Though North Carolina is in its customary spot in the top 10 of the AP poll, coach Roy Williams is hardly pleased with his team’s performance.
Williams’ ninth-ranked Tar Heels have also struggled on the road this season, and will look to improve their play in their final non-conference game Monday night at the College of Charleston.
The Tar Heels (11-3) won their last three games by an average of 22.7 points, but nagging problems like defensive inconsistency and poor shot selection have bothered Williams.
A poor finish to an 87-70 win over visiting Albany on Wednesday night didn’t soothe any of his concerns. After building a 38-point lead in the second half, North Carolina was outscored 23-2 in the final 7 1/2 minutes.
That had Williams making plans for a team meeting the next day with the goal of correcting those problems, and getting more accountability from his players, before ACC play begins.
“We’ve got to get better,” Williams said. “It is frustrating right now. The kids are frustrated. It’s probably the most negative I’ve been with any team, but we talk about so many things and say the same things over and over. You know what? They’re great kids and we’re going to be all right. We’ve just got to do a better job.”
Those same problems have contributed to the Tar Heels’ 1-3 mark away from Chapel Hill, although North Carolina faced four current Top 25 teams in those games.
The Tar Heels allowed a season-high 103 points in a defeat to Texas at Cowboys Stadium on Dec. 19, and shot under 39.0 percent while losing at Kentucky on Dec. 5 and to Syracuse at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 20.
The Tar Heels should have a good chance to earn their second road win when they face an inconsistent College of Charleston team.
North Carolina could also get a boost if sophomore guard Justin Watts returns from a right ankle injury, suffered during last week’s win over Rutgers. However, senior swingman Marcus Ginyard, who has missed consecutive games with a sprained right ankle, might sit out again.
Charleston (7-6) won for just the second time in five games Saturday, 88-73 over South Carolina State.
The Cougars improved to 5-0 at home by posting their highest point total this season and shooting 52.2 percent - also a season best. Junior guard Andrew Goudelock, the team’s leading scorer with 17.9 points per game, had 22, and senior forward Casaan Breeden added a career-high 20.
The matchup with North Carolina should be considerably tougher. College of Charleston will be hosting an ACC team for the first time and has dropped nine of 13 against opponents from that conference. The Cougars are 2-3 against the Tar Heels.
The Tar Heels rolled to a 108-70 home victory over the College of Charleston on Jan. 7 in the teams’ first meeting since 2001.
Charleston has dropped seven in a row to Top 25 teams dating to a win over North Carolina on Dec. 5, 1998.
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