Dec 02

Iowa-North Carolina Preview

<!– google_ad_section_start –> North Carolina looks much more balanced offensively this season, though its potential could be stunted if turnovers continue to be a problem.The 12th-ranked Tar Heels will look to put a cleaner performance together Wednesday night when they host Iowa in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.North Carolina (5-1) was the favorite to win last week’s Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas, yet was upset 74-66 by Butler in Wednesday’s first-round matchup. The Tar Heels, who were outscored 42-31 in the second half, responded with 22- & 11-point victories over No. 22 UCLA & No. 18 Florida to claim fifth place in the event.”Losing reinforces the fact that you need to play at a much higher level,” Iowa native Marcus Paige told the school’s official website after defeating the Gators. “It’s frustrating. I’m pleased we won those two games against ranked opponents. But it’s frustrating we needed that lesson, because we’ve had losses like that before.”The Tar Heels still haven’t learned their lesson in terms of turnovers, committing 19 versus Florida two days after they had as many against Butler. They were charged with 11 turnovers against UCLA.They averaged 10.3 turnovers in three games before heading to the Bahamas.”At times we moved the ball effectively, & at times we looked like we have never worked on press offense,” coach Roy Williams said.Offensive balance has been a strength for the Tar Heels, who have had four different players score at least 18 points in one game. Each starter scored in double figures versus Florida, led by Kennedy Meeks’ 18 points & a career best-matching 13 rebounds.North Carolina often struggled to complement Paige in 2013-14 as he averaged a team-high 17.5 points. He still leads the team this season at 15.2 points per game, yet he’s joined by three other players averaging at least 11.5 after only one did last season.The Tar Heels are moreover assisting on 64.5 percent of their field goals after doing so on 54.9 percent of their baskets in 2013-14.They’ll likely need to take better care of the ball, though, with Iowa (5-2) forcing 16.7 turnovers per game. …

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