The Tar Heels faithful turned out en masse to see new coach Roy
Williams make his first appearance in Charlotte as UNC routed Davidson 91-68 on Monday night.
"We had a lot of people here and it really surprised me," said
Jawad Williams, who scored a career-high 28 points. "People want
to see good basketball and coach Williams is going to teach good
basketball, so they come to see that."
Raymond Felton added 12 assists for the Tar Heels, who had few
problems with Davidson (0-2), which humiliated them two years ago
in a 58-54 upset in Chapel Hill.
Not this time. In just two games under Williams, North Carolina
has already shown marked improvement from its fall the past two
years from one of the top programs in to the country to a mediocre
It was evident from the start, to the delight of the crowd of
16,356 at the Charlotte Coliseum. More than two-thirds of the fans
were wearing Carolina blue and greeted Williams with a standing
ovation when he led the team onto the court.
He drew one of his loudest cheers late in the second half when
he ran on the court to admonish his players for circling around
Matt McKillop after McKillop was called for an intentional foul on
As he shouted and pointed at May, who was jawing with McKillop,
the crowd rose to its feet to salute him.
"I was upset with our guys," Williams said. "The ref called a
hard foul and I didn't like the way our guys reacted. I perceived
they were talking too much."
May took the brunt of Williams' anger and didn't mind at all.
"He was talking to me and telling me to get under control,"
May said. "It shocked me to see him come out so quick, but showed
me he's right there with us."
Although it was a Davidson home game, and the scattering of
Wildcats fans tried to spoil it with boos that were loudly drained
out, it was clearly Carolina's night from the opening tip when the
Tar Heels came out patient on offense and relentless on defense.
The Tar Heels quickly shut down Davidson's inside game, forcing
the Wildcats into long hurried shots that rattled off the rim and,
more times than not, right into Carolina's hands. They were
smothering at other times, with double teams that made it difficult
for the Wildcats to even move the ball up the court.
When Davidson was clearly rattled -- and trailing 24-7 midway
through the first half -- it freed North Carolina to loosen up on
offense. The results were crisp no-look passes under the basket and
several thundering dunks by May out of fast-breaks.
It never got any easier for Davidson, which turned the ball over
27 times. Obviously too timid to look inside, the Wildcats shot
11-of-29 from 3-point range and 42 percent overall.
Following a season-opening 89-58 loss at Texas Tech, and with
games at Georgetown and Duke looming next month, the Wildcats are
in for a long December.
But coach Bob McKillop wouldn't change the schedule.
"It exposes us to the kinds of things we need to work on," he
said. "Exposes us to things that have us soul-searching as
players, as coaches. We find out what our weaknesses and strengths
are, and gives us a chance to get on a national stage. Anytime you
do that, it puts you at risk."