UNC vs. Boston College: Three things to watch

For those who believe that lightning does indeed strike twice, tomorrow’s UNC game against Boston College must be a huge sigh of relief. The last time these two teams met, the Heels easily took down the Golden Eagles 91-65, and barely sweated in the process. It also says a lot that it was a road game, because for the most part the Heels struggled a lot when they were away from the Dean Dome. Now they’re getting their chance against BC at home, and I’ll be blunt: it could be a bloodbath.

However, it’s also very possible that UNC would fall asleep at the wheel and the Golden Eagles steal a play that would almost certainly demolish any remaining hopes of an automatic NCAA Tournament bid. Nothing is really to be ruled out this season, so let’s look at the three keys to tomorrow’s game.

Love and Davis’ Road to Consistency

RJ Davis and Caleb Love stepped up their game last night against Virginia Tech, scoring 37 total points, seven assists and three turnovers. Love mostly had a game, as he totaled 22 of those points and five assists. After watching them fight against Miami and Wake Forest, it was great to see them succeed, but if I’m Hubert Davis, I challenge them to repeat that performance against Boston College.

The good thing about this game is that Love and Davis have had a similar performance in Boston before. In fact, it was nearly identical: The two sophomores combined for 39 points, seven assists and just two turnovers, and missed just four of their 16 shots. Davis was perfect in this game, going 5-5 from the field. When Davis and Love play their game and take advantage of defenses at the right times, it’s extremely difficult for teams to stop them. If they can stop themselves from playing hero ball and stay balanced, we might be looking at another blowout between these two teams.

Find the production on the bench

Last night against Virginia Tech, UNC scored just two bench points for the entire game. If we want to be more specific, the Heels bench went 0-4 from the field, with their only two points coming from free throws by Justin McKoy. With Dawson Garcia running out of time due to a family illness, Hubert Davis’ options off the bench are pretty sparse considering McKoy, Kerwin Walton and Puff Johnson were unable to produce. So what are his other options? D’Marco Dunn and Dontrez Styles.

At this point in the season, Dunn and Styles have seen limited time on the court. This has been a sore point for many Carolina fans who would like to see the two freshmen burn more, but Davis clearly has a plan for this team that involves Styles and Dunn learning everything they can before get a bunch of minutes. Does this strategy work? I’m not the person who should answer this question, but what I do know is this: Davis may have to abandon ship on this plan and see if Dunn and Styles can give the team some type of production. The other option is McKoy, Johnson, or Walton, but freshmen might be better off getting quality minutes against a sub-.500 ACC team so they can build their confidence in the game. February part of the calendar. .

Find efficiency

Despite beating Virginia Tech by 10 points, UNC still had a pretty lousy shooting night. They only hit 36% of shots from the field, but they knocked down 40% of their three-point attempts. Still, those nights shooting under 40% are starting to become a bad habit, as they also shot 33% from the field against Miami and Wake Forest. Needless to say, making three-pointers and free throws went a long way in eliminating the Hokies, but they’ll need to be a lot more effective going forward, and that’s starting against Boston College.

It’s hard to find a magic bullet when it comes to shooting percentages because honestly, I didn’t feel like UNC took so many bad shots last night. There will always be puzzles, but I think for the most part there are shots they usually do that just haven’t fallen in love with them. Part of that also goes to the bench, which went 0-4 on the pitch, so that never helps. You’d have to think they’ll shoot a lot better against Boston College, which will hopefully be a big confidence booster heading into their matchup against NC State on Saturday.