Previewing Davidson

North Carolina and its 2-0 record travel to Charlotte on Saturday to face Davidson, a team that took the Tar Heels to overtime a year ago in Chapel Hill. Tip-off at Time Warner Cable Arena is set for 2 p.m. and the game will be televised locally by TWC Sports.

North Carolina (2-0) vs. Davidson (2-0)
Charlotte, N.C. -- Time Warner Cable Arena
Saturday, 2:00 p.m.
TWC Sports (Patrick Kinas, Chris Corchiani)


“Jake has a terrific basketball IQ and is very skilled. Sometimes, he puts both of those things together, and he gets performances like he had tonight. That’s why he’s in the starting lineup – because he’s capable of doing that every night.” - Davidson head coach Bob McKillop on junior Jake Belford, who scored a career-high 20 points on Tuesday

“Our guys are understanding how the inside-out also gives us great opportunities on the arc as well. We do shoot the 3-ball pretty well.” – McKillop


Season to Date: Davidson enters Saturday’s contest with a 2-0 record. The Wildcats routed Catholic, 102-66, in their season opener and then topped Campbell, 86-51, on Tuesday. The Wildcats, who return two starters from last season’s squad that posted a 20-13 record, were picked 12th in the Atlantic 10 Conference’s preseason poll. Davidson officially joined the league on July 1.

Bombs Away: It’s one thing to shoot 50 percent from 3-point range if a team has attempted 10 or 12 on the season. It’s quite another to shoot that high of a percentage after 50 attempts, which is exactly what Davidson has done. The Wildcats knocked down 15 of their 29 3-point attempts in their season opener against Catholic before shooting 10-of-21 from beyond the arc against Campbell. Tyler Kalinoski and Oskar Michelsen have done the bulk of the damage in connecting on 16-of-23 3-pointers combined. Davidson has made a 3-pointer in 640 consecutive games.

Balanced Scoring: Five Wildcats are averaged double figures through two games while eight players are logging double-digit minutes. Kalinoski and Michelsen lead with the way with 13.5 points per game and Jake Belford and Jordan Barham are each contributing 12.0 points per game. The Wildcats are shooting 53.5 percent from the floor and have assisted on more than half of their made field goals (69 on 38).

Short on Size: The Wildcats’ starting five will be looking up to their UNC counterparts on Saturday. Davidson’s backcourt stands 5-foot-11 (Brian Sullivan) and 6-foot (Jack Gibbs), while its frontcourt runs 6-foot-4 (Kalinoski), 6-foot-7 (Peyton Aldridge) and 6-foot-9 (Belford). Former SoCon players of the year Jake Cohen (2013) and De’Mon Brooks (2014) served as head coach Bob McKillop’s post presence in recent years, but that luxury is currently unavailable.

Tough “Home” Venue: Davidson is 1-4 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte. The Wildcats’ lone victory came against N.C. State on Dec. 6, 2008.

Last Meeting: The Tar Heels outlasted the Wildcats, 97-85, in overtime at the Smith Center on Dec. 21, 2013. Marcus Paige scored 11 of his 17 points in the extra period, while J.P. Tokoto turned in a career performance with 22 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and four blocks. UNC shot 63.0 percent after halftime.

Series History: UNC leads the all-time series with Davidson, 62-11. The Tar Heels have five in a row and 35 of the last 39 meetings.

Projected Starters:
3 Brian Sullivan (5-11, 185, Jr.) - 5.0 ppg, 4.5 apg
4 Tyler Kalinoski (6-4, 175, Sr.) - 13.5 ppg, 3.5 apg
12 Jack Gibbs (6-0, 195, So.) - 11.0 ppg, 6.5 apg
23 Peyton Aldridge (6-7, 205, Fr.) - 7.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg
25 Jack Belford (6-9, 220, Jr.) - 12.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg

Top Reserves:
15 Oskar Michelsen (6-9, 210, Fr.) - 13.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg
5 Jordan Barham (6-4, 210, Jr.) - 12.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg
1 Nathan Ekwu (6-7, 235, Fr.) - 8.0 ppg, 6.0 bpg

Location: Davidson, N.C.
Enrollment: 1,900
Conference: Atlantic 10
Nickname: Wildcats
Colors: Red & Black
Head Coach: Bob McKillop (25th season)
2013-14 Record: 20-12 (15-1)

DC Info
Roster & Bios

(Photos by USA Today Sports)

Inside Carolina Top Stories