UNC Basketball: Ways for Tar Heels to Improve Before ACC Play Begins

Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2012

CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 09:  Head coach Roy Williams of the North Carolina Tar Heels talks to his bench during a win over the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs during play at the Dean Smith Center on November 9, 2012 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 76-59.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

North Carolina has a lot of potential for this season, but the early play should be cause for concern.

Two losses have already set the team back a bit. Although one loss was to No. 1 Indiana, losing to Butler showed that there are still improvements to be made.

Fortunately, this is a relatively young team that is still learning how to play together. This squad has the ability to become contenders if they work on these factors in the next couple of weeks.


Consistent Rebounding

Against weaker competition, North Carolina is one of the better rebounding teams in the country.

James Michael McAdoo leads the team with 9.3 rebounds per game, as the Tar Heels are No. 3 in the nation with 45 boards per game.

Unfortunately, this club is very vulnerable when things do not go according to plan.

In the loss to Indiana, North Carolina was out-rebounded by 10. That was after having a minus-nine rebound differential in the loss to Butler.

For years, UNC has been able to dominate opponents by controlling the glass on both sides of the floor. The Tar Heels must continue to get this done to limit the other team's second chances and get some more of their own. 


Limit Turnovers

UNC can still score with any team in the country, but turnovers have hindered the overall production this season.

The fast-paced offense has contributed to an average of 18.9 assists per game, but the 14.5 turnovers do not provide a good ratio.

One of the big problems is in the guard play.

Marcus Paige has proven that he can be a solid scorer as a freshman, but he's had at least two turnovers in every game and he is averaging three per game.

He needs to learn from senior Dexter Strickland about how to play within himself and not give up chances to score.

Most of the issues are mental, so this is something that should be solved with more experience. However, it will still require focus throughout the season. 


Get Reggie Bullock More Looks

Reggie Bullock has slowly improved throughout his college career. Now it is time for him to break out and become a star.

Through eight games, the junior is averaging 12.3 points per game. He has also made 49.3 percent of his shots from the floor, including an incredible 48.7 from three. 

He is one of the best scorers on this loaded team, but he is not always looking to create for himself. He needs to find open looks and be the person to put up points when his team needs it the most.

In addition, Bullock can be more efficient if he starts driving towards the basket and drawing more fouls. He is a solid free-throw shooter, but has only taken 56 attempts in his entire career.

There are a lot of ways to score on a basketball court. Bullock needs to utilize all of his abilities to build up points and become the veteran leader that he is capable of being.