Reggie Bullock is among UNCs best shooters

DEAN SMITH CENTER/CHAPEL HILL — Through the first three games of the season, North Carolina’s frontcourt led the way offensively. And not in addition to, but instead of its perimeter scorers. The imbalance tilted in the opposite direction tonight, however, as UNC heated up from the three-point stripe to blast Tennessee State 102-69.

Reggie Bullock became the story of the game. A sophomore whose freshman season was cut short due to a knee injury, Bullock stroked home 23 points on an improbable 6-for-7 from long range.

Bullock has become something of a forgotten man due to more than the injury. He’s a classmate of Harrison Barnes at the same position — though Roy Williams now is utilizing Bullock more frequently as a shooting guard, rather than a wing forward — and plays with a more laid back approach than the more gregarious Tar Heels such as John Henson.

Because UNC had struggled to this point shooting the ball — particularly as neither Dexter Strickland nor Kendall Marshall has yet demonstrated accuracy — Bullock’s emergence as a shooter could prove critical against more powerful foes.

Meanwhile, Henson continues to scorch. He shot 8-for-11 from the field en route to 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four blocks, game by game proving to be a far more complete player than anyone expected.

Harrison Barnes (16) and Tyler Zeller (12) were the other double-digit scorers, and Marshall contributed another monster assist night (15). The combination of size, athleticism, passing and shooting constituted by far Carolina’s best offensive showing, culminating in a 62 percent night from the floor.

The Heels weren’t at their best defensively, but they still smothered the Tigers into 39 percent shooting. Carolina’s defense should receive a greater test this weekend in Las Vegas; they’ll play South Carolina on Friday night and either Southern Cal or UNLV on Saturday. Click here to view the UNC/TSU box score.