The Tar Heels opened up their 2020 campaign with a “Heel” of a win against a pesky College of Charleston team. The freshman guards RJ Davis and Caleb Love showed much composure in the backcourt for Coach Roy Williams – who isn’t used to starting freshman. The talent is undeniable, and will erase the questions about “all hype or talent?”
Starting the game, College of Charleston went 0-11 from the field with no rhythm or offensive flow. Able to right the ship, the Cougars got to within 7 before halftime – which included ball denial into the paint for Brooks and Sharpe.
UNC has the bigs, and plenty of them. Freshman Day’Ron Sharp will battle for minutes in Roy Williams’ lineup, because of his motor. He ran the floor well and at points contested shots on the perimeter. UNC controlled the glass on both sides – specifically in the second half. The bigs of UNC were forced to guard the perimeter of the Cougars due to the lack of size.
The cougars went to their strengths, which was shooting behind the arc. One of the key points Coach Roy Williams reiterated before the game was guarding the 3-point line. College of Charleston finished the first half 4-12 from downtown, compared to the Tar Heels’ 3 of 8. The freshman Caleb Love led the Tar Heels with 8 points, 4 dimes – including 6 points from the charity stripe.
The difference in the first half was points in the paint. Both teams went to the break with 18. Garrison Brooks trying to establish his dominance, started strong but tailed off towards the end of the first half. College of Charleston mixed up their defense with a 2-3 matchup zone to stay within striking distance of the Tar heels.
Zep Jasper started the second half with back to back baskets to help rejuvenate the Cougars who went on an 8-1 run to tie it at 40. Worth noting, the Cougars continued denying ball entry into the paint to Sharpe and Brooks of the Heels. The defense dared the young, rattled, freshman backcourt of the Heels to facilitate the offense. After a timeout by Coach Williams, the Heels ramped up its full-court defense, stretching the lead to 21. Defense leading to easy buckets is Coach Roy Williams’ staple and blueprint for dictating tempo with his floor generals.
Day’Ron Sharpe, who Roy Williams announced is the best rebounder he’s coached since Tyler Hansbrough, jump started the Heels’ lead to 9 rebounds including 2 rebounds on the offensive end – resulting in freshman Caleb Love knocking down the 3 at the 13- minute mark. After settling down, the Heels continued feeding the bigs which resulted in a 17-0 run, never looking back.
- During roughly a 7-minute stretch in the second half the Heels went on a 21-3 run – putting the Cougars hope of upset city out of reach. In addition, UNC’s ability to control the glass with four players 6’10” and above all helped set the tone against the undersized cougars.
- The Heels running the hi-low game, which resembles Coach Williams scheme of playing two bigs, was the recipe for taming the Cougars. It will be key for the Heels throughout the duration of the season.
- Day’ron Sharpe is a man amongst boys. His motor and energy was unmatched tonight. Expect Sharpe to continue rising on NBA mock draft boards. He’ll be starting by the third game…book it.
- The Starting freshman backcourt of Caleb Love and RJ Davis, with growth and maturity, will continue elevating UNC into the next phase of competing for a National Championship. Love finished the game with 17 points, 4 assists, 2 steals to only 1 turnover.
Up Next for the Heels
The Heels head to Asheville, NC for the Maui Invitational. They’ll take on the Runnin Rebels of UNLV Monday at 7 P.M. on ESPN 2.