Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 10/23/14
Gardner-Webb vs North Carolina With the gridiron still going on (and going strong), with many former UNC basketball and football players earning a living at the next level, it’s finally time to see #11 AP/#12 USA Today North Carolina (0-0) begin their hardwoods season tonight against in-state opponent Gardner-Webb (0-0) at the Dean Dome, with tip off time being 7:00 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on RSN/ESPN3 as well as being on the radio on the Heels Sports Network, where it will be called by Jones Angell and Rick Steinbacher. UNC is 90-12 in season openers (95-7 home openers), but needed a shot from beyond the arc with time running out in order to beat this same program to start off the `05-`06 season. Altogether these two teams have played one another three times, all the games being home openers for Carolina and all of them going to the Tar Heels. On the other hand, the first three games between the two teams were never with the Tar Heels having lost four starters to the National Basketball Association, which also means having lost 66% of their scoring, 58.7% of their rebounding, 71.9% of their assists, 53.3% of their steals and 80.5% of their blocks. Add to those numbers the fact that GWU returns a team that mostly played together all of last season while UNC is still figuring out what their line up will be for this game, as head coach Roy Williams said that he was still unsure who he would start at the center position, as of yesterday, and you could see why some of the fan base go into this game a bit worried of what could happen. “More the post. I feel fairly comfortable about Marcus [Paige], Dexter [Strickland], Reggie [Bullock] and James Michael [McAdoo], but that fifth spot from one day to the next I change quite a bit.” The pre-season scrimmage had Desmond Hubert in the middle, however it seems that going into the first game it’s between freshmen Joel James (6’10″/260 lbs) and Brice Johnson (6’9″/187) for who is going to pair up with James McAdoo in the paint. I am sure that we will see much of both of these young men, as well as seeing Hubert getting some playing time as well, in the game tonight. I am also pretty confident that coach Williams will shuffle many of the bigs around as the season moves towards the ACC part of the schedule. And while the competition for who gets the playing time in the post is going to be one of the most watched things for both the coaching staff and the fan base, I am going to be focused on Marcus Paige, the first freshman to start at the point for UNC since Bobby Frasor did so in the `05-`06 season. Yes, the same season that Carolina needed a late three pointer to defeat Gardner-Webb. McDonald & Strickland As this season begins there are still many questions to be answered. Will this team be solid in the front court with McAdoo being the main presence there? Will the squad be able to run with a freshman point guard? Will Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald, both returning from major injuries, be 100% or close to it? Will the wings be able to score enough to compensate for the points that the Heels won’t get from the paint? Will UNC be able to play good D with this group of players? All those questions will be answered, in time, but definitely not tonight, at least not fully tonight. By no means do I believe that this game is going to be a measuring stick for the 2012-13 basketball season. What this game is however is the beginnin of the season for both squads and one that I think will be won by North Carolina by close to 20 points, with the final being 79 to 63.
PLAYERS: Marcus Paige
TEAMS:
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift, blames media for scrutiny

Report: Cowboys could limit DeMarco Murray's touches

Lakers announce Steve Nash to miss season with back issues

Is Mack Brown the best option for SMU?

Jeremy Kerley on new contract: 'Bentleys for everybody'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Buss: Any FA who won’t play with Kobe ‘probably a loser’

NFL to start airing its own anti-domestic violence PSAs

Ex-Bronco John Boyett punched cabbie, told cops to call Elway

Former NFL QB still feels effects of concussions every day

Robert Klemko given four-week suspension from The MMQB

Michael Vick: Percy Harvin won't be a monster here

NFL teams facing potential must-win scenarios in Week 8

WATCH: Jeremy Lin poses as Adidas employee for prank

WATCH: Peyton screams at fans to 'shut the f- up!'

Father auctioning off infant son's soccer club allegiance

Love thanks T'Wolves fans in essay for not burning his jersey

WATCH: Browns WR 'kicks out' son over favorite player snub

Memorabilia dealer wants Todd Gurley reinstated immediately

Aaron Rodgers gave girlfriend Olivia Munn a 'special ring'?

The 10 college football programs with most to gain in Week 9

Most disappointing potential dynasties of divisional era

WATCH: OHL hockey coach goes off on reporter: ‘F*** you!’

PK Subban as Michael Jackson at Canadiens' Halloween party

Tar Heels News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Brian Urlacher rips Jay Cutler

On Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving and embracing newfound roles

Top NFL storylines: Week 8

Kiffin's mom worried for son's safety

Report: Goodell will have to testify

Penguins do 'O Canada' following tragedy

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.