Quick Hitters – Monmouth

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Kenny Williams shoots a 3-pointer against Monmouth on December 28, 2016. Williams and the Tar Heels closed out the pre-conference slate with a 102-74 win over the Hawks. Photo Credit: Jeffrey A. Camarati

Quick Hitters from Wednesday night’s 102-74 home win against Monmouth.

  1. Congrats to Kennedy Meeks for becoming the 20th Tar Heel to break the 800 career rebound mark. He’s currently at 803 rebounds. Jason Capel is 19th on the list with 807 career rebounds.
  2. Though Monmouth is not a sexy opponent, this was Carolina’s fourth game against a team picked to win their conference in the preseason. These types of games against veteran mid-major squads are invaluable.
  3. Joel Berry took what appeared to be a knee to the thigh in the first ten minutes of the game. Thankfully, this was not a re-injury to his ankle. After briefly leaving the bench, he came back into the game. With the beginning of ACC play pending, and three games over the course of seven days (including the Monmouth game), this will hopefully not be a deep bruise that causes Berry to miss time. How important is Berry? In the two games he missed, UNC averaged 78.0 points, while they have averaged 90.6 points in the games he’s played (not including Monmouth).
  4. Justin Jackson is absolutely on fire from deep. He hit five threes in the first half and tacked on one more in the second. The great thing is that the shots are in the flow of the offense, he’s still looking to get teammates involved, and he didn’t need a ton of shots (nine) to get his six threes. For the season, the Heels three most prolific three-point shooters (Jackson, Berry, Kenny Williams) are all shooting 40% or more from deep.
  5. Tony Bradley has done a lot really well this year. One thing he hasn’t done as much of as you would expect is record blocks. Coming into this game he had eight on the season (0.6 BPG). He recorded three in the first half of this game. Obviously, Monmouth has shorter interior players than a lot of teams UNC will face, but this is still a good sign.
  6. Speaking of Tony Bradley, he sometimes seems skittish finishing around the rim. He has the athleticism to finish dominantly and needs to begin to do so.
  7. Isaiah Hicks sported a new hair-do in this game. It was suspect. However, he scored 15 points and, more importantly, grabbed nine rebounds. If Isaiah is going to continue rebounding like that, he can sport whatever hair style he wants to.
  8. Justin Robinson for Monmouth had a great first half – 16 points. The Heels shut him down in the second half, however, and he finished the game with those same 16 points.
  9. Poor end to the first half for the Heels. A 19-point lead was whittled down to nine. This was reminiscent of several games in recent years when the Heels failed to close out the first half – most notably, last year’s national championship game.
  10. Three technicals on Monmouth within the first three minutes of the second half, over the course of 55 seconds. Six free throws for Joel Berry? Yes please. Those six free points ballooned the lead to 20 points
  11. Speaking of Joel Berry, he finished the game with no field goals. His only points were the six free throws off the technicals. However, on a night when everyone else wanted to turn the ball over, Berry had five assists and no turnovers.
  12. Ugh, turnovers. There were 17 turnovers in this game, a season high. Gotta clean this up.
  13. There were wholesale substitutions on three separate occasions in the second half.
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