Quick Hitters from North Carolina’s 67-65 road win over Miami on Tuesday night.
- Let’s not mince words: Carolina had no business winning this basketball game. They looked flat. Out of sync. Disheartened. Garrison Brooks in particular looked forlorn. The defense gave up lay-up after lay-up after lay-up. But here's the thing...they did win. And this game goes in the win column just the same as last year’s 94-71 dismantling of Miami. The Tar Heels are now 2-2 in the ACC after initially going down 0-2.
- For the second time in as many games, an upperclassman Tar Heel made a game-winning shot with under 10 seconds left on the clock. Against Notre Dame it was Leaky Black. Tonight it was Andrew Platek. Miami tied the game with 16.4 seconds left and then Platek hit a game-winning runner on the baseline, which somehow went over two Hurricane defenders. Look how close they were to tipping or blocking the shot:
- Here is the closing sequence and Platek's shot. Make sure to catch how close Miami's desperation three-pointer at the buzzer comes to going in and breaking Carolina's heart:
- Coach Williams continues to tinker with his starting lineup. After using the same starting five for the first eight games, we’ve now seen three new and different combinations in the past three games. Tonight’s starters were Armando Bacot, Day’Ron Sharpe, Leaky Black, RJ Davis, and Kerwin Walton. The only difference from Saturday’s Notre Dame starters was Davis rather than Caleb Love.
- Honestly, I assumed that Sharpe would work his way into the starting lineup at some point this season, but that it would be in place of Bacot rather than Brooks. We’ll have to continue to watch the starting lineups.
- Although Davis started the game, he curiously only played 14 minutes.
- Davis and Love shot a combined 2-for-14 tonight (each made one shot). Carolina has to have more offensive production from these two. Caleb Love hurt his right leg with under a minute to go. I’m not sure the severity of the injury but he came out of the game. Something to keep an eye on.
- Thankfully, Love’s one made field goal was huge. The Tar Heels had been working to re-take the lead for the majority of the second half, but couldn’t get over the hump. Love nailed a three-pointer with 2:52 remaining to get his team back within one point of the lead. Here's the shot:
- The very next bucket was Leaky Black’s fourth three-pointer of the game. On a night where his teammates were struggling to score, Black led all scorers with 16 points (a career high) including four three-pointers (also a career high). This was just the third time in Black’s career that he’s made multiple three-pointers.
- As you would expect, Black still contributed all his usual intangibles: nine rebounds, three assists, two steals, and this very mean-spirited block:
- Black was not the only Tar Heel to shoot well from deep. As a team, Carolina shot 9-for-20 from three. That 45 percent shooting brings the team average up above 30 percent on the season.
- While Black was the most prolific three-point shooter this evening, Kerwin Walton continues to be a positive revelation on the perimeter. The freshman shot 3-for-7 from deep tonight, which actually lowers his three-point percentage to 48.4 percent. Walton continues to show that he is more than just a shooter. He recorded a block, a steal, and four assists, giving him 11 in the past three games (against just five turnovers in that same span). Walton had a great sequence with about 15:00 left in the first half. He got back to stop a fast break then had a nice entry pass to Sharpe on the other end for a bucket. Then at the beginning of the second half, he air-balled a three, then had a turnover, but then drilled a three on the next time down the court and grabbed a steal and fastbreak layup on Miami’s ensuing possession.
- In addition to the game-winning basket, Platek hit one of Carolina’s three-pointers. The shot was consequential because it’s probably the quickest trigger I’ve ever seen from the senior.
- Give lots of credit to Miami, who is currently down four injured players that should be in the starting lineup. They still competed well and probably should have won the game. There was also this vicious dunk from Anthony Walker (avert your eyes if you’re squeamish about rims being mistreated):
- The turnover monster returned tonight. Carolina had more turnovers (nine) in the first 13:00 of tonight’s game than in the entire Notre Dame game on Saturday (eight). The team finished with 20.
- There is zero reason Carolina should ever be outscored in the paint. Tonight they were, 32-24.
- How did Day’Ron Sharpe follow up his monster game from Saturday? He scored 12 points, but had a monster rebounding game. He hauled in 16 rebounds, which ties him for second-most for a Tar Heel freshman with Bacot, Harrison Barnes, Rasheed Wallace (twice), and James Worthy. The most rebounds by a freshman in a game is 20 by Antawn Jamison. 16 rebounds is the most for any Tar Heel this year (previous high was 12 for Bacot against Texas). Sharpe also has seven offensive rebounds in back-to-back games.
- Despite Black missing two free throws with a chance to give Carolina a lead with just over 2:00 remaining, Carolina had some good moments at the free throw line. Bacot was 5-for-5. Sharpe was 4-for-5. Brooks, despite having a rough outing, connected on both ends of a 1-and-1 with 0:46 remaining to give Carolina a two-point lead.
- At one point in the first half, UNC missed 11 straight field goals and 15 of 17.
- I won’t openly criticize refs, but let’s just say there were several questionable calls (& no-calls) throughout the game.
- Although it wasn’t in the first half, Carolina fell prey to yet another double-digit deficit. Miami led 53-43 with 12:00 to play. The Heels obviously came back to take a lead and ultimately won the game.
- Armando Bacot now has back-to-back games in which he has made just one field goal, after making multiple field goals in the first nine games of the season. He also had just three field goal attempts tonight and grabbed a season-low two rebounds.
- Carolina heads home on Saturday to hopefully re-start a home winning streak vs. Clemson.
Roy Williams postgame press conference
Players postgame press conference
Remember to check in for Quick Hitters after every North Carolina basketball game. Next up is a home game against Clemson on Saturday, January 9. Tip is at 7:00pm ET on ESPN.
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