Quick Hitters – Oklahoma State (Maui Invitational Semifinal)

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Justin Jackson goes for a lay-up against Oklahoma State in the semifinal of the Maui Invitational. Photo credit: J.D. Lyon Jr.

 

Quick Hitters from Tuesday night’s 107-75 win over Oklahoma State in the Maui Invitational semifinal.

  1. Let’s get this out of the way: I know not every game will be this dominant a victory (and there are certainly pieces to clean up from this game), but I really enjoyed this one. Wednesday’s Maui Invitational Championship game against #16 Wisconsin, and their traditionally stingy defense, will be the next measuring stick for where this team is at.
  2. Great job offensive rebounding within the first three minutes of the game. As of the first media timeout, the Heels had rebounded literally every shot they took.
  3. All five starters scored before the first media timeout. Six players ended up scoring in double figures.
  4. Joel Berry had his right arm run into by an Oklahoma State player chasing down a rebound early in the game. He seemed to be favoring his right shoulder and stretching his arm afterwards. Curious to see how it affects him. Update: Berry’s next shot was a three that he sank and looked great for the rest of the game. Hopefully there will be no lingering effects.
  5. Oklahoma State’s man-to-man defense is stifling. The Heels had several lazy passes on the perimeter that were either picked off or nearly picked off. That must be tightened up.
  6. Joel Berry did a better job getting to the rim in this game; something he didn’t do well against Hawaii or Chaminade.
  7. The thing that has impressed me most about Tony Bradley thus far is his ability to move his feet and stay in front of his man when he gets switched onto a guard.
  8. This was the most aggressive I’ve ever seen Justin Jackson. If he continues to drive the ball and use a combination of his deadly floater and finishing at the rim, he will become one of the most unguardable players in the country. His stat line for the night: 22 points on 7-12 shooting (including 7-7 on FTs), eight rebounds, six assists, one steal, and zero turnovers. Those are the numbers Jackson needs to continue to turn in to make this a national championship caliber team.
  9. Quote of the night: “I don’t know how long Tony Bradley’s arms are…but they’re long.” – Jay Bilas
  10. A bit of a scare late as Kenny Williams left the game after bumping heads with an Oklahoma State player and went straight to the locker room. Williams was cleared to return to action and seemed to be in good shape.
  11. This Tar Heel team continues to look locked in defensively. Cowboy sharp shooter Phil Forte was held to two points (free throws) and shot 0-3 from the field.
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