Category Archives: Records

Pecan or Lemon Meringue? An Unlikely Ode to Dean and Roy

Much of what I know about life I learned about from my maternal grandpa, Gene Lester Jarrett.

One thing Grandpa taught me is how to tie my shoes, since he and I are the only lefties in our family. I can vividly remember him coming to our house specifically for the purpose of teaching me the subtle nuances of southpaw shoe-tying.

Another thing I learned from my grandpa is how to appreciate all of God’s people. Grandpa approaches everyone with respect and honor. He taught me the importance of being able to call someone by name and to bring dignity to their life, no matter how “important” or not they are.

Grandpa also taught me some vital lessons about food.

If there was a food I didn’t want to try, he would joke with me, “Good, that leaves more for the rest of us!” While at the time I always rolled my eyes, of course I now use that very same line on my own children.

The single greatest food lesson I learned from Grandpa Gene dealt directly with dessert. You first need to know that my grandma is an unparalleled cook. Amongst other things, she makes phenomenal pies. She’ll typically make two different pies for dessert, like she did for Christmas dinner this year. You see, the multiplicity of pie possibilities provides options for someone who might not care for a singular pie option.

We were in Tennessee this year to celebrate Christmas with my extended family. Grandma made a pecan pie and a lemon meringue pie; two of my absolute favorites. Mere mortals would feel boxed in and choose just one of the pie selections for dessert. But not Gene Lester Jarrett.

When someone asks Grandpa if he wants pecan or lemon meringue, he sits back, furrows his brow in an attempt to appear boxed in by this difficult and limiting decision, and then definitively responds, “Yes.”

“Yes, Gene? What do you mean ‘yes’? I asked if you wanted pecan or lemon meringue. You can’t answer that with ‘yes’.”

“Yes. Give me a slice of both. I don’t want pecan OR lemon meringue, I want pecan AND lemon meringue.”

The man is a dessert genius. A dessert savant. The rest of us are playing dessert checkers and he’s playing dessert chess.

“What on earth do your grandpa’s dessert decisions have to do with North Carolina basketball?” Great question, glad you asked.

On the eve of Roy Williams breaking Dean Smith’s all-time wins record, you’re going to encounter a number of people in the days and weeks to come (if you haven’t already) who want to force you to choose between Coach Smith and Coach Williams. In this era of hyperbolic GOAT talk and ‘Top 5 Lists’ and if-you-aren’t-first-you-don’t-matter, there’s apparently no room in most peoples’ minds to allow both men to sit atop the pantheon of North Carolina college basketball.

But if you’re forced to pick one, it means you aren’t picking the other. If you choose Dean, you feel like you’re cheating on Roy. If you choose Roy, you feel like you’re cheating on Dean.

A vote for Dean means forgetting Hall-of-Famer Roy Williams’ 879 wins, three national championships, nine Final Fours, seven Conference Tournament Championships (three ACC, three Big 12, one Big Eight), 18 Conference Regular Season Championships (nine ACC, four Big 12, five Big Eight), multiple National Coach of the Year awards, nine Conference Coach of the Year Awards (two ACC, three Big 12, four Big Eight), and countless lives changed for the better amongst other astounding professional and personal accolades.

A vote for Roy means forgetting Hall-of-Famer Dean Smith’s 879 wins, two national championships, 11 Final Fours, 13 ACC Tournament Championships, 17 ACC Regular Season Championships, multiple National Coach of the Year awards, eight ACC Coach of the Year awards, one Olympic Gold Medal, and countless lives changed for the better amongst other astounding professional and personal accolades.

There’s no way you’re forcing me to pick just one of these two giants of college basketball coaching.

So as Roy Williams prepares to pass Dean Smith in total wins at some point in the coming days (hopefully on Saturday against Georgia Tech!), it doesn’t have to be a coronation for Coach Williams or a snubbing of Coach Smith.

This is a time for North Carolina faithful (and hopefully all of college basketball) to celebrate both men for the coaches, the teachers, the confidants, the activists, the role models that they both are.

This is a time to reflect on the memories that these gentlemen have inserted into your brain because of the way their basketball teams played on the court.

This is a time to remember how lucky you are to be a Tar Heel in that no other school can boast of two such renowned and successful coaches.

This is a time to think back on the scores of players whose lives have been completely altered because of one (or in some cases, both) of these men.

This is a time to recall the laughter you have when Coach Williams crouches down in a fiery defensive stance imploring his team to get a stop or how you would smile and shake your head at the absurdity of Coach Smith confidently convincing his team that they were going to win a game they had no business winning.

This is a time to relish the fact that neither of these men want or need the spotlight, but would rather focus on the young men in their care. After the win over Yale last Monday, Coach Williams didn’t want to be celebrated; he wanted to get back to the locker room as quickly as possible to check on the ailing Anthony Harris. Coach Smith would have done exactly the same.

This is a time to remember that both men would want you to celebrate the other. As Coach Smith’s son Scott said to Coach Williams after his 879th victory last Monday night, “Dad would be really happy.”

At the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be Dean OR Roy. Just like my grandpa choosing between my grandma’s pecan or lemon meringue pie, choose Dean AND Roy.

Coach Smith or Coach Williams? Just say, “yes”.

Midseason Records Projection

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


The Record Book

I love stats. Therefore I love records. Therefore I also love tracking the potential breaking of records. With the regular season wrapped up, and on the eve of the Tar Heels’ first ACC Tournament game, I thought it would be fun to open up the Carolina record book and see where current players stand in different Tar Heel stat categories.

We already know that Marcus Paige has set the Tar Heel record for made 3-pointers in a career (273 and counting – Incidentally, can you imagine what that number would be if he had been healthy all year and shot the ball around his normal 3-point percentage?). Let’s see where Marcus and Brice Johnson rank in some other stat categories (both career and single-season records) as they wrap up their time in Chapel Hill. We’ll also check in on the progress of some of their underclassmen teammates who are working their way into the Tar Heel record books.

Remember, Carolina could have as many 9 or as few as 2 games left. The ability for this group of Tar Heels to continue moving up the leaderboards depends on the number of games remaining.

Note: All stats (career & single-season) are updated through the end of the 2015-16 regular season.

Points (Career)

  1. Marcus Paige – 1718 (#16)
  2. Brice Johnson – 1559 (#25)
    • Needs 68 points to tie Eric Montross for #20
    • If he achieves this, there will be 2 of the top 20 UNC scorers of all time graduating together


  1. Brice Johnson
    • Career – 953 (#8)
      • 47 shy of 1000 for his career, which only 7 other Tar Heels have done. And it’s a prestigious list – Hansbrough, Perkins, Lynch, Cunningham, Jamison, Kupchak, Daugherty
    • This year – 334 (#T-14)
      • Needs 65 rebounds to tie Tyler Hansbrough for the single season record.
      • It’s possible that Brice could become the first Tar Heel with 400 rebounds in a season.

FT% (Career)

  1. Marcus Paige – 330-389 – 84.8% (#2)
    • Marcus started the year #1 all time, and currently sits .1% behind Shammond Williams.
  2. Nate Britt – 146-176 – 83.0% (#11)
  3. Joel Berry – 100-122 – 82.0% (#14)
  • If this holds through the remaining seasons of Britt and Berry’s careers, this team would have 3 of the top 15 FT% shooters in Tar Heel history.

Career Field Goal % (Career)

  1. Brice Johnson – 655-1150 – 57.0% (#15)
  2. Kennedy Meeks – 375-670 – 56.0% (#T-17)
  3. Isaiah Hicks – 217-388 – 55.9% (#19)
  • If this holds through the remaining seasons of Meeks and Hicks’ careers, this team will have 3 of the top 20 in FG% in Tar Heel history.

Double-Doubles (Points/Rebounds) (Single Season)

  1. Brice Johnson
    • Has 19 this year. Single season record is 22.
    • Also, if current averages hold (16.8 ppg, 10.8 rpg), Brice would become the first player since John Henson in 2010-11 to average a double-double for the year. He would be only the 4th player to do so in the 2000’s (Henson, Hansbrough, May) and only 5th since 1975-76 (add in Jamison in 97-98).

Assists (Career)

  1. Marcus Paige – 566 (#10)
    • This one is sad for me because he has a chance to pass Kendall Marshall (581, #8) who would have destroyed the Tar Heel record books in terms of assists if he had stuck around another couple years. That reminds me of how absolutely ridiculous Marshall was. If Marshall had stayed, he had a chance to surpass Ed Cota for 1st in Tar Heel career assists (who, by the way, is 3rd all time in NCAA history).

Blocks (Career)

  1. Brice Johnson – 141 (5 behind Brad Daugherty for #10)

Steals (Career)

  1. Marcus Paige – 193 (#5)


We’ll check in again with these records (and any others that have come to light in the remaining games) after the season is over.

Any records I’m missing? Any other stats or records you want to know about? Leave a comment or drop me an email (