The North Carolina Tar Heels have had a strong start to their 2018-19 campaign by most metrics. They have compiled a 6-1 record, which gives them the No. 11 seed in the nation, only falling in an upset to Texas (but then again, what UNC team hasn't lost to the Longhorns?).
However, forward Luke Maye has had anything but a good start to the season, which comes as a disappointment to the Tar Heels and their fans.
Maye entered his senior season with plenty of fanfare, as he was named the third-best player on CBS Sports' "Top 100 and One College Basketball Players." Seriously.
The @CBSSports annual list of the Top 100 And 1 College Basketball Players has published.— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) October 17, 2018
1. R.J. Barrett (Duke)
2. Carsen Edwards (Purdue)
3. Luke Maye (UNC)
4. Dedric Lawson (Kansas)
5. Caleb Martin (Nevada)
The rest …https://t.co/mDX6T1zS1P
Yet Maye has struggled making his shots through the first month of the season. If you want to circle any game specifically, where Maye's impact has been next to nil, it has to be the Tar Heels' only loss of the year at the hands of the Texas Longhorns. Maye made only five of his 15 field goal attempts, and was 1-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Even when looking at the previous matchup against the feckless Saint Francis (PA) Red Flash, Maye successfully made 4-of-11 shots.
Coby White singlehandedly keeping UNC in the game vs Texas.— Cooper Watson (@coopertwatson) November 23, 2018
Luke Maye doesn’t look good at all - undersized & he doesn’t have anything spectacular he can go to offensively.
Stand still jumpers & right handed hook shots.#HappyThanksgiving #Thanksgiving #LasVegasInvitational
Too many times this season, Coby White's had to do it all, bailing out Carolina with Hail Mary shots. The team hasn't been able to play from the inside out, featuring Maye in the post.
While Maye has proven to be a great rebounder for North Carolina (8.6 per game), he's going to need to fix his shooting woes, especially with the remaining opponents on his schedule. In fact, the Tar Heels play the No. 7 Michigan Wolverines, No. 1 Gonzaga Bulldogs, and No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats in three of their next four games.
If the Tar Heels are to win consistently in this tough stretch of games, they are going to need Luke Maye to contribute and properly dictate the game.