Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Few players produce the results per minute that North Carolina forward Tucker Hume (Midland/Odessa Sockers FC) has this season.
In 19 games, Hume has only three starts and 921 minutes to his name. But during that stretch, he has been the Tar Heels’ leading offensive weapon – a team-leading 11 goals and 27 points, and five assists to tie for the team high with two other players.
In Sunday’s second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament, Hume was not utilized in his customary substitute role. Hume got the start against Coastal Carolina, and he didn’t miss a beat with a second-minute goal and an assist on Zach Wright’s second-half tally for a 2-1 victory.
“I just figured Tucker is pretty good, and I think it worked out pretty good tonight,” UNC Head Coach Carlos Somoano told the Daily Tar Heel after the match. “It seems to be no different whether he comes off the bench or starts. He is just producing right now.”
Hume’s second-minute goal was the fastest tally of the season for the Tar Heels, and it was the perfect jumpstart for the team as it now prepares for 12th-seeded Creighton on Saturday in the third round.
“Obviously the first couple of balls you get, you want to do something well with it because it helps your confidence,” Hume said of his early score.
The start was completely by design as Coastal Carolina is one of the taller teams in the country. Somoano noticed the difference in how the Chanticleers played when the 6-foot-5 Hume was causing havoc and when he was out of the action.
“You see a very tall team in Coastal Carolina, and once we took [Hume] off the field for a few-minute break, they had a couple set pieces that got a little hairy,” Somoano said. “He helped us match up.”
Tucker and his twin brother Walker both represent UNC and played significant minutes for Midland/Odessa this past PDL season, being the team’s only two players to eclipse 1,000 minutes during the year.
Walker, however, suffered an injury and was not able to play this year. Nevertheless, he has remained tied to the team and his brother, helping in the broadcast booth during UNC’s games this season.
“I’m in the booth right now – I’m the voice of the Tar Heels,” Walker recently said to Go Heels TV. “I feel connected to the team because of my brother. I always get to watch them play and I get to call the games for my teammates and having a good time up there.”
With double-digit goals to his name this season, though, Tucker wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more vigor on Walker’s UNC goal calls.
“Sometimes I just wish he would get a little bit more excited for certain things, but hopefully that will come,” Tucker said.
“I have to stay neutral in the box, so sometimes my voice might not sound energetic, but I’m actually behind the camera fist-pumping,” Walker said.