If you’re a fan of Carolina Basketball and haven’t gone into hibernation for the winter, then you might have heard that there’s a fella wearing Tar Heel Blue by the name of Nassir Little, whose play, playing time, and stating status everyone and their grandmother has an opinion about. That cacophony of Sofa Scouts, Armchair Analysts, and Monday Morning Coaches (yours truly most certainly included) will only be magnified by the injury to Sterling Manley and the ongoing foul woes of one Garrison Brooks.
Regardless of what the rest of the season will or will not bring for Carolina’s vaunted frosh, Wednesday night was a terrific outing for Nassir Little. In 22 minutes of play, he tallied 12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block, while shooting 4-7 from the field and turning it over just once. These are not the kind of stats that will leap off the page, but they don’t do justice to how disciplined, mature, and energetic Nas looked against Harvard.
Little’s versatility was on display throughout the game, on both ends of the court. He had one of his better defensive games; consistently staying in front of his man, jumping passing lanes, not committing silly fouls, and being disruptive but controlled when Harvard had the ball. He hit the defensive glass well, he scored on the offensive glass, he hit his free throws, and he knocked down a three point attempt off a solid offensive passing possession. The hustle that we’ve come to expect from him was present all game and he showed no signs of losing focus or sitting and watching his veteran teammates run plays in front of him (something that has occurred from time to time this season).
Carolina’s performance against Harvard wasn’t pretty from an offensive perspective, but they can walk away feeling good about the performance from their freshman forward, who sure looked like he was feeling more comfortable on the floor last night.