The Tar Heels open the 2021-22 season on Tuesday, November 9 at the Smith Center against Loyola University Maryland. This is the first regular-season game under the direction of Hubert Davis. Davis is the fourth Tar Heel head coach who also played at UNC, joining Reynolds Cuthbertson, Monk McDonald and Matt Doherty.
- Carolina is No. 19 in the Associated Press preseason poll and No. 20 in the coaches’ poll. The preseason ranking was the 929th time the Tar Heels were in named an AP poll, most in college basketball history. Carolina has been ranked at least once in 65 of the poll’s 74 seasons.
- Carolina was picked to finish third in the ACC by the media at preseason media day in Charlotte on October 12.
- Armando Bacot, who earned third-team AllACC honors in 2021, was selected to the preseason first team. Sophomore guard Caleb Love was chosen for the second team. Love was a member of the ACC’s All-Freshman team last season.
- Bacot, Love and Dawson Garcia are on the Basketball Hall of Fame’s preseason watch lists
for their respective positional player-of-the-year awards.
- Love is a candidate for Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year award, Garcia for the Karl Malone Power Forward of the Year award and Bacot for the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Center of the Year
- The Tar Heels welcome seven new players to the roster, including three transfers, two freshmen and two former junior varsity players.
- Graduate student Brady Manek made 235 threes and scored 1,459 points in four seasons at Oklahoma. Sophomore Dawson Garcia averaged 13.0 points and 6.6 rebounds an earned Freshman All-Big East Conference honors last season at Marquette. Junior Justin McKoy, a Raleigh native who attended Panther Creek High School in Cary, returns to his home state after two seasons at Virginia.
- Junior forward/center Armando Bacot and sophomore guards RJ Davis and Caleb Love were selected team captains. Davis and Love are the first sophomore captains since Marcus Paige in 2013-14. The players were selected captains by a vote of their teammates.
- Five Tar Heels scored in double figures in Carolina’s 83-55 win over Elizabeth City State at the Smith Center on November 5.
- Dawson Garcia (17), Armando Bacot (16), Brady Manek (16), RJ Davis (12) and Caleb Love (11) scored 72 of UNC’s 83 points. Garcia, Love and Manek each hit a pair of three-pointers. Carolina made 9 of 23 from three-point range. The Tar Heels shot 43.1 percent from the floor and made 24 of 30 free throws.
- Davis and Love each had five assists as UNC assisted on 18 of 25 field goals.
- The Tar Heels out-rebounded ECSU, 49-28.
About Loyola Maryland
- Loyola returns nine players to its roster after reaching the Patriot League Championship Game in 2021. Four starters from that game return this year.
- Jaylin Andrews is the team’s top returning scorer after averaging 11.6 points per game a year ago to go with 4.9 rebounds. Golden Dike is the Greyhounds’ leading rebounder back on the roster; he averaged 6.2 as a sophomore. Cam Spencer saw limited action at the end of the season due to an early injury, but he was key in the Greyhounds’ Patriot League Championship run and finished averaging 10.2 points per game.
- Tavaras Hardy is in his fourth season on the Loyola sidelines after he was named the 21st head coach in Loyola men’s basketball history on March 28, 2018. In Hardy’s first three seasons, Loyola improved its field-goal percentage from .438 in 2017-18 to .465 in both 2019-20 and 2020-21, rising from 218th in NCAA Division I in the category to 51st.
- Loyola enters the 2021-2022 season with five players who hail from outside of the United States on its roster. The Greyhounds have two from Spain – Golden Dike and Alonso Faure – a pair from Serbia – twins Milos and Veljko Ilic – and one from Nigeria – Casmir Ochiaka. The five internationally born players are the most of any team in the Patriot League.
- Loyola will open the season with seven new players on the roster, six freshman and a junior walk-on.
- Jaylin Andrews scored 18 points and had nine rebounds, and Kenneth Jones added 10, including his last three on a key shot from behind the arc with 4:11 left in regulation as Loyola beat Johns Hopkins, 60-49, in exhibition action on November 1. Andrews grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it to Jones in the left corner where he buried a three to give Loyola a 52-46 lead over the team that enters the 2021-2022 season ranked No. 13 in NCAA Division III. Johns Hopkins had just one field goal after that point as the Greyhounds held the Blue Jays to 28.6 percent from the field. Golden Dike led all players with 10 points and five assists for the Greyhounds, and Milos Ilic had nine points and seven boards.
UNC vs Loyola Maryland
- Carolina defeated Loyola, 64-47, at the Baltimore Coliseum on New Years Eve 1947 in the only previous game between the schools. Bob Paxton (17) and Nemo Nearman (16) combined for 33 of UNC’s 64 points.
- Carolina is 99-12 in season openers, including last year’s 79-60 win over the College of Charleston. Freshman point guard Caleb Love led four Tar Heels in double-figure scoring with 17 points.
- UNC has won its last 16 season openers (last loss was the 2004-05 opener against Santa Clara in Oakland).
- The Tar Heels have won their last 19 home openers since a November 16, 2001, loss to Hampton.
How to Watch
Time: 7:00 p.m. (ET)
TV: ACC Network (Doug Sherman, Cory Alexander)
Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Tar Heel Sports Properties (Jones Angell, Eric Montross, Adam Lucas)