Reggie Bullock became the story of the game. A sophomore whose freshman season was cut short due to a knee injury, Bullock stroked home 23 points on an improbable 6-for-7 from long range.
Bullock has become something of a forgotten man due to more than the injury. He’s a classmate of Harrison Barnes at the same position — though Roy Williams now is utilizing Bullock more frequently as a shooting guard, rather than a wing forward — and plays with a more laid back approach than the more gregarious Tar Heels such as John Henson.
Because UNC had struggled to this point shooting the ball — particularly as neither Dexter Strickland nor Kendall Marshall has yet demonstrated accuracy — Bullock’s emergence as a shooter could prove critical against more powerful foes.
Meanwhile, Henson continues to scorch. He shot 8-for-11 from the field en route to 16 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and four blocks, game by game proving to be a far more complete player than anyone expected.
Harrison Barnes (16) and Tyler Zeller (12) were the other double-digit scorers, and Marshall contributed another monster assist night (15). The combination of size, athleticism, passing and shooting constituted by far Carolina’s best offensive showing, culminating in a 62 percent night from the floor.
The Heels weren’t at their best defensively, but they still smothered the Tigers into 39 percent shooting. Carolina’s defense should receive a greater test this weekend in Las Vegas; they’ll play South Carolina on Friday night and either Southern Cal or UNLV on Saturday. Click here to view the UNC/TSU box score.