As we count down to Late Night With Roy Williams (Oct. 12) and the beginning of basketball practice, let’s take a look at an opponent on North Carolina’s schedule ....
Date(s): Jan. 6 (in Charlottesville, Va.); Feb. 16 (in Chapel Hill, N.C.)
Series results: UNC leads 127-49 (the Tar Heels won both games last season)
Virginia last season: 22-10, 9-7 in the ACC. Lost to Florida in the NCAA round of 64.
Foe to know: Jontel Evans, 5-11 guard, senior
Evans, who started all 32 games last season and was named to the ACC’s All-Defensive team, will miss six weeks after surgery Tuesday to repair a stress fracture in his right foot. That means he could miss a couple of the Cavs’ opening games, but should be back in plenty of time for the league season.
And that’s an important thing for the Cavs, who will need Evans’ experience and leadership. Without the senior, freshmen Teven Jones and Taylor Barnette will likely need to fill in at the point guard position.
Evans averaged 12.5 points against the Tar Heels last season.
Tidbits: With leading scorer and ACC Player of the Year runner-up Mike Scott gone, the Cavs need to find some offense. Although coach Tony Bennett is counting on a more balanced attack, he’ll also be counting on junior guard Joe Harris -- the only returner who averaged double-digit points (11.3) last season -- to be a huge part of it. ... Still, look for defense to continue to be the Cavs’ bread and butter. Although Virginia ranked 10th in the ACC in scoring offense last season (62.5 ppg), it was first in scoring defense (allowing only 54.2 ppg).
Previous schedule previews:
Nov. 19 Mississippi State in the Maui Invitational
Nov. 20 Butler/Marquette in the Maui Invitational
Nov. 21 TBA in the Maui Invitational
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.