I love records. I love keeping track of records. I love watching a player accumulate ridiculous stats. Think of Brice Johnson last year being the first player is Carolina history with 400 rebounds in a season. Think of Tyler Hansbrough in 2009 setting UNC career records for points, rebounds, and free throws made.
Being over 20 games into the season, it’s a great time to take stock of how this year’s players are progressing in several different individual career and season statistical record boards.
The Tar Heels have now played exactly 22 games in the 2016-17 season. There are 10 regular season games left – all ACC conference match-ups. It’s safe to assume, barring an epic meltdown, that there will be at least two postseason games – one in the ACC Tournament and one in the NCAA Tournament. At most (assuming the Tar Heels have a top-4 ACC seed), the postseason could have as many as nine games (three in the ACC Tournament and six in the NCAA Tournament). So UNC could play as few as 12 more games this year or as many as 19 (or technically 21 if the Tar Heels fell to the 10th-15th seed in the ACC and ran the table in the conference tournament). That would be a total of anywhere from 34 to 41 total games.
Despite the volatility of postseason play, all end-of-season projections will be calculated for a nice, round 40-game season based on how the player has performed to this point in the season (either using totals or per game averages). This approach assumes that a player’s output will continue as it has the first 20 games of the season, which is obviously an oversimplification and shortcoming of this method, but will suffice for our goals of looking ahead.
What follows is a look at several of the top players in 10 different statistical categories, for both career and single season, along with where they currently rank and where they project to rank assuming a 40-game season. I’ve bolded any place where a player projects to finish in the top-10 of a certain stat.
To save you the time, here is a list of players projected to finish in the top-10 in any of the stat categories:
- Joel Berry
- Career Free Throw % – 87.1% – 1st
- Single Season Free Throw % – 91.2% – 1st
- Single Season Made 3-Point Field Goals – 86 – 7th
- Justin Jackson
- Single Season Made 3-Point Field Goals – 98 – 1st
- Single Season Points – 720 – 7th
- Kennedy Meeks
- Career Rebounds – 1060 – 5th
- Single Season Rebounds – 386 – 5th