Tag Archives: Harvard Crimson

Quick Hitters – UNC vs. Harvard

Quick Hitters from North Carolina’s 77-57 home victory on Wednesday night over Harvard.

Highlights:

  • Tonight was the final tune-up for the Tar Heels before ACC play commences on Saturday at Pittsburgh. It was a sluggish win for Carolina, but a win all the same. At the same time, the ugly win will not do much to inspire confidence heading into conference play. The 2018-19 Tar Heels are very much still a work in progress.
  • For the 13thseason in a row, Carolina has amassed 10+ non-conference wins.
  • Sterling Manley was out tonight with left knee discomfort. There is no current timetable for his return.
  • The Tar Heels only had four first half turnovers and finished with 11. Curiously, Cam Johnson was responsible for five of those. Harvard finished with 22 turnovers.

  • Carolina only out-rebounded Harvard 38-34 and had just eight offensive rebounds.
  • Garrison Brooks had another strong start but picked up two fouls before the first media timeout. This is the third game in a row he’s had two fouls in the first five minutes. Particularly with a thin front line further thinned with Sterling Manley’s absence, Brooks has to find ways to stay on the court longer.

  • Admittedly it has been against back-to-back mid-major teams, but the defense is trending in the right direction. Purely based off of shooting numbers, Carolina has held their last two opponents (Davidson and Harvard) to 33.9 percent (41-for-121) on field goals. Anecdotally, the team appears to be playing with more urgency, activity and cohesion on defense. Of course, there is still room to grow on defense. Here is Kenny Williams talking about that need for growth:
  • This defense uptick is fortunate because the Heels are struggling in half court offense and need the defense to turn into fast-break offense. A great example of the defense turning into offense came just before the under 4:00 media timeout of the first half. Kenny Williams grabbed a steal and pitched ahead to Leaky Black who assisted Nassir Little on an explosive dunk.

  • Sluggish and sloppy start to second half. Harvard cut the lead down to as little as 5.
  • If something seemed different defensively in the second half, that’s because Carolina started switching all their screens instead of the usual hedging out.
  • 19-22 from the free throw line for the Heels. Those are numbers you’ll take any night.

  • 5 different players hit double-digit scoring, led by Luke Maye’s 14.
  • For the first time all season, Kenny Williams didn’t record an assist.

Roy Williams postgame press conference:

Remember to check in for Quick Hitters after every North Carolina basketball game. Next up is the ACC conference opener on the road against Pittsburgh on Saturday, January 5. Tip is at Noon ET on Raycom. Here’s former Pittsburgh Panther Cam Johnson talking about tonight’s game, but also the impending match-up in Pennsylvania:

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Quick Hitters – UNC vs. Davidson

Quick Hitters from North Carolina’s 82-60 home win on Saturday over Davidson.

Highlights:

  • With 6:45 remaining in the first half, Davidson was in the midst of a 9-0 run and held a 24-19 edge over the sluggish Tar Heels. Sparked by a Garrison Brooks and-1, Carolina went on a 20-4 run to end the half up 39-28. The Tar Heels pushed the margin out to as many as 26 points nine minutes into the second half before landing on a 22-point victory.
  • Speaking of Brooks, he picked up two fouls and three turnovers less than four minutes into the game and appeared to be headed for a non-factor type of day. To his credit, Brooks regrouped and didn’t commit another foul or turnover, while finishing with 11 points and three rebounds in his 16 minutes of action.
  • Luke Maye recorded his third double-double in the past five games after tallying only one in the first seven. Maye had already corralled 10 boards by halftime and totaled 14 for the game to go with 11 points, three assists, one block and just one turnover.
  • Coby White (who was called “Cody” by one of the announcers prior to the opening tip) had a goose egg in the score column at halftime but had already recorded six assists and had just one turnover. Curiously, White finished with seven each of points, rebounds and assists. His height at the point guard position makes him a nightly triple-double threat.

  • Cameron Johnson didn’t score until nearly 14 minutes of game time had gone by. He then poured in eight of the 20 points in the closing stretch of the first half and finished with a game high 17, right on his season average. Here’s Johnson talking about the game:
  • 20 assists on 26 made baskets. Assisting on 77 percent of made field goals is a really good day.
  • Turnovers. They are a theme every game. Carolina coughed up four turnovers in the first four minutes, but then only five the rest of the first half and only five total in the second half. These numbers seem to point in the right direction, but the team needs to continue to make improvements in valuing the basketball heading into ACC play.
  • Nassir Little’s biggest contributions at this point in his career are when he goes out and let the athlete in him take over. Here’s an example on both sides of the court:

  • Carolina got back to where they wanted to be in rebounding margin, holding a 49-33 (+16) advantage over Davidson. However, a closer look reveals that only nine of those rebounds were offensive. Davidson had eight. Coach Williams will want his team to grab a higher percentage of offensive rebound opportunities going forward.
  • While it wasn’t a full-game defensive showcase, Carolina did hold Davidson to 29.9 percent shooting and 26.3 percent from three. As per usual, Kenny Williams led the way in setting a defensive tone for his teammates to follow. A shot clock violation on Davidson’s first possession was a rather auspicious start.
  • Five Tar Heels scored in double-digits (Johnson, Williams, Maye, Brooks, Little).
  • Congrats to Carolina alum Theo Pinson who recorded his first triple-double in the G-League on Friday (27 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds) and then played his first NBA minutes (28) on Saturday for the Nets against the Bucks. He scored his first NBA points and finished with six points, seven rebounds, four assists, one steal and one turnover.

Roy Williams postgame press conference:

Remember to check in for Quick Hitters after every North Carolina basketball game. Next up is a home game against Harvard on Wednesday, January 2. Tip is at 7:00ET on ESPN2.

Want to receive an email with Quick Hitters and other articles from Isaac Schade? Click here.