UNC vs. Hofstra Preview

Tonight the Heels take on the Hofstra Pride in the Puerto Rico Tip-off. It’s not Maui but if you’re going to do a preseason tourney, might as well visit some island, right? I think Roy’s tan can attest to his love of warm places — and golf courses — but I suppose the athletic department also has something to do with the scheduling as well. On to the preview.

  • Hofstra’s season began with a 102-62 win over Farmingdale State, a Division III school, so we know the team can score. Who does all this scoring you ask? The Heels will look to contain senior guard and reigning CAA player of the year Charles Jenkins (26 pts, 8 rebs, 8 asst against F.S.; pictured at right) as well as some talented newcomers to the Pride. Freshman guard Shemiye McLendon, junior point guard Dwan McMillan and junior guard Mike Moore had 16, 15 and 13 points respectively in the debuts for Hofstra. McMillan transferred from junior college and Moore from Fordham.
  • Hofstra has yet to play a Division I school under new head coach Mo Cassara. Cassara might look familiar to some Carolina fans as he was an assistant under Al Skinner at Boston College for four years prior to taking the reigns at Hofstra. This will be Hofstra’s first ever meeting with UNC.
  • Besides worrying about Jenkins on the offensive end, Scout.com warns of defensive presence junior Greg Washington, who was named to the preseason CAA All-Defensive team, and who had six blocks against Farmingdale. It might be good to be wary, but at 6’10” and 215 pounds Washington sounds like a copy of John Henson (6’10”, 210), and I’ll take Henson in that match-up.

If the Tar Heels cut down on their turnovers, this one should be fairly one-sided. Zeller should have another nice outing as other than Washington, Hofstra’s size includes a couple of players who stand 6’8″. Henson and Zeller combined should be able to dominate down low, and and with 6’8″ Barnes flying in from the wing, the Heels’ athleticism will go far. This game, as with many this season, will go as the guard play goes.

And hopefully, Harrison Barnes’ extra practice will pay even more dividends. He doubled his point total from the exhibition against Barton in the Lipscomb game. Let’s see if he can double his Lipscomb total tonight.