The No. 9 North Carolina men’s basketball team breezed by Georgia Tech with a final score of 77-54 on Tuesday night. Carolina now sits at 16-4 on the season with a 6-1 record in the ACC. Here are three takeaways from the game -- including what this performance means moving forward.
Coby White stays hot, Cam Johnson turns things around
First-year guard Coby White continues to prove his worth on both ends of the floor, despite Head Coach Roy Williams’ usual insistence on seniority and veteran leadership. The reigning ACC Co-Freshman of the Week followed up a 27-point performance against Virginia Tech last Monday with 19 points, including a blistering 5 of 9 clip from 3-point range.
While turnovers have been a point of contention for White — par for the course for a first-year point guard playing in the ACC — he coughed it up just twice in 31 minutes and dished out eight assists to boot.
As for Cameron Johnson, the graduate senior guard eclipsed 15 points just once in the last four games entering Tuesday and managed just eight points in the win against Virginia Tech. However, he turned things around against the Yellow Jackets.
After scoring nine points in the first half, Johnson exploded for eight straight points to begin the second period, punctuated by an emphatic dunk following a Georgia Tech turnover. He led the Tar Heels with a game-high 22 points and shot an efficient 8-for-10 from the field -- including 4-for-6 from 3-point range.
Junior guard Brandon Robinson also deserves a mention. In a return to his home-state of Georgia, Robinson scored seven points in18 minutes off the bench. He is now a strong 7-12 from 3-point range in ACC play.
Improving defensive effort
Make no mistake: Georgia Tech does not have a potent scoring attack. The Yellows Jackets were No. 292 in the country in points per game entering the game, and they have just two players that average more than 10 points per game. Still, the ACC is the ACC, and holding a conference opponent well below its season average of 68.4 points per game has to feel good — especially for a North Carolina team that has had noticeable struggles on that end of the floor.