No. 8 North Carolina seeks revenge vs. Wofford

The start of the season for No. 8 North Carolina comes with two road assignments, the first a revenge game as well.

The Tar Heels visit Wofford on Tuesday night in Spartanburg, S.C.

A year ago, a nationally ranked North Carolina sustained a stunning home loss to Wofford.

"I think going on the road to play a team that we lost to last year is no better way to do it," North Carolina senior Luke Maye said of the start of the season Monday, referring to the 79-75 home upset last season. "Going to their place is a tough first game. Every game is just as important. First game of the year, (we) don't want to put too much pressure on ourselves."

This matchup includes the Preseason Players of the Year for each team's conference.

As expected, most of North Carolina's focus has been internal. The Tar Heels have Maye as the Preseason Player of the Year in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

"Just continue to play my game and continue to play at a high level," Maye said of his objective.

Senior guards Kenny Williams and Cameron Johnson also provide the core for the Tar Heels. The team is also going to unveil freshmen in key roles, with point guard Coby White and forward Nassir Little.

"They're talented. They're gifted," Roy Williams said of newcomers. "I know they're going to step up and be able to play for us."

The Tar Heels went with White as the starting point guard in last week's exhibition against Division II Mount Olive, suggesting that he's ahead of junior Seventh Woods.

"They've been neck-in-neck," senior guard Kenny Williams said of the point guards. "I don't know what made Coach make that decision."

Sophomore Garrison Brooks was pegged as the starting post player for North Carolina, though that could be a fluid situation.

North Carolina has players representing 64.6 percent of the team's scoring from a year ago, when the team posted a 26-11 record. Maye scored 16.9 points per game, Johnson was at 12.4 and Kenny Williams at 11.4

Wofford senior guard Fletcher Magee is the Southern Conference Preseason Player of the Year. He averaged 22.1 points per game, including 27 at North Carolina. The Terriers were picked to finish second in the league's official preseason poll as they come off a 21-13 season.

"We're as deep a team as we've had in recent memory," Wofford coach Mike Young said. "I hope that plays out over the course of the year. I can comfortably play a number of guys."

Magee gave the Tar Heels fits last year.

"They played better than us in every phase of the game," Roy Williams said. "There's no question that Magee is just and unbelievable shooter. He makes difficult shots."

The Terriers took an offseason exhibition trip to Portugal to help prepare for the season. The benefits of that have shown up this fall.

"Just becoming more comfortable with one another," Young said. "... We'll look at some different things defensively."

North Carolina is 96-12 all-time in season openers, including 14-1 under Roy Williams. The Hall of Fame coach as the Tar Heels in the preseason Top 10 for the 13th time in 16 seasons.

All four previous North Carolina-Wofford matchups took place in Chapel Hill, N.C.

This will be only the seventh road opener for the Tar Heels since the dawn of the Atlantic Coast Conference era in 1953-54. North Carolina is 5-1 in the previous such assignments.

Wofford pulled off a 63-60 home victory against Georgia Tech last year, so it's no easy path for ACC visitors.
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