North Carolina embarked on a western journey that will lead to the Maui Classic next week, and on Friday night the Tar Heels made a pit stop to play a late contest at Long Beach State. After another offensively sluggish first half, they put separation between themselves and the 49ers in the second frame and eventually won 78-63.

Carolina won’t replicate last season’s big scoring numbers, when the Heels frequently topped 100 points. This year, surpassing the 80-point threshold will be an accomplishment. Roy Williams said in the preseason that his club must shoot accurately from deep to compensate for sub-optimal interior scoring, but through the first three games inconsistency has been the rule. In the second half versus LBSU, at last, UNC converted 7-for-13 on threes.

We’ll learn much more about this team next week, when they play three games in three consecutive days against high-major competition. I’ll check in next week with a longer column, and in the meantime click here to view the LBSU box score.