TALLAHASSEE, Fl- Anthony Harris returns to North Carolina's lineup; it was long-awaited, and it lived up to the hype.
Harris' return caught many by surprise because Roy Williams stated that he wouldn't surprise anyone, but he did. Harris missed the last 20 games of last season and the first 12 games this season due to a knee injury he suffered against Yale in December 2019.
During his post-game conference, Williams stated that he didn't want to rush the red-shirt freshman back to the floor, but Harris was adamant about returning,
"I didn't think he'd had enough reps of going up and down the full court every day in practice, which I think is what I said to everybody in the press conference. We've gotten away from that and had a few more practices, and he's been wanting to play. His energy level is significant to us, and he gave us a little lift."
Harris affirmed that he wasn't sure of the exact date of his return to the court, but Williams told him to stay ready,
"It's been out for over a year now; I was ready to play today. I didn't fully expect to play; he told me, "Just stay ready." So that's what I did."
The Virginia native finished the game with five points and three assist in nine minutes of play.
North Carolina (8-5, 3-3 ACC) faced an offensively sound Florida State (7-2, 2-2 ACC) in their loss Saturday afternoon, but the Heels showcased an honest effort that should leave fans on a high. UNC made ten three-pointers for the first time this season, shooting 41.7 percent from three-point range (10 of 24), which is the third time in four games UNC has shot at least 40 percent from three.
Shooting four of ten threes, freshman Kerwin Walton scored a season-high 14 points. He made multiple three-pointers for the fifth time in the last seven games and scored in double figures for the fourth time in those seven games.
Freshman Caleb Love has seemed to come alive the previous two games, stepping up defensively and assisting teams. Love continues to struggle to have an offensive rhythm, but his confidence will come from continued shooting and finding the best shooting opportunity. Lastly, freshman RJ Davis tied his season-high with 16 points alongside senior who Garrison Brooks topped the bigs with 12 points.
Roy Williams is 21-8 against FSU. The Tar Heels are 8-5 under Williams against FSU in Tallahassee. FSU outrebounded UNC by one (30-29). This was the second game this season UNC lost the rebounding battle. North Carolina committed 14 turnovers and forced 17. This was the first time in six games this season UNC lost when committing fewer turnovers.
FSU's MJ Walked stole the show scoring 21 points and shooting 75% from behind the arc. Raiquan Gray added in a career-high of 19 points and filled the missing void of injured Scottie Barnes.
M.J. Walker scored 20 points, Raiquan Gray added a career-high 19 and Florida State beat North Carolina 82-75 on Saturday for the Seminoles' 20th consecutive home conference victory.
Walker, who made 4 of 5 shots from the arc, missed three minutes of the second half after turning an ankle but returned to hit his final 3-pointer with 11 1/2 minutes left to give the Seminoles (7-2, 3-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) a 10-point lead.
Next Game: Wednesday, January 20 vs. Wake Forest (9 p.m., ACC Network)