Connect with us

Pitt Basketball

UNC Head Coach Hubert Davis Praises Pitt’s Offensive Capabilities



North Carolina head coach Hubert Davis holds the Pitt basketball program in high regard. “They are a really good basketball team. They just are,” Davis said. 

The Panthers defeated North Carolina 76-74 on Dec. 30 inside the Petersen Events Center. Wednesday’s rematch at the historic Dean Smith Center would run Pitt’s winning streak to three in a row against some of the ACC’s top opponents. 

Jamarius Burton put the Panthers on his back and carried the team to victory last time facing the Heels, scoring a career-high 31 points and six rebounds on 14-of-17 shooting in 33 minutes. The graduate guard is the Panthers’ main catalyst, averaging team-highs in points (16.4) and rebounds (6.5) while shooting 45% from the field. Davis pointed to the quality of pieces around Burton that pose a challenge. 

“They’re more than just Burton,” Davis said. “They got a number of playmakers that not only can make plays for others but can make plays for themselves. They have a number of guys that can create a shot at any given time throughout their offensive possession.” 

The 76-point performance is the third-highest point total scored by the Panthers against an ACC opponent, ahead of victories over Syracuse (84-82) and Wake Forest (81-79) by one possession. 

“They’re very disciplined offensively from the standpoint of they’re in the right spots, guys are driving and penetrating,” Davis said. “They can really shoot the basketball.” 

After dominating Pitt since the Panthers entered the ACC, North Carolina has lost four of the last five. Winners of 12 straight at home, UNC last lost on Roy Williams Court was to Pitt last February, 76-67.

Blake Hinson was named one of five Players of the Week by ESPN’s Seth Greenberg Monday after tying a Pitt record eight threes in a game against the Demon Deacons. He also converted on a triple with a hand in his face to cut the Miami lead to three late in the second half before providing the winning tip-in basket inside 30 seconds. 

“What makes them so dangerous is they can hit contested shots,” Davis said. “It’s not just open shots. They can hit with guys in their face. They’re really tough, an older experienced team… doesn’t get shaken. That’s one of the many reasons why they’re having such a good year this season.”

The Panthers are averaging 74.3 points per game while UNC ranks second in the ACC scoring 79.2 points a night. Carolina has won eight of its last 10 games and four in a row against Louisville (80-59), Boston College (72-64), NC State (80-69), and Syracuse (72-68). Davis said the Tar Heels had a chance to work on themselves this week and get healthy, having a week off after last playing on Jan. 24. 

RJ Davis practiced this week and did individual workouts during the weekend. He was poked in the eye at the end of the Syracuse game and should be available for UNC Wednesday at 7 p.m. Davis does not see former Moon High School star Puff Johnson playing due to a right knee injury. Johnson only played two minutes in the first matchup and dealt with early foul trouble. 

Pitt (15-7, 8-3 ACC) is in sole possession of third place in the ACC behind Clemson (18-4, 10-1 ACC) and Virginia (17-3, 9-2 ACC), the latter defeated by the Panthers 68-65 at the Pete on Jan. 3. North Carolina (15-6, 7-3 ACC) sits a half-game back in fourth place. A win would take command of third place to begin February.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
Click to comment
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Get PSN in your inbox!

Enter your email and get all of our posts delivered straight to your inbox.

Like Pittsburgh Sports Now on Facebook!
Send this to a friend