Tag: Roy Williams

Nate Britt, Marcus Gilbert
AP Photo/Gerry Broome

Britt helps No. 1 UNC beat Fairfield 92-65 in home opener

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) Nate Britt matched his career high with 17 points and No. 1 North Carolina gradually pulled away in the second half to beat Fairfield 92-65 on Sunday.

Joel Berry II added 15 points for the Tar Heels (2-0), who led all the way to win their 14th consecutive home opener. But UNC followed its 24-point win over Temple in Friday’s opener with an unimpressive showing full of missed free throws and leaky defense.

The Tar Heels struggled to put away a team that went 7-24 last season, a performance that had Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams burn a first-half timeout and let his team have it during an animated stoppage.

UNC led 40-32 at halftime and didn’t put the game away until the final 10 minutes against the Stags (0-2), who hit 10 3-pointers that kept them hanging around longer than expected.

The Tar Heels are playing without preseason Atlantic Coast Conference co-player of the year Marcus Paige for the first few weeks of the season due to a broken right hand, so the play of Britt and Berry along the perimeter in Paige’s absence at least offered some positives for the Tar Heels.

Britt, a junior, finished 6 for 9 from the field and tied his career high by making 4 of 6 3-point attempts, while Berry added three 3s while taking the bulk of the point guard duties with Paige out.

Brice Johnson scored 16 points as UNC had five players in double figures and shot 50 percent, though the Tar Heels made just 18 of 32 foul shots.

Marcus Gilbert scored 25 points to lead Fairfield before fouling out in the final minutes.

The game was part of the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Classic, though it wasn’t part of the event’s elimination rounds.


Fairfield: The Stags shot 35 percent for the game. … Fairfield committed 19 turnovers, helping the Tar Heels to a 22-0 edge in points off turnovers. … Freshman Jonathan Kasibabu had 10 rebounds.

UNC: Sophomore Theo Pinson finished with 11 points, five rebounds and eight assists in his second straight start. … Fellow sophomore Justin Jackson had 11 points. … Kennedy Meeks had 12 rebounds, while Johnson grabbed 11. … UNC shot 55 percent in the second half.


Fairfield: Visits Northwestern on Wednesday.

North Carolina: Hosts Wofford on Wednesday.

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap and the AP’s college basketball site at http://collegebasketball.ap.org.

Loss of Marcus Paige a tough hit for North Carolina

Associated Press

While North Carolina doesn’t lack for depth on a team many expect to contend for a national title this season, senior guard Marcus Paige is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle. That’s what makes Wednesday’s news, as the program announced that he will be out 3-4 weeks due to a broken right hand, so important for a team with designs on winning head coach Roy Williams’ third national title.

Paige fractured the third metacarpal on his non-shooting hand in practice on Tuesday, according to the school announcement. While the fact that the injury won’t impact his shooting hand can be seen as a positive, not having Paige means that North Carolina’s other perimeter figures will need to step forward.

“I hate it for Marcus,” Williams said in the release. “He’s such a wonderful young man – one of the most outstanding people I have been lucky to coach. I know he’ll handle this with the same level of maturity and responsibility that he does everything else.

“Our team will certainly be challenged in his absence. We will need everyone up and down the roster to step up their games and take care of each other and our team until he gets back.”

Both Joel Berry II and Nate Britt have experience playing the point, so that will help the Tar Heels in their adjustment to playing without Paige running the show. However, there area of greatest concern in this is perimeter shooting, as the senior captain was clearly North Carolina’s best option in that department.

Justin Jackson (30.4 percent) and Britt (36.6 percent) were second and third on the team in made three-pointers a season ago with twenty-eight and twenty-six, respectively. Combined those two made forty fewer three-pointers than Paige (94), and having a credible perimeter shooting threat can open things up for North Carolina’s front court as well. And with that being the case freshman Kenny Williams, a top 100 prospect lauded for his perimeter shooting ability, could see some opportunities with Paige sidelined.

Given the timeframe Paige will miss North Carolina’s game at Northern Iowa on November 21, which was scheduled as a homecoming game for the Iowa native. North Carolina’s showdown with fellow national title contender Maryland is scheduled for December 1, which falls four weeks to the day on which Paige suffered the injury.

North Carolina preseason pick to win ACC championship

Roy Williams
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) North Carolina is the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tar Heels return one of their most-experienced lineups in seven seasons,

The Tar Heels received 60 of 89 first-place votes from media members at Wednesday’s ACC media day, leading two-time regular-season champion Virginia and defending NCAA Tournament champion Duke. North Carolina returns four starters and nine of its 10 leading scorers from last year’s team, which finished 26-12.

North Carolina’s Marcus Paige and Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon shared preseason player of the year honors. Duke freshman Brandon Ingram was named the league’s preseason rookie of the year, and was also picked for the preseason all-ACC team along with Paige and Brogdon.

The rest of the all-conference team picks were Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Notre Dame’s Demetrius Jackson.