Quick Hitters from North Carolina’s 74-58 home win over Virginia on Saturday afternoon.
- Carolina exorcised their Virginia demons today, breaking a seven-game Cavalier winning streak dating back to February 27, 2017. This is the best Carolina’s offense has looked against Virginia in years. Much of that change is likely due to the new spacing enjoyed under Hubert Davis’ offensive system.
- With the victory, Carolina stays undefeated at home and is now a perfect 8-0 at the Dean Dome.
- Plain and simple: this was not the same team as we saw in South Bend on Wednesday night. The 2021-22 Tar Heels are a highly capable unit, as seen today, and will need to find a way to put forth this level of effort, intensity, and energy every game.
- Danny Green was in the building and was recognized at halftime for his $1 million donation for a scholarship endowment.
- Justin McKoy was able to return to face his former team, but Dawson Garcia and Kerwin Walton remained out. With a week off until the next game, Walton should certainly return from COVID protocols while we wait to see on Garcia given the unpredictability of concussion recovery. Consequently (and because they were playing so well according to Hubert Davis), Armando Bacot, Caleb Love, and RJ Davis each played all but the final 1:35 of the game.
- Armando Bacot is playing at a completely different level right now. He set a career high in points (29), rebounds (22 – after having just set a new mark against Notre Dame), and offensive rebounds (nine). He recorded his 11th double-double (second in all of Division I) and sixth straight.
- Combined with Wednesday’s performance against Notre Dame, Armando Bacot becomes the first Tar Heel since Tyler Hansbrough in the 2007-08 season to record back-to-back games of 20 points and 15 rebounds.
- The accolades don’t stop for Bacot: He’s the first player to post 20/20 against Virginia since Tim Duncan. He’s just the second Tar Heel ever to grab 20 rebounds in the Smith Center. The other is current assistant coach Sean May, who did so three times.
- Carolina’s three-point performance today (11-25, 44.0%) puts them back over the 40% threshold for the season (121-302, 40.1%). The national numbers haven’t refreshed yet, but the Heels will certainly stay in the top 10.
- Carolina once again out-rebounded their opponent, having now done so in 13 of the first 15 games. Not too shabby for a team that has supposedly fallen off the map in rebounding. Granted, the 2021-22 Heels are not nearly as dominant as in previous years. The only two games the Heels were outrebounded this season? Tennessee and Kentucky.
- For the first time in 10 games, UNC didn’t reach the 50% mark in shooting in either half. They weren’t that far off though: the Heels came within one shot of reaching 50% in both halves (14-29 and 14-30).
- Brady Manek led Carolina in plus/minus with a +25, the second time he’s been the team leader in the past four games.
- This might shock you to hear, but Carolina actually committed fewer turnovers (nine) than Virginia (10).
- Given the result, it comes as no surprise, but today was Carolina’s highest assist percentage of the season, barely beating out the victory over Georgia Tech. The Heels had 19 assists on 28 made baskets, a percentage of 67.9. This season high comes immediately on the heels of UNC’s lowest assist percentage of the season (34.5% at Notre Dame).
- Caleb Love and RJ Davis both got back to doing what they needed to as distributors – the starting backcourt duo combined for nine assists and just one turnover while playing essentially the entire game. Here's a beautiful sequence in which all five Tar Heels touch the ball, ending with nice ball movement from Love to Davis to Bacot for the reverse layup.
- Carolina hasn’t scored this many points against Virginia since also reaching 74 on February 27, 2016. They haven’t scored more than this against the Cavs since going off for 93 on February 16, 2013.
- Caleb Love was much more active today than against Notre Dame, particularly defensively. He had two first-half steals, three assists, and zero turnovers. Equally as important, Love slowed himself down today after seeming to get sped up at times against Notre Dame. Here's video of what was Love's best sequence of the game:
- After struggling some with his three-point shot lately, Brady Manek was 5-9 from deep today. That performance has to feel good for the grad transfer. He also made an incredibly unselfish play to get Armando Bacot another bucket late in the game. That’s the type of teammate and leadership Carolina needs. Here's more on that play:
Hubert Davis 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 Georgia Tech on Saturday, January 15. Tip is at 8:00pm ET on ACC Network.
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