UNC Basketball: Theo Pinson reveals what fueled Luke Maye’s big game


NC State ticked off Luke Maye with trash talk and he made them pay

By now you’ve heard Luke Maye’s incredible story on his rise to stardom with the North Carolina Tar Heels.

He’s gone from a preferred walk-on to hitting the game-winner against Kentucky and now having the best season of his career.

Maye’s performance against NC State on Saturday helped the Tar Heels extend their winning streak to three-games and get a much-needed win to keep their double-bye hopes alive.

The junior forward poured in 33 points, a career-high, and recorded 17 rebounds in the big 96-89 win at PNC Arena.

Maye scored 27 of his 33 points in the second half, a time where UNC really needed someone to step up. He answered that call and even hit a big deep three-pointer in the final minutes.

But it may have been NC State’s own fault for Maye’s red hot second half.

Teammate Theo Pinson spoke to the media following Saturday’s win and revealed something pretty interesting about the game. Pinson hinted that Wolfpack players were trash-talking Maye and it fueled him.

NC State fans apparently were talking trash to Maye and it carried over to their own players doing it as well. For NC State, it was a big mistake.

"“It was very disrespectful on their part,” Pinson said via Inside Carolina. “One of them said, ‘You can guard him, he’s not as athletic as you.’ And I think he heard that. Once I heard that, I said, ‘They done talked to the wrong one.’ He just started cooking after that.”"

Pinson went on to say that there are two players on this team that he wouldn’t talk “junk” too: Maye and fellow senior Joel Berry.

It appears as if NC State made that big mistake it cost them.

The Tar Heels have now won the first two games of a crucial three-game in five-day stretch by beating Duke and NC State. They will have another quick turnaround when they host Notre Dame on Monday.

UNC is still alive for the double-bye and received some much-needed help with a Boston College win over Miami on Saturday.

Next: Joel Berry doubles down on rivalry comment

For more on the upcoming UNC-Notre Dame game, check back to Keeping It Heel.