Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina

UNC Basketball Insider: Luke Maye

Inside Carolina compiled insider perspectives to create an exclusive player-by-player preview of North Carolina's 2016-17 season.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- Luke Maye was able to slowly acclimate to the college game in his freshman season due to a wealth of experienced talent ahead of him in the post. With Brice Johnson playing in the NBA, along with the lack of a stretch/power forward in the freshman class, the 6-foot-8, 230-pound sophomore assumes the role of Isaiah Hicks’s primary backup at the 4-spot. Roy Williams will undoubtedly play with a small lineup for stretches of time, although Maye’s rebounding and his ability to knock down shots outside of the paint should provide the Huntersville, N.C. native with significant playing time in 2016-17.


Roughly 44 percent of Maye’s rebounds last season came on the offensive glass.

Earned All-ACC Academic Team honors.

Maye’s father, Mark, played quarterback at UNC from 1984-87 and led the ACC in passing yards in 1986.


Luke Maye averaged 5.4 minutes per game as a freshman, and while that’s a small sample size, he played in 33 games, seeing minutes in many competitive contests. Maye has the potential for more minutes this season due to the team’s lack of frontcourt depth, so it’s worthwhile to explore where he helps the most. That stat is easily identifiable: offensive rebounds. Maye grabbed three or more offensive rebounds in four different games, but the big picture numbers are even more impressive. He led the team in offensive rebound percentage with 16.1%. In other words, when Maye was on the floor and offensive rebounds were to be had, no one grabbed a higher percentage of them than Maye. And, note that his per-40-minute total rebound number was second only to Brice Johnson.


by Rob Harrington

By any reasonable standard, Maye delivered more effective minutes his freshman year than we’d expected. He showcased the hustle and instincts that enabled him to outshine his taller and more athletic peers in high school, and some of his production there did translate to college. That said, offensively he still must discover a workable scoring attack, because he’s unlikely to meet find success while operating with his back to the basket. Maye’s best bet is to deliver face-up jump shooting on the secondary break, and his work during the summer suggests that’s exactly how he’ll tailor his game as a sophomore. Look for a slight increase in his role this season, with a big jump set for 2017-18.


by Dewey Burke

Luke should continue to fill a role similar what Jackson Simmons filled prior to graduating: screener, passer, rebounder and intelligent role-player.  Luke should only play spot minutes with the arrival of Tony Bradley and our ability to play small, but if we don't stay healthy Luke will see more minutes.  Give Luke credit - it appears he has done all that he can control to give himself the best chance to earn minutes. He's in fantastic shape, is coachable and is a smart player who, as a big, is a good free throw shooter.  What he lacks in natural ability and size, he can hopefully make up for with intelligent positioning, instincts and one of RWs favorites - making the easy play. 

It's amazing how often just making the right pass, the right screen, the right box out - when it was in fact the "easy" play - does not happen.  Guys like Luke can earn minutes by executing correctly and always making the right play. Coach implores us in practice and games to make the easy play. Luke should embody this for us all year long.

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