Freshmen lead No. 16 UNC past College of Charleston 79-60

North Carolina forward Day'Ron Sharpe (11) shoots over College of Charleston center Osinachi Smart (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020.

North Carolina forward Day’Ron Sharpe (11) shoots over College of Charleston center Osinachi Smart (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020.

AP

Freshman guard Caleb Love scored 17 points and No. 16 North Carolina ran off 17 straight second-half points to beat College of Charleston 79-60 in Wednesday night’s season opener for both teams played in a largely empty arena.

Fellow rookie Day’Ron Sharpe added 13 points and 10 rebounds for the Tar Heels, who shot just 39.4% but dominated the boards after halftime to finally pull away. They did it while playing at home with an unusual backdrop: with only a handful of family members and staffers scattered in a few sections of blue seats in the 21,750-seat Smith Center and pumped-in background crowd noise due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tar Heels are coming off a 14-19 season, marking the first losing record of Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams’ career. They’re hoping for a quick turnaround with a deep frontcourt and a roster boosted by the arrival of 247sports’ No. 2-ranked recruiting class.

Those freshmen played a key role, with Love, Sharpe and RJ Davis scoring the first 12 points of the 17-0 run that turned a one-point deficit into a 59-43 lead on Armando Bacot’s three-point play with about 10 minutes to go.

Brevin Galloway scored 15 points to lead College of Charleston, which overcame an 0-for-11 shooting start that left the Cougars down 14 in the first half. But they got within 39-32 by halftime, then took a 43-42 lead on Dontavius King’s corner 3-pointer at the 15-minute mark before UNC made its move.

BIG PICTURE

College of Charleston: Earl Grant’s Cougars enter the season picked to finish sixth in the 10-team Colonial Athletic Association, where they won at least 11 games in each of the past four seasons. Aside from the early shooting trouble, they didn’t help themselves with 15 turnovers — some in the backcourt as UNC showed some extended-pressure looks — that the Tar Heels converted into 21 points.

UNC: The Tar Heels return senior Garrison Brooks inside as the preseason Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, but it was the youngsters who took a leading role on opening night. Love and Davis gave the Tar Heels two starting freshmen guards for the first time since the 2007 NCAA Elite Eight loss to Georgetown (with eventual NBA players Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington). Meanwhile, the 6-foot-10, 265-pound Sharpe was an immediate interior presence.

UP NEXT

College of Charleston: The Cougars host Limestone on Saturday.

UNC: The Tar Heels face UNLV on Monday as they open play in the Maui Invitational, which was relocated from its traditional Hawaii location to Asheville in the North Carolina mountains due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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College of Charleston at North Carolina odds, picks and prediction

In Wednesday college hoops action, the College of Charleston Cougars and North Carolina Tar Heels tip off their season at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C., at 6 p.m. ET. Below, we analyze the College of Charleston-North Carolina college basketball betting odds and lines, with picks and predictions.

College of Charleston at North Carolina: Betting odds, spread and lines

Odds via BetMGM; access USA TODAY Sports’ betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated at 2:36 a.m. ET.

  • Money line: College of Charleston +1400 (bet $100 to win $1,400) | North Carolina -5000 (bet $5,000 to win $100)
  • Against the spread/ATS: College of Charleston +17 (-110) | North Carolina -17 (-110)
  • Over/Under: 143.5 (O: -106 | U: -115)

College of Charleston at North Carolina: Three things to know

  1. North Carolina opens the season ranked No. 16 in the USA TODAY Sports Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll. Last season was a disaster by UNC standards as the Tar Heels finished 14-19 SU and 6-14 in the ACC, tied in the basement with Pittsburgh and Wake Forest.
  2. Charleston posted a 17-14 SU mark with a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) 11-7 record last season, finishing tied for fourth place. The Cougars went 6-7 SU in 13 true road contests while going 14-14-1 ATS with a slight edge to the Over at 15-13-1.
  3. Despite a relatively reasonable geographic proximity, CoC and UNC haven’t met on the hardwood since Nov. 28, 2010. Carolina picked up a 74-69 victory at the Smith Center as the Cougars easily covered a 14-point number that day as the Under (155.5) cashed.

Get some action on this game or any other matchup with a legal, online bet at BetMGM in CO, IN, NJ, TN and WV. Risk-free first bet up to $500, paid in free bets. Terms and conditions apply. Bet now!

College of Charleston at North Carolina: Odds, betting lines, predictions and picks

Prediction

North Carolina 77, College of Charleston 64

Money line (ML)

North Carolina (-5000) is too expensive, as you have to risk $50 for every $1 won. That’s just bad gambling over the long haul, as eventually you’ll run into an upset which will wash away your profits quickly. AVOID.

Against the spread (ATS)

COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON +17 (-110) is worth playing rather lightly, as I am just not feeling North Carolina -17 (-110). The did lose last year’s leading scorer and all-everything Cole Anthony to the NBA.

The Heels have retooled with a wealth of talent in freshmen Walker Kessler and Caleb Love, joining potential ACC Player of the Year Garrison Brooks, Armando Bacot and Leaky Black. But it might take a while for this new power five to jell. UNC won’t lose, but covering 17 is a tall order against a decent CoC side. The Cougars added some new blood, too, and Payton Willis should step right in and add some scoring punch.

Over/Under (O/U)

The lean is to the UNDER 143.5 (-115

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No. 16 North Carolina ready for fresh start vs. College of Charleston

The offseason probably felt particularly long for North Carolina because the past season was so disturbing for the Tar Heels.

Now it’s a chance to start anew for No. 16 North Carolina, which is coming off its worst season under Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams, when it takes on visiting College of Charleston on Wednesday night at Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.

“We’re anxious to see how we’re doing,” Williams said. “We had a season last year that definitely left a bad taste in our mouths.”

That strange campaign of unsatisfactory results meant North Carolina ended up with a 14-19 record.

North Carolina played in one of the final games of the 2019-20 college season, but it wasn’t because things went well. It was a second-round ouster in a loss to Syracuse in an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament nightcap — the last game in that event because the rest of the tournament was cancelled the next day due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It might not take long for the Tar Heels to recover once the new season begins.

North Carolina forward Garrison Brooks, a 6-foot-10 senior, is the ACC Preseason Player of the Year. Brooks posted 16.8 points and 8.5 rebounds per game last season, and his 53.5 percent shooting from the field ranked second best in the conference.

In addition to that production, Brooks has bolstered his leadership role. He has become more vocal as the new season approaches.

“I think that’s something I’ve done that’s really going well for me and the team this year,” Brooks said.

The Tar Heels look for bigger contributions from returning players Leaky Black and Andrew Platek in the backcourt and Armando Bacot in the lane.

For the third year in a row, the Tar Heels are set to begin a season with a freshman as the starting point guard. Caleb Love follows Coby White and Cole Anthony from the past two seasons — and both those players became first-round NBA Draft picks after one college season. Freshman RJ Davis also will be in the mix with Love.

“They’ve been on the court a lot together and they will also spell each other,” Williams said, “so it’s something that’s going to have to play out.”

College of Charleston will look to continue its history of contending for postseason bids. The Cougars, who play in the Colonial Athletic Association, posted a 17-14 record last season.

Beginning the season against a high-profile opponent should be a good gauge for College of Charleston.

“We are extremely excited about the challenges and opportunities that our nonconference schedule presents us,” Cougars coach Earl Grant said. “These types of battles will prepare us for our conference season as well as games in March.”

Gone from the Cougars is guard Grant Riller, who was a three-time All-CAA first-team selection. Riller was selected in the second round of the NBA draft by the Charlotte Hornets on Wednesday.

Senior guard Brevin Galloway is an All-CAA preseason second-team choice as the

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Editorial: 5 candidates to lead Charleston schools through pivotal moment in education | Editorials

The pandemic interrupted every aspect of our lives, probably none more than our schools, which had to convert literally overnight into remote learning centers, and then navigate questions about when and how to allow students back into the classroom.

Those challenges will continue as infection rates rise through the fall and winter, and then a whole host of new questions will arise once a vaccine is available. Yet even when COVID-19 is a memory, we will be left with the problems that have long plagued Charleston County School District: We have some of the best schools in the state and nation, and more than our share of the worst, and by and large the worst schools are filled with students who are poor and black, while the best are filled with students who are much better off and white.



Editorial: What makes sense, what doesn't in Charleston schools overhaul

The district’s “mission critical” actions were designed to improve education for poor kids without losing the support of the better-off parents who have the resources to send their children to private schools and whose support is critical to maintaining the district’s political and financial support in the community. They involve better early childhood education programs, merging too-small schools, focusing extra attention on the worst-performing schools and increasing diversity in the best schools.

These actions were never perfect, and there’s plenty of room to rethink some of the changes. But we can’t afford to abandon the whole concept, as some candidates want to do.

READ THE CANDIDATES ANSWERS to our questionnaires at postandcourier.com/opinion/election2020/

At this pivotal moment, we need school board members who can help guide us through the end of the pandemic and see the mission-critical concept through.

We believe the candidates who are best equipped for and committed to doing this are Charles Monteith and Courtney Waters for the two North Charleston seats, Lauren Herterich for the downtown Charleston seat, and Chris Fraser and Hunter Schimpff for the two seats that represent West Ashley, James Island, Johns Island and Ravenel. (We recognize that the Charleston Coalition for Kids reached the same conclusions about the candidates, a fact that in no way changes our belief that the organization needs to come clean with the public about who’s funding its TV ads supporting them.)



Editorial: Charleston Coalition for Kids needs to come clean with the public

North Charleston seats



MonteithCharles

Charles Monteith


Charles Monteith served four years on the District 4 Constituent Board and over the past year on the committee that vetted proposals by nonprofits to operate underachieving schools under contract with the district. He believes the approach he uses as a software quality-assurance professional can improve the learning process, for instance increasing early literacy education and giving teachers more autonomy. Like critics of public-school choice programs, he says the district’s priority must be making every neighborhood school excellent; unlike those critics, he recognizes that “traditional models of school reform may not be able to provide a more dynamic, innovative approach” quickly enough. He believes the district’s immediate priority should be reversing the learning loss from the COVID-19 school disruptions

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