Know what North Carolina needs? More shots from Reggie Bullock.
That’s kinda like saying the Yankees need more money to spend on free agents – the Heels are hardly hurting for offense – but it’s true. One of UNC’s question marks entering the season was having a reliable threat from beyond the arc. It’d be easier for Kendall Marshall to run that offense with someone to stretch defense.
An offseason injury to Leslie McDonald robbed them of one of their best shooters from last season, leaving Harrison Barnes as the only tested shooter from deep. Marshall and Dexter Strickland won’t cut it.
That leaves Bullock, who showed flashes of being that guy last season before he was hurt. This year, he’s hitting 45.5 percent of his shots from deep and is fourth on the team in scoring (9 ppg). Barnes hits at a higher rate, but Bullock has more attempts. (Freshman P.J. Hairston’s also a solid option at 43 percent, but he doesn’t play as many minutes as Bullock.)
Perhaps he’s found his groove, too
In the Heels’ last three games, he’s nine of 19 from deep. He was solid against Kentucky and was the difference in Saturday’s win against Long Beach State, scoring 15 points, 11 in the second half. From College Chalktalk:
“I’m a little more consistent this year,” he noted of his shooting and overall play, “I am getting a lot of shots up, keeping my reps up, and I am able to knock down shots.” It was a little mental last year. My knee is back to 100 percent. I am just building a lot of confidence in myself.”
Playing such a key role in a win over a strong team such as the 49ers is huge for Bullock’s mindset. North Carolina hopes that his consistency level maintains as the season goes on and they get into ACC play.
“That was a great confidence builder, Bullock summarized, “Just to be able to knock down big shots and build off of it.”
It’d help if he was more aggressive looking for his shot. He takes roughly 25 percent of UNC’s attempts when he’s on the floor, but that’s behind Barnes, Henson and Hairston. Plus, Bullock doesn’t play enough minutes to have the same production as those guys.
If he starts gunning a little more, all the better for UNC. There’s no harm in having a 6-7 wing who makes nearly half of his 3-point attempts occupying a higher percentage of the offense. If anything, it’ll make life easier down low for Henson and Zeller and maybe even help Barnes become a more efficient scorer.
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