UNC Basketball: 2018-19 keys for Tar Heels to beat rival Duke

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CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA – DECEMBER 15: Head coach Roy Williams talks to Coby White #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the second half of their game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Dean Smith Center on December 15, 2018 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 103-90. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

2. North Carolina has to balance out three-point shooting

North Carolina has really done a good job in balancing out their consistent three-point shooters over the years. They have had guys like Justin Jackson, Joel Berry and Marcus Paige who go off in a season for a ton of triples. But usually there are a lot of guys who can knock down at least one per game in the rotation. Duke for the last two seasons though have really relied on just two guys.

R.J. Barrett and Cam Reddish have made quite a bit of shots from distance. They’re both shooting over just 33 percent from deep, but have combined for 116 three-pointers. The Tar Heels have their own pair of guys that are combing for over 110 three-pointers as well. Neither are guaranteed lottery picks so you don’t hear about them as much.

Cameron Johnson has made more three-pointers than anyone on Duke’s roster. He’s shooting over 47 percent from the outside with 67 total. Coby White has seven less than Reddish, but five more than Barrett. White is also shooting better than both of the Blue Devils. He’s really come around to be the Joel Berry or Marcus Paige of the team.

Duke has a major drop off in three-point shooting from there. I guess it doesn’t matter as much when there’s a monster in the middle named Zion Williamson. But North Carolina could start getting hot from deep and really force Duke to take shots. The Blue Devils did catch fire against Virginia and beat the pack-line defense by making those shots, but that’s not usually their game.

No other Blue Devil has made over 20 this season. North Carolina has two other guys with 20 or more. It was touch and go for a little bit this season with Kenny Williams. He’s been such a terrific scorer in his career. Especially in transition. But shots weren’t falling. Williams has come around with 33 three-pointers this season.

It may not always be a good thing when Luke Maye shoots three-pointers because he’ll get too trigger happy. His game is really around the basket with tip-ins. But he is good for at least one per night and shoots a solid 32 percent. If it starts to become a three-point shooting contest, North Carolina certainly has more depth in that area.

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