Carolina Basketball Monday Tipoff: Nov. 18
Welcome to the Monday Tipoff, where we’ll catch up on the weekend and take a look at what's ahead for the Tar Heels and around the ACC and nation.
Expect this column to grow over the next several weeks with observations, analysis and all of the best plays and silliest moments in college hoops.
Carolina 77, Gardner-Webb 61
First, the good: the Tar Heels forced a season-high 13 turnovers, held the Runnin' Bulldogs to 36.8 percent shooting and got good contributions from Armando Bacot, Christian Keeling and Andrew Platek.
The bad: nearly everything else, leaving everyone disappointed in the offense, effort and transition play. Carolina needed 10 minutes to pass the 10-point mark, saw the offense get stagnant and yet again, had too many turnovers with 16.
Possibly good: Brandon Robinson, who sprained an ankle in the season-opener, went through pregame warmups and looked to be on schedule to potentially play when the Heels head to the Bahamas.
Wednesday, vs. Elon, 8:30 p.m. (RSN)
KenPom: Win, 99.8 percent
In Carolina's last tune up before the Battle 4 Atlantis, the Phoenix aren't likely to provide much of a challenge.
Elon, led by first-year coach Mike Schrage, begins a complete rebuild this season, where progress won't be measured in victories. So far, the Phoenix has been one of the nation's worst shooting teams, hitting 14 percent (352nd) from 3-point range and 33.3 percent on 2-point attempts (349th).
What does Carolina need to get out of this one? A dominant, 40-minute performance with a complementary scorer emerging behind Cole Anthony with the Tar Heels dictating tempo and effectively finishing in transition.
Player to Watch
After another slow start, Christian Keeling showed a few flashes of what he can give the Tar Heels, knocking down a couple of jumpers, finishing at the rim and then making two big plays — a block and an alley-oop — in transition.
All of the tools are there for Keeling to emerge as Carolina's second scorer. Will this be the game when it finally comes together for him?
Around the ACC
A record-setting scorer in high school, Syracuse's Joe Girard lived up to his legend in his first start for the Orange.
Virginia gave up a season-high 42 points in Saturday's win over Columbia, pushing its season average to 36.6 points allowed. Tighten it up, Hoos.
N.C. State took a step forward on Saturday in its blowout victory over St. Francis in Reynolds Coliseum.
Former Virginia point guard and coach Jeff Jones got his 500th win over the weekend at Old Dominion.
Not a great look, Pitt.
ACC Viewing Guide
Monmouth (1-3) at Pittsburgh (2-2), 7 p.m. (ACC Network)
Check out King Rice's squad vs. the Panthers.
Alcorn State (1-3) at N.C. State (3-1), 7 p.m. (RSN)
Georgia Tech (2-0) at Georgia (3-0), 7 p.m. (SEC Network)
Toledo (3-1) at Notre Dame (3-1), 8:30 p.m. (ACC Network)
No. 2 Duke (4-0) vs. California (3-0), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
Tre Jones is playing his best basketball for the Blue Devils, who are likely the new No. 1 on Monday.
Wake Forest (2-2) at Davidson (1-2), 7:30 p.m. (ESPN+)
It's Danny Manning's sixth season, and the Deacons already have losses to Boston College and Charlotte. Not good.
Around the Nation
Seton Hall's Myles Powell followed up his 37-point performance with 26 in Sunday's win over Saint Louis. He's averaging 30 games in the three games he finished.
UConn knocked off No. 15 Florida on Sunday. Seems Dan Hurley has the Huskies on the way back.
In womens' hoops, Texas Southern had its uniforms stolen before a loss to No. 1 Oregon.
UNCG and Wes Miller were on the wrong end of a buzzer-beater on Saturday night.
Tennessee's Yves Pons did Washington dirty.
National Viewing Guide
East Tennessee State at No. 5 Kansas, 8 p.m. (ESPN+)
The SoCon favorite should be able to give the Jayhawks a battle.
No. 10 Villanova vs. Middle Tennessee State, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Morning hoops! Yes!
No. 15 Florida vs. St. Joseph's, 1:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Afternoon hoops! Yes!
No. 23 LSU vs. No. 17 Utah State, 7 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
Sam Merrill and the Aggies are the mid-major team to know this season.
Houston at No. 14 Oregon, 9 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Kelvin Sampson's squad is always worth checking out, while Payton Pritchard and the Ducks are the Pac-12 favorite.
Meet a Mid-Major
East Tennessee State (3-0)
Might as well find out a little more about the Buccaneers ahead of their big chance at Phog Allen Fieldhouse this week.
Fifth-year coach Steve Forbes has averaged 25 wins since taking over at ETSU, largely thanks to a team that gets after it on the offensive boards and shoots the ball well.
This season, the Bucs are hitting 41.5 percent from 3-point range and making 60 percent of their 2-point attempts, ranking 17th nationally. Forbes' bunch is guard-heavy, led by Bo Hodges (15.3 points, 6.7 rebounds), Tray Boyd (13.7 points), and Patrick Good (13 points) with forward Jeromy Rodriguez (8.7 points, 7.7 rebounds) holding it down inside.