Moving forward, North Carolina needs to help its posts out by aiding in help defense and giving them more touches. The reward? Dominant performances like Gakdeng's against FGCU, a game in which she recorded 22 points on perfect shooting from the field and free throw line.
UNC women's bench
Despite the depth that head coach Courtney Banghart praised her team for in the offseason, UNC's bench simply hasn’t lived up to the hype. In Florida, UNC’s non-starters averaged fewer than 15 points per game, although their overall performance was admittedly hard to evaluate as UNC's lineups were constantly changing.
The biggest takeaway? Indya Nivar plays better coming off the bench — the Stanford transfer averaged eight points across the two games in which she didn't start, compared with scoring zero points in the Vermont game where she played for 20 minutes.
UNC men's guards
There wasn’t much new to learn from Davis, who tied his career-high against Arkansas with 30 points, earning him ACC Player of the Week honors.
Preseason ACC Rookie of the Year Elliot Cadeau fouled out two of his games, but made his first start against Arkansas with graduate guard Cormac Ryan out with an injury. Judging by his baseline pass that set up Ryan’s clutch corner three to force overtime against the Wildcats, along with his shooting efficiency and assist-to-turnover ratio, Cadeau should keep starting.
Ryan finally found his rhythm from beyond the arc, going 5-14 in two games after starting the year 3-14 (with a few airballs). He also showcased an underrated one-dribble mid-range pullup off a curl, along with his slashing ability on some tough drives.
UNC men's forwards
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Ingram earns an A-plus here — the Stanford transfer’s dynamic 3-point and back-to-the-basket scoring abilities were on full display. He also had two double-doubles.
But Ingram’s grade is offset by Armando Bacot (C-plus), who shot 40 percent or lower in all three contests. The fifth-year forward often blundered easy put-backs, typically one of his scoring staples. After averaging nearly 23 points through the first three games of the season, Bacot scored just 27 total in the Bahamas.
Louisville transfer Jae’Lyn Withers contributed solid minutes, but was foul-prone. Villanova’s Eric Dixon, who was guarded by Withers and Bacot, dropped 34 points with a combination of bully ball and outside shooting.
UNC men's bench
Sophomore guard Seth Trimble isn’t a non-factor on offense anymore thanks an improved jump shot. Last year, he went 1-6 from downtown in 33 games. In the Bahamas alone, Trimble went 2-3 from 3-point range.
Graduate guard Paxson Wojcik hasn’t quite found his stride from long range, going 2-8 on the year. But the Brown transfer, who was hailed as a sharpshooter, didn’t hesitate in attacking the basket, finishing a tough contested layup and showcasing a floater package.
Jalen Washington’s length helped him get three blocks over the break, but the sophomore forward saw limited action in the Bahamas.
@danielhwei | @shelbymswanson
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Shelby Swanson is the 2023-24 sports editor at The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously served as an assistant sports editor and senior writer. Shelby is a junior pursuing a double major in media and journalism and Hispanic literatures and cultures.
Daniel Wei is a 2023-24 assistant sports editor at The Daily Tar Heel. He has previously served as a senior writer. Daniel is a junior pursuing a double major in business administration and economics.