In addition to bench players stepping up and scoring, this game’s assist numbers highlighted UNC’s sharing attitude.
Twenty-two of the 39 field goals made in the game were assisted, with the Tar Heels often making the second or third extra pass to get the open look. So far, UNC is averaging 19.8 assists on 34.5 field goals per game.
If this trend keeps up, a true go-to scorer may never emerge. But in UNC's offense, it doesn’t need one — because it seems that anyone can score.
Second half play
In its last game against Stanford, UNC didn’t gain a considerable lead until late in the first half, and then broke away in the second half. This game was more of the same.
To open up the second half of play, the Tar Heels scored the first 12 points and converted nine shots in a row before their first miss. This game is more proof that UNC is a second half team, with its lead rising to as much as 28 after the halftime break.
While halftime is a chance to regroup and make mid-game adjustments, it also provides much needed rest for the team. The Tar Heels have been consistently pushing the ball up-court, taking advantage of transition plays in order to score points — exemplified by the Tar Heels' 17 fast break points in the game.
With an average possession time of 12 seconds this game, half time may have given the team a time to collect themselves before continuing their up-tempo offense.
With rest provided by the break, the Tar Heels could continue with the fast-paced style they had in the beginning of the game. But this time, with a better grasp on their opponent.
UNC had a big presence in the paint this game, especially on the offensive side. The Tar Heels scored 52 of their 102 points in the paint.
But their paint presence showed most in rebounds — UNC grabbed 16 offensive rebounds and put up 19 second chance points throughout the game. These offensive rebounds took a toll on the Portland team, killing any momentum they garnered from a defensive stop.
These points in the paint may be a result of the Tar Heels’ ball movement. Big men were able to get easy looks down low off of an extra pass. UNC had 32 points off of layups (16-25), along with three big dunks.
The Tar Heels controlled the paint on both sides, out-rebounding Portland 51-33, as well as collecting five blocks. The team’s tenacity on the boards showed — they out-rebounded Portland’s 7-foot-2 center Philipp Hartwich for most of the game while Garrison Brooks —UNC's tallest starter — stands at only 6’9”.