Quick Hitters from North Carolina’s 102-78 neutral site win on Thanksgiving afternoon over Portland in the opening round of the PK80 Invitational. Highlights:
- This tournament is LOADED. These uniforms look sharp. Bill Walton is one of the most odd people on the planet.
- Theo Pinson nearly had a triple-double in this game, finishing with 11 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists. He needs to keep living in attack mode and not settle for threes.
- Speaking of Theo, he is becoming every bit the Swiss Army Knife the Tar Heel coaching staff knew he could turn into. That said, Kenny Williams has thus far been the most impactful player on both sides of the ball. Williams is averaging 14.3 points (has scored 10+ in every game), is shooting 55.3% on FGs, 57.9% on threes, 100% on FTs (although he’s only taken four), has a 2.6 A/TO ratio, is averaging 2.3 steals a game, and has countless other hustle plays that don’t show up in the stat sheet. Have two players in the starting line-up (Pinson and Williams) with this level of stat-stuff-ability will make the Tar Heels a tough out every time they take the floor.
- This team knows how to run in transition. This team knows how to share the ball. It’s fun to watch. It will only get faster as Seventh Woods and Jalek Felton become more comfortable.
- I was tough on Andrew Platek in the last edition of Quick Hitters. Today he had the best game of his young career. He appeared more confident on the court. He had 12 points, including the first two three-pointers of what will probably be a prolific three-point shooting career in Chapel Hill.
A coach once asked Roy Williams why he offered a scholarship to Andrew Platek. The #UNC freshman scored 12 points on Thursday. "He is going to make that (coach) regret what he said." https://t.co/Yn2A588Kfz pic.twitter.com/fkFEbH9bcx
— InsideCarolina (@InsideCarolina) November 24, 2017
- Five players scored in double figures against Portland (Luke Maye – 20, Joel Berry – 18, Williams – 17, Platek – 12, Pinson – 11) and four players are averaging double figures on the season (Maye – 19.5, Berry – 18.3, Williams – 14.3, Pinson – 10.5).
- Want consistent scoring? Maye and Williams have both scored in double figures in every game. Maye has scored 20 or more in three of the first four games and is nearly averaging a double-double (19.5 / 9.5).
- This was a sloppy game with too many turnovers for the Heels – 14; can’t get sloppy against an overmatched team. The first half, in particular, was not pretty. As ugly as the first half was, Coach Williams must have had an inspiring halftime speech, because the team came out on fire for the second 20 minutes. The Heels came out on a 14-0 run and hit their first nine shots.
- After a rough first shooting game, Joel Berry has been Joel Berry in back-to-back games. With 10 points and one three-pointer against Arkansas on Friday, Berry will move into the top 50 on the UNC career scoring list and into the top 10 on the made three-pointers list.
- So far, opponents are shooting 42.7% on three-pointers. The team will need to buckle down on the perimeter shooting, especially before a trip to Davidson in December.
- Bonus observation: Portland’s Franklin Porter (#13) has himself some shooooooort shorts.
Coach Williams’ postgame message to the team: “Let’s remember today is Thanksgiving. We live in the United States of America and get to play ball for the University of North Carolina!”
— Carolina Basketball (@UNC_Basketball) November 23, 2017
Remember to check in for Quick Hitters after every North Carolina basketball game. Next up is a rematch of last year’s NCAA Tournament 2nd round game against Arkansas on Friday. Tip is at 3:30ET on ESPN.