UNC Basketball: Grades for Tar Heels’ game against Purdue

Nov 20, 2021; Uncasville, Connecticut, USA; Purdue Boilermakers forward Trevion Williams (50) looks to pass the ball with North Carolina Tarheels forward Brady Manek (45) defending during the first half at Mohegan Sun Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2021; Uncasville, Connecticut, USA; Purdue Boilermakers forward Trevion Williams (50) looks to pass the ball with North Carolina Tarheels forward Brady Manek (45) defending during the first half at Mohegan Sun Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports /

Grading every UNC basketball player for their performance against the Purdue Boilermakers

The North Carolina Tar Heels gave the Purdue Boilermakers all they wanted on Saturday afternoon, as the highly-anticipated game wasn’t decided until the waning minutes of the second half. It was ultimately a 93-84 victory for the No. 6 Boilermakers, but the 18th-ranked Tar Heels showed the kind of grit, fight and spunk that UNC teams of the past couple of seasons did not.

If anything, it showed that North Carolina has the horses to run with just about anyone in the nation this season, as Purdue figures to be one of college basketball’s top programs from start to finish. While the Tar Heels may struggle against teams with extraordinarily large and talented front courts — such as the Boilermakers — Saturday’s game proves that they have the type of shooters to stick around in almost any contest.

We graded each of the Tar Heels for their performances against the Boilermakers, starting with newcomer Dawson Garcia, who had his best game as a member of the UNC basketball program.

Dawson Garcia

Garcia kept the Tar Heels in it with a sensational offensive performance against the Boilermakers, scoring a game-high 26 points on a spectacular 10-for-13 shooting performance that included 3-of-5 from three-point range. He also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds and hit all three of his free throw attempts.

The only knock on Garcia’s spectacular game was the four turnovers he committed, and the foul trouble that ultimately got him disqualified from the game. Outside of that, and one missed bunny toward the end of the game, it was a near-perfect performance for the sophomore forward.


R.J. Davis

Davis again showed that he can take over a game on the offensive end of the court, as he scored 18 points on 6-for-12 shooting and 2-for-6 from beyond the arc. He also gave the Tar Heels seven rebounds and four assists, and knocked down all four of his free throws. He also committed just one turnover in 31 minutes of play.


Caleb Love

Caleb Love is a volume shooter, no doubt, and he’s not likely to ever be the Tar Heels’ most efficient scorer. But he is a star-in-the-making, and he’s vital to North Carolina’s success this season. He scored 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting and 2-of-7 from beyond the arc. He added four assists, three rebounds, one steal and one block, but did commit three turnovers — he’s combined for seven over the team’s past two games.


Justin McKoy

McKoy didn’t get a lot of playing time against Purdue, logging a mere eight minutes and accounting for just two shot attempts. However, the former Virginia Cavaliers forward knocked down his only three-point attempt to go along with two rebounds, one assist and one block. He also played some solid defense against Sasha Stefanovic in the first half. When you consider what was asked of him, and the amount of minutes that he played, McKoy did a solid job against the Boilermakers.


Brady Manek

This wasn’t Manek’s best game as a Tar Heel. In fact, it was his worst, by far.

Manek scored just six total points despite getting 27 minutes of play off the UNC bench. And he would have gotten more minutes had he not been in foul trouble — he ended the game with four, and was played sparingly at times in the second half to preserve his eligibility. He hit two of his seven shot attempts for the game, and 1-of-3 from long-range. On the plus side, Manek did record four rebounds, two assists, one steal, one block and just one turnover.


Anthony Harris

Harris had a couple of quick turnovers toward the beginning of his 13 minutes of game action, but he pulled it together and had a solid enough performance in his third appearance of the season. He hit 2-of-4 shots and connected on his only three-point attempt, while providing a nice spark off the UNC bench.


Kerwin Walton

Walton played 31 minutes against Purdue, but scored just six points in the Tar Heels’ first loss of the season. He connected on just two of his nine shot attempts — 2-of-6 from three — and recorded just two rebounds and a block. It’s difficult to imagine that he didn’t get his hands on another rebound or loose ball at some point during more than a half-hour of gameplay.


Armando Bacot

Bacot’s game against Purdue on Saturday was one of the worst of his collegiate career. He was in foul trouble from start to finish, and only played 17 minutes for the game. He scored a season-low two points, and had as many fouls as rebounds (five), which is what eventually earned him a permanent seat on the bench. He struggled to compete down low with the Boilermaker bigs, and was routinely pushed around by Purdue’s Trevion Williams.


Next. Tar Heels pursuing 2024 recruit?. dark

The Tar Heels will take the court next on Sunday afternoon when they face off with the 17th-ranked Tennessee Volunteers in day two of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament. Check back with Keeping It Heel for complete coverage of that game, and everything on the UNC basketball program.