clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

UNC vs. Pittsburgh - Player of the Game: Luke Maye

The junior had a great all around game in the win.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina State at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about the right time for a “get right” game. It’s nice to have a difficult decision for this award. Six guys scored in double figures, Joel Berry II had an efficient night with four 3s and looked comfortable all night, Cameron Johnson was all over the court against his old team, you could actually see Kenny Williams regain his confidence as he nailed three 3s, and both Sterling Manley and Garrison Brooks hit double digits as their comfort in the offense continues to grow.

There was also Theo Pinson who dished out eight assists and grabed thirteen boards, one of which allowed him to get his only two points of the night. But what a two points:

I love Wes Durham’s call on that.

It was a tough call with all of that good going on, but in the end the prestigious THB POG Award has to go to Luke Maye.

It really is remarkable that he could have an underrated game until you look at his stats. 26 points on 9-15 shooting, 3-5 from 3, 5-5 from the free throw line, eight boards, and five assists, all in 31 minutes of work. It was an outstanding all around game from Luke, and one that we have quickly come to expect.

You had to do a double take on that stat line, didn’t you? The thing is, so much had been going wrong for this team lately that we've started to take Luke for granted. This is his 11th 20+ point game of the season, and clearly when he is on it makes everyone better. Case in point: Kenny Williams’ first three was drained thanks to a beautiful pass from Maye. It was pinpoint to the wide open Williams, and because of the speed of the pass Williams didn’t have time to think about the shot. It was exactly what Williams needed: to see the ball go through the hoop from outside. His other threes were ones he had been missing the last few games, and it’s quite possible that moment will be tabbed as when Williams came back.

Teams have no choice but to take Maye seriously, and when he’s on, teams have to guard him tighter which leaves others open. The five assists show he isn’t just hunting his shot but finding who is open. If that keeps happening, this team is in good shape going forward.

We all know what game is next.