- There was some legitimate concern heading into this game. Saturday noon starts have not exactly yielded the best version of 2018-19 North Carolina Basketball. Would Cam Johnson’s ankle be okay? Would Nassir Little’s? Would the Tar Heels overlook Wake Forest with a trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium looming on Wednesday evening? Forget all that. Carolina came out guns blazing and by the time Wake finally scored with 13:31 left in the first half the Heels were up 18-0 and went on to record the most lopsided victory (38 point margin) in the history of this rivalry.
- As has been the case of late, this flurry to start the game was fueled on the defensive end of the court.
- Perhaps Cam Johnson should tweak his ankle more often. He scored the first points of the game (a three-pointer, of course) and went on to hit his first eight shots (six of which were threes). Johnson finished with 27 points on an efficient 10-for-13 shooting including 7-for-10 from deep.
- Staying with the “ankle injury” theme, Nassir Little seemed to be playing all right, although not as aggressive as usual. He did dive after a loose ball and absorb contact on multiple occasions without showing ill effect.
- Congratulations to Luke Maye whose seven rebounds give him 805 for his career. He becomes just the 21st Tar Heel to break 800.
- Carolina out-rebounded Wake, but only 39-36. In fact, the Deacons had more offensive rebounds than Carolina did (18-9). Granted Carolina also had 22 fewer missed shots than their opponents.
- The Heels shot 62.3 percent (38-61) for the game; the best percentage so far this season. The previous high was 56.1 in the blowout of NC State. In the first half, Carolina shot 74.1 percent (20-27); the best percentage for one half of play this season. The previous high for one half is 64.0 percent in the second half of the Miami comeback last Saturday.
- Although this was a game with many positives, there were two troublesome stats. The first was turnovers. Carolina finished with 15 turnovers, 11 of which came in the first half. Senior Luke Maye was responsible for five of the turnovers, four of which happened in the first 12:30 of game action.
- The second troubling stat involved the free throw line. The Heels missed their first six shots and finished just 3-for-11.
- Carolina is now 6-0 on the road in ACC play.
- Thanks to this victory and Notre Dame’s loss, the worst seed Carolina can receive in the ACC Tournament is 10. If Boston College loses on Sunday, the worst possible seed changes to nine, which means the Heels will have already clinched a first round bye.
- One of the best by-products of such a dominant victory is the rest it afforded the starters. Only one player, Cam Johnson, reached the 30 minute mark.
- It was a good day for the reserves. Seventh Woods scored nine points on perfect 4-for-4 shooting. Brandon Robinson chipped in eight points, Brandon Huffman six, Nassir Little five, and Andrew Platek five. 14 Tar Heels played and 13 scored at least one point. Additionally, 12 recorded at least one rebound.
- Maybe the craziest stat of the game – EIGHT different Tar Heels connected on a three-pointer.
EIGHT Tar Heels made a three-point basket against Wake Forest
Cam Johnson (7)
Coby White (2)
Kenny Williams (1)
Brandon Robinson (2)
Nassir Little (1)
Seventh Woods (1)
Andrew Platek (1)
KJ Smith (1)
- Often times, when teams get out to a hot start, they get lazy and the second half gets ugly. Not true today. The Tar Heels continued to pad the lead in the second half and only turned the ball over four times.
- This was not an eye-popping performance from Coby White (on his birthday!). However, his stat line was the exact type of balance the Tar Heels need from him – 10 points, six assists, two turnovers, five rebounds, and three steals.
- Great fast break to stretch lead back to 28 with :30 left before halftime. Andrew Platek got what appeared to be a block (although not credited with one). Coby White picked up the loose ball and threw a long pass to Cam Johnson who found a cutting Luke Maye for the lay-up. Enjoy:
Carolina up 49-21 at the break at Wake Forest
1.40 PPP to 0.60 PPP ➡️ +0.80 margin
Roy Williams postgame press conference:
Remember to check in for Quick Hitters after every North Carolina basketball game. Next up is a road game against Duke on Wednesday, February 20. Tip is at 9:00ET on ESPN & Raycom.
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