Doherty apologized to Owens.
Owens had just spent 34 of the game's 40 minutes on the bench. And he didn't attempt a single shot in the limited time he was on the floor.
But for a player who has had to deal with his share of adversity, Owens didn't respond to Doherty by pouting or sulking.
"He said 'Coach, I understand. As long as you talk to me, I understand,'" Doherty said. "What coach wouldn't be excited about dealing those type of people? It was very unselfish."
Unselfish. A word few people reserved for Owens earlier in his career but one that now has become as much of a trademark as his deadly jump shot.
Owens came to North Carolina with high expectations, and he fueled them -- uncharacteristically -- by saying before the start of last season that he should start at shooting guard because he had served his time waiting in the wings.
Owens started the first 12 games -- albeit at small forward -- and averaged 14.1 points during that stretch. But when power forward Kris Lang returned from injury on Jan. 2 against Howard, UNC coach Bill Guthridge found a seat on the bench for Owens to occupy.
Owens reached double figures in two of the final 24 games and went scoreless in seven of UNC's final 10 contests.
Doherty's arrival in Chapel Hill this summer translated into a fresh start for Owens, who has grown comfortable with his new coach and a redefined role.