Previewing Old Dominion

The Tar Heels officially tip-off the 2003-04 season, and the Roy Williams Era, Saturday night at the Smith Center. Game time is 8 p.m. and it will be televised locally by RJ-TV.

North Carolina vs. Old Dominion
Smith Center, Chapel Hill
8 p.m., RJ

Pregame Quotes

Roy Williams -

"I'm always worried more about my team, but I think Old Dominion -- four of their top six guys back -- last year Carolina started out by making their first nine shots of the game, but with two or three minutes to play it's a five-point game. Even after starting out 9-for-9. Blaine Taylor their coach is a good guy and a good coach, so they'll be ready, they'll understand the significance and they'll be fired up.

"I've always felt that our 'want to' has got to match the other team's 'want to.' Ours has got to match theirs and protect our home turf, here. It's not the kind of game where we're going to go in trying to decide where we're going to eat after the game. We've got to go out there and play. When someone's got four of their top six back and played us well last year, we have to understand that old thing 'Expect everyone, fear no one.'"

Blaine Taylor

"I think people's knowledge of us is truly limited. Alex [Loughton] has developed a lot since last season. Isaiah [Hunter] and Alex got plenty of starts a year ago, and we should see the benefits of that investment this season. They have vital game experience and a lot of minutes under their belts. ...

"If someone is overly concerned with starting, it could be counterproductive. We're going to be dressing 10 when we go to North Carolina, and those 10 will all very likely play. ...

"This is the difference between growing pains and building. The last couple of years, we'd been in transition. Now we're stacking the talent higher instead of putting out fires."

Player to Watch

Alex Loughton - 6-9, 235, So., F - A CAA All-Rookie selection a year ago, and voted to the preseason All-CAA Second Team this year, Loughton is one of the top frontcourt players in the conference. The Australian native posted 13 points and 8 rebounds against the Heels a year ago. With the departure of ODU's top players from last year (Ricardo Marsh and Rasheed Wright), Loughton will be expected to pick up much of the scoring load. Also keep an eye on two freshmen, Arnaud Dahi and Drew Williamson. Dahi is a super-athletic forward who has made waves in the preseason, while Williamson (voted the 2002 NC Male Athlete of the Year) had planned to walk-on at UNC this year until Matt Doherty left Chapel Hill.

Last Year's Meeting

Nov. 24, 2002 - Heels hold off ODU, 67-59

Location: Norfolk, Va.
Enrollment: 19,500
Conference: Colonial Athletic Association
Nickname: Monarchs
Colors: Slate Blue, Silver & Light Blue
Head Coach: Blaine Taylor
Record at ODU: 25-31

Probable Starting Lineup: 
   Troy Nance (5-9, G, Sr.) – 3.8 ppg, 4.4 apg
   Isaiah Hunter (6-2, G, So.) – 6.1 ppg, 2.0 rpg
   John Waller (6-4, F, Sr.) – 8.3 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 39% 3pt
   Alex Loughton (6-9, F, So.) – 8.3 ppg, 6.0 rpg
   Janko Mrksic (6-10, C, So.) – 1.2 ppg, 2.1 rpg
Key Reserves: 
   T.J. Waldon (6-4, F, So.) – 3.0 ppg, 2.6 rpg
   Kiah Thomas (6-4, G, Jr.) – 3.1 ppg, 1.6 rpg
   Drew Williamson (6-0, G, Fr.) – first game
   Arnaud Dahi (6-7, F, Fr.) – first game
   Valdas Vasylius (6-7, F, Fr.) – first game

ODU Info

Photo Gallery

Troy Nance ... John Waller

Blaine Taylor

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