UNC Rolls To The Show Wins Despite The Missing Pieces

CHAPPEL HILL, NC – As beta testing continued, North Carolina had things racing and rolling on Friday night, without even fully assembled.

1 Tar Heels blasted off pre-season past Johnson C. Smith, 101-40, in show basketball at the Smith Center, with Caleb Love pumping 20 points and Armando Bacote with 20 rebounds.

Pete Nance scored 19 points, Bakout added 12 points and Love provided eight assists while handling key guard duties without backcourt partner RJ Davis (twisted right hand), one of four UNC players missing tonight. Justin McCoy (non-COVID illness), Buff Johnson (right knee soreness), and Galen Washington (rehabilitating injured knee) weren’t in uniform.

Absentees aside, UNC is still doing quick work for the Division II Golden Bulls, 10 nights before the season opener arrives against UNCW. Tar Heels led 18-3 during the first six minutes of the exhibition match, with a 15-point winning streak. Love scored nine points early as part of that increase. He finished 4 for 9 out of 3 points.

UNC unorked records tears all the time. In the second half, the three-line Nance indicator from the top of the key pushed the lead across the 40-point threshold, to 78-36. UNC scored the next 19 points, capping Will Shaver to make it 87-36. The Tar Heels eventually collected a 40-5 run out of the first half.

Seth Trimble (11 points, five assists off the bench), D’Marco Dunn (nine points off the bench), Tyler Nickel (nine points off the bench) and Dontrez Styles (seven points, 10 rebounds off the bench) choppy as contributors .

Cedric Patterson was the only Johnson C. Smith player to double-digit with 11 points.

UNC goalkeeper Caleb Love flashed a smile after one of his three-pointers in a Friday night exhibition match. (Photo: Jim Hawkins/Inside Carolina)

double double machine

Bacot, the ACC’s all-American pre-season and pre-season player of the year, put together a double-double before the first half ended. He reached the end of the first half with 10 points and 12 rebounds, keeping pace with three assists and two leading shots.

Keep in mind that Bacot picks up where he left off in some ways, although the stats from Friday night don’t count toward North Carolina’s numbers for the near season. During last season’s magical race to the National Championship game, Bakout became the first player in college basketball history to collect six consecutive pairs in the NCAA Tournament.

off the bench

New goalkeeper Trimble was the first sub-coach to be used by Hubert Davis from the bench. He got into Dunn about 3 and a half minutes into the game, and Tar Heels continued to use eight players during the first half. Styles (at the 13:54 mark) and Nickel (at the 10:48 mark) are the others who came off the North Carolina bench before the break.

Nickel found an open appearance against Johnson C. Smith’s area defense and hit a pair of 3s in the first inning. His second bucket came from behind the arc, drilled from the wing, on a cross from Backout on the opposite baseline. This put UNC ahead 37-19.

Hopper Trimble made big chops and pieces of a pass from Styles in the first half.

Absence due to injury, change of standings

With RJ Davis sidelined by a crooked right-hand man and not in uniform on Friday night, sophomore guard Dunn joined the UNC starting lineup alongside expected starters Love, Bacot, Nance and Leaky Black. Hubert Davis alternated between eight of the nine players available for scholarship in the first half, and the ninth player — Shaver — joined the mix in the second half.

Next in the schedule

A national first-season pre-season favorite to win an ACC title for the first time in seven years, UNC opened its second season under Davis on November 7 against visiting UNCW here at the Smith Center.

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