With their best offensive output in a season opener since 2017, North Carolina basketball is looking to maintain that momentum as they prepare for their inaugural meeting with Lehigh.
The 19th-ranked Tar Heels (1-0) are set to face the Mountain Hawks (0-1) at 2 p.m. Sunday in a game airing on ACC Network.
After securing an 86-70 win against Radford at the Dean E. Smith Center, UNC has one more home game (UC Riverside on Nov. 17) before heading to the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament in the Bahamas.
Here’s a look at some key factors and a score prediction for UNC’s first matchup with Lehigh.
Focusing on UNC basketball’s assists and defense
Following a season that saw assists on just 45.8% of their baskets, UNC had 18 assists on 32 shots (56.2%) against Radford in the 2023-24 opener. The Tar Heels had a rocky start with six turnovers in the first 10 minutes, but only five turnovers the rest of the way. Additionally, UNC’s defense improved, holding Radford to 42.4% shooting overall.
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Strong showings for Elliot Cadeau and Jalen Washington
Freshman guard Elliot Cadeau delivered six assists off the bench in his UNC debut. His performance was the best by a freshman since Bobby Frasor’s seven assists in 2005. Sophomore forward Jalen Washington also made an impact off the bench with eight points and four rebounds in 10 minutes.
Armando Bacot closing in on another Tyler Hansbrough record
Fifth-year veteran Armando Bacot is on track to break another record for UNC. Following a strong performance against Radford, Bacot is two offensive rebounds shy of passing Tyler Hansbrough for the program’s all-time record.
UNC vs. Lehigh score prediction
UNC 90, Lehigh 66: Despite Lehigh standing out as second in the Patriot League preseason poll, UNC’s dominance is expected to prevail.
Staff writer Rodd Baxley can be reached at [email protected] or @RoddBaxley on X/Twitter.
This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: UNC basketball vs. Lehigh: Scouting report, prediction
Laura Davis covers the world of basketball with precision. Her articles explore NBA and college basketball, offering game analysis, player profiles, and highlights. Laura’s passion for hoops is evident in her comprehensive basketball coverage.