As North Carolina is a little over halfway through the 2019-2020 men's basketball season, it’s time to take another look at the “Carolina Basketball 2019-2020 Facts & Record Book,” which is filled with everything one would ever want to know about Tar Heel hoops. (If you missed the first part of this series, click here.)
There are some unique things that have happened in the history of North Carolina basketball; here are a few that you can impress your friends with.
There have been few players with more impressive careers than the one Tyler Hansbrough had at UNC. He was named first-team All-ACC four times and was a four-time first-team All-American.
One of the more impressive stats from his outstanding career came at the free-throw line. Hansbrough made 982 free throws throughout his career, an NCAA record. The next closest UNC player was Lennie Rosenbluth, who made 603 free throws, nearly 400 fewer than Hansbrough.
Another player with a wild career was Ed Cota. The guard was an all-around player that could fill up every aspect of the stat sheet. In fact, Cota is the only player in NCAA history with 1,000 points, 1,000 assists and 500 rebounds in his career.
He's also North Carolina’s all-time assist leader with 1,030 assists. The next-closest is Kenny Smith, who accumulated 768 career assists, followed closely by Phil Ford with 753.
Last time it happened
The 13:11 field goal drought that UNC had to open its game against Georgia Tech this season may have seemed dreadful for fans. But there's been worse.
The last time North Carolina went an entire half without scoring was in 1979 against Duke. At halftime, the Blue Devils led 7-0, and would go on to defeat the Tar Heels 47-40 to force a tie for the ACC Championship.
On a different note, the last North Carolina player to eclipse the 1,000 point mark in his career was Luke Maye in 2019. He was the 77th player in UNC history to reach the landmark. Those 77 players combine to be the most out of any NCAA team; Louisville is in second with 68 all-time 1,000 point scorers.
It’s very rare that one player can lead a team to an NCAA championship, making teamwork essential. Throughout the North Carolina record book, there are multiple records involving not one, but a tandem of players.
One of the more interesting records is that Bobby Lewis (43 points) and Larry Miller (32) combined for the most points by two players, an astonishing 75, in a game against Richmond in 1965. For context, this season’s Tar Heels are averaging just 70.8 points per game.
Offensively, perhaps the most balanced UNC team was the 1988-1989 squad. It is the only North Carolina basketball team to have six players average double figures. Those players were J.R. Reid (15.9 points per game), Kevin Madden (14.6), Steve Bucknall (13.1), Jeff Lebo (12.2), Rick Fox (11.5) and Scott Williams (11.4).
This season’s team has four players averaging double figures, with Armando Bacot barely hanging on with 10.1 points per game. The Tar Heels probably won't break many records this season, but keep an eye out for Cole Anthony's return; for UNC to turn its season around, he could have to set a few records by himself to close out the year.
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