CHAPEL HILL – Fans got a glimpse of the 2018-2019 Tar Heel basketball team last night when they took on Mt Olive in what Roy Williams called a “glorified practice”…and I’m sure they were grateful it was just that. UNC may have defeated the Trojans 107-64, but don’t get deceived by the 43 point margin of victory – the Tar Heels have work to do heading into the regular season.
Play got sloppy at times as Roy tinkered with different lineups and the 22 turnovers were completely unacceptable.
“I was extremely disappointed with the 26 assists and 27 turnovers,” Williams said after the contest. One of the three things we’ve been emphasizing more than anything else this preseason is not turning the ball over. So we’ve got to do a better job there.”
Turnovers weren’t the only thing Roy was unhappy about. The Tar Heels out-rebounded Mt Olive 69-36, but he explained why that stat alone doesn’t tell the full story.
“Everybody said “God you really killed them on the boards – 69-36,” and we did not kill them on the boards because they got 25 points on offensive rebound and we got 25 points on offensive rebounds. You’ve got to be more productive when get the rebounds.”
It wasn’t all bad for the Heels last night. Roy has been challenging his big men to step up their play and Garrison Brooks answered to the tune of 16 points on 6-9 shooting and 16 rebounds.
“Of all the big guys, he has had a better preseason that the others. If you think about the 6-9, there were three misses from eight inches away, so it would be helpful if he makes those, but he has had a better preseason than the other big guys.”
Another bright spot was the play of freshmen Coby White, Nassir Little and Leaky Black who all had respectable games – combining for 25 points in an average of 17 minutes of play.
Friday might not have been their best display of basketball heading into the regular season, but Cam Johnson wasn’t phased by it. He says this is still a confident squad.
“We’re very confident (heading into the season), because we know what we can do and we know what we need to fix.”