Which UNC Lineups Were Most Productive?

Caleb Love and RJ Davis: Better apart than together?
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UNC coach Roy Williams used 16 different lineups in the Tar Heels season-opening win over College of Charleston. Only two of them merited a second look.

Williams used the starting lineup—Armando Bacot, Leaky Black, Garrison Brooks, RJ Davis and Caleb Love—three times in the game. They started each half and reunited about halfway through the first half.

The other lineup that took the floor multiple times was Black, Brooks, Love, Andrew Platek and Day’Ron Sharpe. That group took the floor for the first time on the game’s first substitutions. They returned after the under-eight timeout in the first half. They returned twice in the second half.

Those two lineups were on the floor for nearly half the game, with each one seeing about triple the time of any other combination of players. Here’s a look at the playing time for the 16 combinations used.

nc lineup pt

There’s a reason the Black/Brooks/Love/Platek/Sharpe group saw so much time. Together, they scored a quarter of UNC’s points for the game and had the highest lineup plus/minus of any lineup used. 

nc lineup pm

They put together an 8-0 run in the first half to help UNC build a 16-2 lead. In the second half, they threw up a 5-0 run in the middle up Carolina’s 17-0 stretch.

On the flip side, the starters had the toughest go of it, getting outscored by a total of six points, the worst plus/minus of any lineup combination.

Some other interesting notes from the lineup plus/minus.

The freshman guard combination of RJ Davis and Caleb Love were outscored by five points when on the floor together.

Davis without Love was plus one, while Love without Davis was plus 20. When neither were on the floor—when Williams cleared his bench in the final minutes—UNC was plus three.

For the big-man combinations, Garrison Brooks and Armando Bacot were minus eight on the floor together. Bacot and Kessler were plus eight. Bacot and Sharpe were minus two. Brooks and Sharpe were plus 18 together.