Luke Maye: More than a one-hit wonder for UNC

 

No matter what happens in Phoenix, this season has already been a success for North Carolina. Luke Maye helped advance UNC to the Final Four for the second straight season — and an NCAA-record 20th time — thanks to his game-winning jump shot versus Kentucky. His improvement during his second season in Chapel Hill, however, did not come down to just one shot. We have the stats to back that up, too.

Maye carved out a role in 2016-17 amid a crowded frontcourt at North Carolina. That was possible because he was able to differentiate himself from fellow post players — Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks and Tony Bradley — as a floor-spacer. Maye offers shooting, and he brings it from a spot on the floor that rarely provides that skill in North Carolina’s offense.

Outside of when Roy Williams played P.J. Hairston and Reggie Bullock together at the two forward spots in 2012-13, Maye is the first true stretch-4 at UNC since Jawad Williams back in 2005.

Maye’s improvement as a shooter has been a serious boon for North Carolina, and it has manifested itself in more ways than just the game-winner against the Wildcats.