No. 1 North Carolina (2-0) vs. Gardner-Webb (0-2)
Chapel Hill, NC—Smith Center
Tuesday, Nov 15 — 8 p.m.
ACC Network (Wes Durham, Dan Bonner)
“This is the first time since 2014 we’ve been out-rebounded by back-to-back non-conference opponents. … That’s something that we’ve talked about and that we continue to address, and something that’s going to change.” — UNC coach Hubert Davis, referring to his team’s negative rebounding deferential (minus-8) on the new season.
“I’ve got to remember like Coach told me the other day, I’m not a CEO, I’m a high-end janitor. I mean, it’s the truth. I’m not the most talented guy. I’ve got to go out there and fight, and that’s what I’ve got to hang my hat on. So that’s what I need to go do, be a janitor.” — UNC power forward Armando Bacot, on powering in all but one of his 28 points against College of Charleston during the second half of Friday night’s game, to come up just shy of his career high in scoring.
Setting the Scene: It’s the third game of North Carolina’s four-game homestead to begin the season. The Tar Heels are 177-18 all-time against in-state opponents who aren’t in the ACC, and have won the last 47 times they’ve played in-state, non-ACC foes. UNC is 2-0 for the 18th straight season. The Tar Heels have won their first three games during each of the previous eight seasons.
Milestone Watch: North Carolina fifth-year senior Leaky Black is expected to make his 100th career start Tuesday night. Gardner-Webb will mark his 125th career game at UNC. Black is coming off a 15-point effort from Friday night against College of Charleston that included 6-for-6 shooting from the field and two 3-pointers. Junior guard RJ Davis scored his 800th career point in the 102-86 win over Charleston. Junior guard Caleb Love needs 32 points to reach 1,000 for his UNC career. He delivered 25 points, nine rebounds and six assists in Friday night’s victory.
View From the Top: UNC is 190-31 all-time as the No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 poll. This week’s Nov. 14 poll represents the 112th time that the Tar Heels have ranked No. 1 in an AP poll, fourth most in NCAA basketball history.
UNC has been voted No. 1 in the preseason for the 1977-78, 1981-82, 1983-84, 1986-87, 1993-94, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2011-12, 2015-16 and 2022- 23 seasons. This season marked the 10th time the Tar Heels have been ranked No. 1 to begin a season. UNC’s 10 preseason No. 1 rankings are the most all-time, breaking a tie with Duke. UCLA is third with eight, Kentucky is fourth with six and Arizona, Indiana, Kansas and Michigan are tied with three.
Long Road Home: Gardner-Webb lost 65-63 at Colorado State and 86-71 at Stephen F. Austin last week, the first of seven straight games away from home to start the season for the Runnin’ Bulldogs of the Big South Conference, who are under 10th -year coach Tim Craft. Gardner-Webb’s first home game on the schedule arrives Dec. 3.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs led by as many as 13 points in the first half at Colorado State, but ultimately lost on Isaiah Rivera’s game-winner for the Rams with 0.9 seconds remaining. Gardner-Webb was picked fourth in the Big South Conference’s predicted order of finish during the preseason, behind Longwood, Winthrop and UNC Asheville.
Runnin’ Off the Bench: While starting forward Kareem Reid earned a Preseason All-Big South nod, Gardner-Webb has gotten production off the bench here during the early going of the new season.
Julien Soumaoro, a 5-foot-11 guard, came off the bench to score 14 points in Gardner-Webb’s loss at Stephen F. Austin. He leads the Runnin’ Bulldogs with 13 points per game through two contests. Wisconsin-Green Bay transfer Lucas Stieber, another reserve guard off the Gardner-Webb bench, handed out six assists at Colorado State and seven assists at Stephen F. Austin.
Last Meeting: North Carolina defeated Gardner-Webb 77-61 on Nov. 15, 2019 at the Smith Center, as freshman guard Cole Anthony pumped in 28 points to lead the Tar Heels. That night, Bacot, then a freshman, collected the first double-double of his college career with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Bacot has since supplied 48 more double-doubles for the Tar Heels.
Series History: UNC leads the all-time series 5-0. All of the previous games have taken place in Chapel Hill, and starting with the first meeting between these teams in November 2005, occurred during the legendary Roy Williams’ coaching tenure.
Projected UNC Starters:
1 Leaky Black (Gr., 6-9, 205) — 11 ppg, 6 rpg
2 Caleb Love (Jr., 6-4, 200) — 21 ppg, 6 rpg
4 RJ Davis (Jr., 6-0, 175) — 14 ppg, 3.5 rpg
5 Armando Bacot (Sr., 6-11, 235) — 22 ppg, 7.5 rpg
32 Pete Nance (Gr., 6-11, 230) — 6 ppg, 2.5 apg
Projected Gardner-Webb Starters:
3 Quest Aldridge (Sr., 6-4, 185) — 10.5 ppg, 3 rpg
4 DQ Nicholas (Jr., 6-1, 180) — 9.5 ppg, 4 rpg
14 Kareem Reid (Sr., 6-9, 205) — 11 ppg, 7 rpg
23 Anthony Selden (Jr., 6-6, 220) — 8 ppg, 2 rpg
24 Ludovic Dufeal (Sr., 200) — 4 ppg, 2 rpg
Roster & Bios
Gardner Webb Info
Roster & Bios