Stats & Info: Michael McAdoo

Missed free throws costing Tar Heels

December, 20, 2013

Grant Halverson/Getty Images
North Carolina has been frustrated by poor free throw shooting all season
The charity stripe has been anything but giving for the North Carolina Tar Heels this season.

The most recent example: Wednesday’s three-point loss to Texas in which the Tar Heels missed 23 free throws. But that was hardly an isolated incident.

Here’s a look at the struggles UNC has faced all season from the line:

Free throws are killing the Tar Heels
UNC has missed 128 of 317 free throw attempts this season, an average of 12.8 a game. That is more than any other school in the country.

Three of the four worst free throw shooting performances in the Roy Williams era have already occurred this season. The Tar Heels missed 26 free throws against Belmont, 23 against Texas and 19 against Kentucky. Back in 2011, North Carolina missed 20 free throws against Nicholls State.

What should be a strength is a weakness
Actually getting to the line has not been an issue for UNC – they have the highest free throw rate in the ACC, averaging at least one free throw for every two field goal attempts.

Converting from the line, though, has been another story.

The Tar Heels have the eighth-worst free throw shooting percentage in the country, shooting 59.6 percent. Nicholls State is shooting the poorest from the line among D-I teams at 55.6 percent.

Poor 3-point shooting is compounding this problem
Struggles from beyond the arc for the Tar Heels this season have forced them to go inside more often. This has only added to their woes, as their big men have had trouble from the line.

This season 13 percent of UNC’s total points come from the 3-point line, the lowest in the country. During Roy Williams’ title seasons of 2005 and 2009, 3-pointers accounted for 26 percent and 23 percent of the total points, respectively.

Two of UNC’s three starting forwards, James Michael McAdoo and J.P. Tokoto, have shot 54.4 and 38.5 percent from the line, respectively.

The lone success
Though the team as a whole has struggled from the line, point guard Marcus Paige is not to blame. Paige is the only player on the team to have a free throw percentage higher than 75 this season.

Paige leads the ACC in free throw percentage and is one of only eight players in the country shooting better than 90 percent from the free throw line (min. 50 attempts).
The note, stat or trend you need to know about each top-25 team in action on Saturday.

San Jose State at 1 Alabama, 7 ET on Alabama enters 2010 having gone 22 straight quarters (five-and-a-half games) without an offensive turnover and an amazing 38 quarters (nine-and-a-half games) without being penalized for offensive holding.

Miami (OH) at 4 Florida, noon ET on ESPN and The Gators have won 20 consecutive season-opening games, outscoring opponents 970-244 (an average margin of victory of 36.3 points per game). The 20-game opening day win streak is nearly twice as long as the next longest active streak in the SEC (South Carolina has won 11 straight season openers).

5 Texas vs Rice, 3:30 ET on ESPN and Texas is opening a season away from Austin, TX for the first time since 1995, when the Longhorns won at Hawaii. It’s the fourth time Texas has played at Reliant Stadium, winning the previous three games by a combined score of 170-17. Two of the wins were over Rice and the other was a 70-3 win over Colorado in the 2005 Big 12 Championship game.

24 Oregon State vs 6 TCU, 7:45 ET on ESPN and TCU has led the nation in total defense each of the last two years. Since 1980, the Horned Frogs are just the fourth team to have the country's top-ranked defense in consecutive seasons.

Oregon State is ranked in the AP preseason poll for the first time since 2001. That season, the Beavers lost their opener and struggled to a 5-6 campaign under Dennis Erickson.

Utah State at 7 Oklahoma, 7 ET: The Sooners have won 30 consecutive home games, the longest active streak in the nation. The next closest is Boise State, at 26. The Sooners last loss at home came in the 2005 season opener to TCU.

Western Kentucky at 8 Nebraska, 7 ET: Nebraska has won 24 consecutive season openers, last losing in 1985 to Florida State. That's the longest active streak of wins in season openers in the FBS.

Eastern Illinois at 9 Iowa, 12:05 ET: Iowa’s No. 9 ranking in the AP poll is its highest to start a season since 1988, when they were also No. 9. That season, Iowa lost its season opener on the road against Hawaii en route to a disappointing 6-4-3 finish.

New Mexico at 11 Oregon, 3:30 ET: Oregon lost last year’s opener to Boise State. The Ducks haven’t lost consecutive season openers since losing four straight from 1980-83.

12 Wisconsin at UNLV, 11 ET The Badgers have won 24 consecutive regular-season games against non-conference opponents. Their last loss came at home to UNLV on Sept. 13, 2003.

South Carolina State at 16 Georgia Tech, 1 ET on Under Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech has opened with a FCS opponent all three seasons. That’s a contrast from the three years before Johnson arrived, when the Yellow Jackets opened at Auburn, vs Notre Dame and at Notre Dame.

Tennessee Tech at 17 Arkansas, 7 ET on Arkansas is 2-0 all-time vs teams currently in the Ohio Valley Conference, beating Southeast Missouri State in 2006 (63-7) and 1906 (12-0). Tennessee Tech is 0-19-1 all-time against current SEC teams with the tie coming against Vanderbilt in 1939.

21 LSU vs 18 North Carolina, 8 ET on ABC: Saturday's most-anticipated game will take place at the Georgia Dome, which suits LSU just fine. The Tigers are 7-1 all-time there and their last win was a blowout over another ACC opponent. They beat Georgia Tech 38-3 in the 2008 Chick-fil-A Bowl. Six of LSU's seven wins at the Georgia Dome have come against top-15 teams.

Reports indicate that North Carolina will be without as many as 10 players on defense: Robert Quinn, Michael McAdoo, Kendric Burney, Charles Brown, Marvin Austin, Brian Gupton, Da'Norris Searcy, Jonathan Smith, Linwan Euwell and Deunta Williams. Those players combined to register more than 40 percent of the Tar Heels tackles for a loss and better than three quarters of UNC's interceptions in 2009.

Youngstown State at 19 Penn State, Noon ET: Penn State is 12-13 all-time against Ohio State but 18-2 against all other schools from Ohio. This is just the second time Penn State and Youngstown State will meet. The other came in September 2006, a 37-3 Penn State victory at home.

Samford at 20 Florida State, Noon ET on ESPNU: The last time someone OTHER than Bobby Bowden was the head coach for a Florida State season opener was on September 13, 1975. Darrell Mudra coached the team to a loss at Texas Tech. FSU would finish 3-8 that year and Bobby Bowden began his reign the following season. Both Bowden and current FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher played quarterback at Samford.

Arkansas State at 22 Auburn, 7 ET on Auburn has won its season-opening game 90 times. The Tigers trail rival Alabama by one for the most wins in season openers by any SEC school.

Louisiana-Lafayette at 23 Georgia, 12:21 ET on Georgia has been almost unbeatable at home against non-conference opponents under head coach Mark Richt, going 25-1. The only loss came against Georgia Tech in 2008.

Coastal Carolina at 25 West Virginia, 3:30 ET on Tailback Noel Devine enters his senior season with 3,381 career rushing yards, fifth on the school’s all-time list. He needs 542 to tie Steve Slaton for fourth and 705 yards to reach third (Amos Zereoue).