For a game as simple as basketball, stats and analytics play a significant role in evaluating a team's performance throughout the season. Just ask Freddie Kiger, long-time ACC statistician. Here are a handful of statistics that best narrate North Carolina’s 17-4 start, as well as its early dominance in ACC play.
29.9 percent opponent 3-point percentage
The strongest attribute of the Tar Heels’ defense so far has been their ability to run teams off the 3-point line. UNC is on pace to hold opponents to under 30 percent from three — a program low that would surpass the 2014-15 season.
Despite losing the skill set of Leaky Black — arguably the nation’s best on-ball defender from last year — North Carolina bolstered its defense through the transfer portal. The addition of Harrison Ingram, Jae’Lyn Withers and Cormac Ryan brought more athleticism and length to pair with the already solid defending of Armando Bacot and Seth Trimble.
The influx of defenders has allowed UNC to stifle opponents' collective field goal percentage to only 39.8 percent. Combine that with North Carolina’s dominant rebounding margin and the Tar Heels are rated No. 4 in adjusted defensive efficiency per Kenpom.
Preventing Duke from heating up from deep will be key for UNC, as the Blue Devils tout four 3-point shooters above 40 percent.