UNC basketball vs. Radford: Scouting report, prediction for Tar Heels’ opener

Finally, UNC basketball gets to turn the page on last season and start from fresh.

The 19th-ranked Tar Heels open the 2023-24 season against Radford on Monday (7 p.m., ACC Network) at the Dean E. Smith Center.

Coming off a 20-13 season that saw UNC miss the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2010, the Tar Heels will roll out a revamped roster in Hubert Davis‘ third season. Armando Bacot and RJ Davis return as starters, but seven new players will make their UNC debut next week.

Here’s a look at some things to know and a score prediction for the Tar Heels’ season opener against the Highlanders.

Elliot Cadeau as the sixth man for UNC basketball

Freshman guard Elliot Cadeau was the first player off the bench for the Tar Heels in their exhibition win against Saint Augustine’s. As UNC figures out its rotation, Cadeau could continue in that role as he adjusts to being a college basketball player. Either way, Cadeau’s production will be vital for UNC’s success this season.

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How will Hubert Davis use the Tar Heels’ bench players?

In last season’s opener against UNCW, seven players got double-digit minutes on the court and three of those players logged 30 or more minutes. In UNC’s exhibition win against St. Aug’s, nine players got double-digit minutes, but no one played more than 26 minutes. With so many options entering the new year, it’ll be interesting to see how Hubert Davis handles his bench.

What to expect from Radford

UNC and Radford have played twice and the Tar Heels won those games by an average margin of 44 points. The Highlanders are coming off a 21-win season and third-place finish in the Big South Conference. DaQuan Smith and Bryan Antoine, a pair of preseason All-Big South selections, lead Radford.

UNC vs. Radford score prediction

UNC 85, Radford 64: The Tar Heels shouldn’t have much trouble in this one, but they need to use the opportunity to continuing building good habits for bigger matchups down the road.

Staff writer Rodd Baxley can be reached at rbaxley@fayobserver.com or @RoddBaxley on X/Twitter.

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: UNC basketball vs. Radford: Scouting report, prediction

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