Oct 26, 2012; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward James Michael McAdoo (43) shoots a free throw in an exhibition game at the Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

UNC vs. Gardner Webb: Avoiding an Upset

The UNC basketball team opens up its 2012-13′ campaign friday night at the Dean Dome. Similar to 2005, the Tar Heels open up against Gardner Webb without four starters who went on to the NBA. Raymond Felton, Sean May, Marvin Williams, and Rashad McCants left after that 2005 National Championship victory and left David Noel as the sole leader of a team littered with young inexperienced talent.

UNC narrowly avoided an upset that November night in 2005 with a three point dagger in the corner by David Noel, and the  Tar heels escaped with an 83-80 victory. No one quite knew what to expect coming into that season, but Noel turned out to be one of the best leaders the UNC basketball team has ever had, and led that team to a 23-8 finish and a stunning second round loss to George Mason in the NCAA tournament.

We as fans must understand and face reality that this year is going to have some growing pains. As much talent as the Tar Heels have their very young, and are starting a freshmen point guard. If the Tar Heels can remain focused, and not overlook Gardner Webb, they should win by at least twenty.

As much size as UNC lacks this year in the paint they will be facing a Gardner Webb team with only two players taller then 6’6. UNC needs to work the ball down low to  James Michael McCadoo, and Joel James and work from the inside out, creating open shots for our explosive perimeter players. As long as UNC can knock down some outside shots and force some turnovers, turning them into easy baskets then UNC will come out on top and gain some much needed playing experience.

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