Busting Brackets

3 takeaways from UNC Basketball's loss to Kentucky in CBS Sports Classic

UNC vs. Kentucky Basketball
UNC vs. Kentucky Basketball / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
2 of 3

2) There's only so much RJ Davis can do

Through the first quarter of the season, RJ Davis is on the shortlist with Zach Edey of Purdue as favorites for National Player of the Year. The senior guard has raised his game to another level this year, and he's rewriting the UNC record books in the process.

After a slow start against Kentucky, Davis willed the Heels back into the game by scoring 18 of his 27 points in the second half. That's six straight games with 23 or more for Davis, who also led Carolina in rebounds and assists.

When your best player plays such a tremendous all-around game, teams generally expect to win. Davis didn't have much help against Kentucky though, with only Cormac Ryan stepping up as a reliable second option.

Ryan scored 20 points of his own, and finally looked to have his shot back after struggling with it since joining the Heels. We've gone over the struggles of Armando Bacot already, but Harrison Ingram, who has usually looked like Carolina's second-best player, was mostly invisible, too.

Elliot Cadeau had his worst game of the season, and he sat for most of the second half before coming in and turning it over on the final possession with UNC down three. Seth Trimble got 16 of Cadeau's minutes, but seemingly every time he tried to make something happen, a much taller Wildcat was waiting at the rim to enthusiastically swat his shot attempt.

Jae'Lyn Withers got a lot of run in the second half, but he continued his frustrating run of play. The Louisville transfer is big and athletic, but he hasn't shown that he can knock down an open shot, and his feel for the game is still a work in progress. I like that Hubert Davis tried to make up for his team's rebounding troubles by going big, but I would have rather seen Jalen Washington get 19 minutes and Withers get eight, instead of the other way around.

RJ Davis has been one of the best players in the country for the past six games, and in that time, Carolina is only 3-3. Someone else needs to step up.