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
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.
- Marcus Paige – 1718 (#16)
- 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
- 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.
- Marcus Paige – 330-389 – 84.8% (#2)
- Marcus started the year #1 all time, and currently sits .1% behind Shammond Williams.
- Nate Britt – 146-176 – 83.0% (#11)
- 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)
- Brice Johnson – 655-1150 – 57.0% (#15)
- Kennedy Meeks – 375-670 – 56.0% (#T-17)
- 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)
- 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).
- 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).
- Brice Johnson – 141 (5 behind Brad Daugherty for #10)
- 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 (email@example.com).