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UNC Basketball: Stock Report - Week 13

Everyone’s stock goes up when Duke goes down!

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

Heads were down a bit at midweek when Carolina lost their first ACC game of the season at Georgia Tech. Atlanta continues to be a haunted city for the Tar Heels, who struggle to beat the Yellow Jackets on the hardwood and the gridiron, even when they field superior teams. It took just about everything going wrong at the same time for UNC to lose, including horrendous shooting from Harrison Ingram and Cormac Ryan, along with pedestrian output from Armando Bacot. Still, UNC lost by just one point.

The Heels were able to put that disappointment to the side and got their mojo back in a big way, beating Duke 93-84 in a game that wasn’t even that close.

Let’s dive into the team’s stock as they put the nation back on notice that Carolina is a contender.

STOCK UP

Armando Bacot: The emergence of RJ Davis as a National Player of the Year candidate has seen some of Bacot’s offensive stats wither. The super senior center had scored and rebounded in single digits for three consecutive games, unfamiliar territory for UNC’s career leader in double-doubles.

Shrewd observers would see that Bacot has channeled more of his energy and focus into Carolina’s gauntlet of a defense, and his dirty work setting screens and boxing out was allowing Elliot Cadeau and RJ Davis feast at the rim and gave Harrison Ingram tons of rebounds to gobble up.

Against Duke, Bacot showed that he is capable of reaching into his bag to give buckets to anyone who wants it. He was the leading scorer on both teams with 25 points on an efficient 10-13 shooting (5-7 from the free throw line). He also negotiated double-teams well, passing out for five assists.

If Hubert Davis can tinker with the offensive formula to find a way to maximize RJ and Armando’s strengths, UNC’s offense could catch up to its stout defense just in time for the NCAA Tournament.

Harrison Ingram and Cormac Ryan: I had mentioned the offensive struggles that the two transfers had at Georgia Tech, both shooting an identical 3-14 from the field. If either shot at their season average, Carolina would have won by several possessions.

Both players returned to form against Duke. Cormac Ryan scored 9 points and hit 40% of his threes, which Hubert Davis will take every time. Ingram was on a heater and was a huge beneficiary of the attention Duke paid to RJ Davis. He scored 21 points without having to shoot free throws, a peculiar weakness.

If these two starters mimic this type of production with either or both of Armando and RJ scoring at their pomp, UNC’s offense will continue to threaten every Bojangles restaurant in the Triangle.

Seth Trimble: Trimble struggled at the rim, going just 2-7 from the field at Georgia Tech. He cleaned that up expeditiously, getting out on the break several times and punishing the Blue Devils in transition, scoring 10 points.

Trimble continued to play stellar defense against both Tech and Duke and helped the Heels funnel the Blue Devils off the three-point line where they have excelled this season, into the meat grinder in the paint. Duke was just 5-19 from distance, and they have been shooting 38% for the season. Maybe Carolina will finally get credit for limiting teams’ outside shooting instead of being called lucky?

STOCK DOWN

Nobody: Everyone who played contributed something. And even the bench was in perfect harmony. Look at them celebrating Filipowski getting pwned by Bacot. Again.


A desperate Clemson will come to the Dean Dome tomorrow night looking to solidify their place in the NCAA Tournament. Then on Saturday, UNC will travel to hot and cold Miami hoping to tame the Hurricanes. Who do you think will show out against these teams? Will Armando Bacot continue his high usage on offense, or will RJ Davis resume his All-America campaign? Now that Duke part 1 is in the bag, will the bench get more run? Let us know in the comments!