DURHAM, N.C. -- Hubert Davis said he wasn’t making excuses on Saturday, he was "just stating facts".
Davis spoke for seven minutes following UNC’s 63-57 loss to Duke. In a postgame press conference filled with numerous lengthy pauses — some so exaggerated that the far reverberations of the Cameron Indoor Stadium cleaning crew cut through the silence — Davis mentioned free throws six times.
Free throws have become a staple for UNC this year. The Tar Heels go to the line more often than any other team in the ACC. They’ve taken 200 more free-throw shots than their opponents this season, and 130 more than Duke. North Carolina generates nearly a quarter of its offense from the charity stripe, averaging 24 free-throw attempts per game.
So when UNC made just two trips to the line against Duke, Davis was quick to point it out.
“You answer it,” he said when a reporter asked why his team didn’t shoot more free throws. “We attacked the basket.”
The frustration was most evident just before halftime. With 20 seconds left in the opening half, Duke first-year center Kyle Filipowski smacked North Carolina graduate forward Pete Nance’s hand as he lifted up for a baseline jumper. Nance ran back down the court, but not before turning around to protest the call.
Davis, watching from the sidelines, turned around and clapped his hands emphatically. He was irate. Swinging his fists, he jumped up and down, kicked his legs and yelled. A chorus of UNC assistant coaches joined in behind him.