But before this postseason, he had scored 20 points just four times this season. Now, he’s done it in seven straight games.
“He’s been on a tear,” Oregon head coach Dana Altman said. “No doubt about it.”
Dorsey presents a unique challenge for a Tar Heel defense that has been burned by versatile guards this season. At 6-foot-4, he has the length to shoot over the defense like he did against the Jayhawks. But he’s quick enough to drive the lane and get to the free-throw line, which he’s already done 21 times this tournament.
“It's not just one thing …” said UNC assistant coach Hubert Davis. “He can shoot from threes off the catch and dribble, he's got mid-range game, he can score in transition, he can score in the half court, he's a great one-on-one player that can go both directions, he's doing an excellent job getting to the free-throw line, making his free throws, he's a great defender and he's an excellent offensive rebounder from the guard position.”
“So there's a lot of things that he has in his bag.”
Since the postseason opened, Dorsey has elevated his entire game. In the Pac-12 Tournament opener against Arizona State, he grabbed nine boards and dropped four dimes. In the past three games, he’s averaged 4.3 rebounds, two assists and two steals — and he’s played 35 minutes in each.
“I think the biggest thing is he's just got involved in the entire game,” Altman said. “And it's kept him focused.”
Pinson said the key to stopping Dorsey is disrupting his rhythm, both by denying him the ball and challenging him on the dribble. Junior guard Joel Berry — who could be hindered Saturday by two ankle injuries — emphasized the importance of slowing Dorsey from the opening tip.
It’s a strategy similar to what the Tar Heels employed a week ago against Malik Monk, who entered the Elite Eight game with UNC averaging 20 points per game. After torching North Carolina in December, the 6-foot-3 Kentucky guard had trouble with the Tar Heels’ length on defense and scored just 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting.
"We had one guy who had 47 against us earlier in the year, and we came back and he didn't really get hot until the end of the game …” Berry said. “So we just have to do the same thing we did last game.”