Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Barnes era has begun for Carolina basketball

UNC freshman Harrison Barnes scored 21 points, hauled in eight rebounds and turned the ball over only once as the Tar Heels defeated the Commonwealth Bank Giants 130-87 in an exhibition game in the Bahamas last night.

Fellow freshman Reggie Bullock matched Barnes with 21 points and eight rebounds, but it was junior Tyler Zeller who led the way with 24 points and 13 rebounds.

Seven players scored in double figures for the Heels, who shot 58 percent from the floor. Dexter Strickland scored 18 points, Justin Watts tallied 13, John Henson had 11 and Will Graves chipped in 10.

The other freshman, Kendall Marshall, sank a three-pointer.

"We’ve only practiced three days," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "We have three freshmen who haven’t done anything with us until three days ago. We knew it was going to be ugly at times, but I was impressed with how hard they worked [and] I was impressed with the unselfishness. We’re by no means where we would like to be at the end, but we were taller and more gifted than the Bahamas team."

The only real negative Williams mentioned was letting the Giants get to the free throw line too much. "If we let a team shoot 53 free throws at our level of play we'll lose every night," he said.

The Tar Heels play in the Bahamas again tonight at 7:30 p.m. against the Bahamas All-Stars.

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