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Brooks Draws Praise From Williams Once Again

Garrison Brooks drew praise from his head coach for the second straight game, and for good reason. (Jenna Miller, THI)

RALEIGH - Just three days after Roy Williams singled out Garrison Brooks for his solid performance against Pittsburgh, the sophomore forward backed up his coach’s words with another impressive display in North Carolina’s 90-82 victory at N.C. State on Tuesday night.

Brooks finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists in the win over the Wolfpack at PNC Arena. While the Auburn, AL, native didn’t put up huge numbers, his coach heaped praise on him once again.

“I thought he was sensational defensively...” Williams said, before shifting to Brooks’ potent passing over the last two games. “I told Leaky (Black) and Seventh (Woods) and Coby (White) they better watch out because Garrison the last two games has 10 assists and zero turnovers. I might play his butt at point guard.”

For Brooks, however, coming in ready to play against the Wolfpack was not something he had to hype himself up for. He was ready from the jump and it showed in the way he played.

“If you can’t get up for this game, I don’t think you really love Carolina Basketball,” Brooks said. “It was just a big-time game, so I felt like I needed to play with high energy and be one of the biggest guys, a key to the team basically.”

Not only has Brooks been a weapon passing the ball for the Tar Heels of late, he’s also been more productive scoring.

Brooks was singled out by Roy Williams for his defense Tuesday. (Jenna Miller, THI)

In the Tar Heels’ 37 games last season, Brooks scored in double-figures just five times. This season, Brooks has already equaled that total through UNC’s first 15 games.

An explanation for the increased production is quite simple, he says.

“I feel like I’m just playing harder and doing what the coaches tell me to do,” Brooks said.

Despite being singled out by Williams again Tuesday, Brooks’ effort on the defensive end especially has started a friendly competition with senior Kenny Williams.

“It (Brooks’ defense) really pisses me off, just in kind of a fun way,” Williams joked. “Garrison wins defensive player of the game a lot and that’s something I try to do. He’s my biggest competition so, to see him play like that, it’s great, I love it for the win, but when we get the grades it pisses me off.”

Williams isn’t the only senior on the team raving about Brooks’ productivity, especially in conference play.

“He’s getting better offensively and starting to shoot a little mid-range which is great...” Luke Maye said. “But, right now, we just need him to continue to do great defensively, offensive rebound, box out, and make the plays inside and I think he’s doing that right now for us which has been big.”

If Brooks can continue to produce, his Hall of Fame coach may have the solid big man he’s been waiting for all season.

Brooks' Postgame Interview