the postgame interviews, it was an effective and encouraging performance by the Tar Heels.
In their separate interviews, both Hubert Davis and Armando Bacot highlighted the team’s focus on dominating points in the paint through post play, penetration, and offensive rebounding. This specific game plan was executed well by the Tar Heels, resulting in an 86-70 victory over Radford.
One notable aspect of the game was the team’s three-point shooting. Despite shooting 35 percent from beyond the arc, which may not seem particularly impressive, it was a significant improvement compared to last season. The Tar Heels struggled with their three-point shooting in many games last year, and their record reflected that. This year, however, the team showed a willingness to try different scoring options when the three-point shot wasn’t working as effectively.
The game against Radford also showcased the team’s depth. Nine players saw double-digit minutes, and ten players played at least eight minutes. While the starters, including Bacot, RJ Davis, Cormac Ryan, Harrison Ingram, and Paxson Wojcik, made significant contributions, the bench players also had their moments. Elliot Cadeau stood out with six assists in 19 minutes, Seth Trimble had two game-changing defensive sequences, Jalen Washington grabbed back-to-back offensive boards, Jae’Lyn Withers scored on a strong drive and disrupted passing lanes, and Zayden High bounced back from a rough first half to contribute solid minutes in the second half.
The depth of the team not only provides options for Coach Davis but also has an impact on the opponent. The constant rotation of fresh players seemed to wear down Radford, as evidenced by their shooting percentage dropping from 50 percent in the first half to 34.4 percent in the second half.
Overall, the Tar Heels’ performance against Radford demonstrated the effectiveness of their game plan and the potential of their depth. While it may not work in every game, this victory was an encouraging start to the season and showcased the team’s ability to adapt and find different ways to win.
Carolina Tar Heels Dominate Radford in Season Opener
By Sports Correspondent
The Carolina Tar Heels kicked off their 2023-24 season with a convincing 86-70 victory over Radford on Monday night. Led by head coach Hubert Davis, the Tar Heels showcased their strength in the paint and displayed impressive depth throughout the game.
In separate postgame interviews, both Davis and Armando Bacot emphasized their game plan to dominate points in the paint through post play, penetration, and offensive rebounding. This strategy proved successful as Bacot, along with his teammates, executed it flawlessly.
Despite shooting 35 percent from the three-point line, the Tar Heels demonstrated a willingness to adapt their offensive approach. Last season, they often relied heavily on three-point attempts, even when the shots were not falling. However, against Radford, they recognized their advantage in the paint and capitalized on it.
From the very first play of the game, Bacot established himself on the block, opening up opportunities for guards to attack the basket. Davis praised Bacot’s ability to create space and make good decisions, leading to easy buckets for the team.
What set this year’s Tar Heels apart was their depth. Coach Davis emphasized the versatility and impact of their bench players, who contributed significantly when called upon. Elliot Cadeau showcased his playmaking ability with six assists, while Seth Trimble made crucial defensive plays. Jalen Washington’s offensive rebounding and Jae’Lyn Withers’ scoring ability added to the team’s success.
Carolina’s depth also had a profound impact on the defensive end. The team’s ability to rotate fresh players wore down Radford, resulting in a significant drop in their shooting percentage from the first half to the second half.
While the victory may not have been the most aesthetically pleasing, it highlighted the effectiveness of the Tar Heels’ game plan. By dominating the points in the paint category and outrebounding their opponents, Carolina secured a comfortable 16-point win.
Looking ahead, the Tar Heels understand that their success will not come as easily in every game. They will face tougher opponents and need contributions from both their starters and bench players. However, the season opener showcased the team’s potential and provided a strong foundation for the challenges ahead.