By R.L. Bynum
CHAPEL HILL — The dramatically different college sports landscape has led to never-before-seen events, one of which happened Saturday afternoon at the Smith Center.
Fans got a rare August chance to see RJ Davis, D’Marco Dunn, Puff Johnson and Justin McKoy, and, yes, even Armando Bacot, sink 3-pointers. One of Caleb Love’s 3s was well beyond the NBA arc.
They saw Dunn and Love throw down transition dunks, and Bacot make jumpers and dribble downcourt in transition. Freshman guard Seth Trimble gave Tar Heels fans the first look at his quickness, and both he and freshman forward Tyler Nickel showed off their shooting skills.
Although it was sloppy at times, there was a lot for Carolina fans to like.
It was all in a Blue-White scrimmage unlike any other, in an arena with no UNC coaches while players wore no UNC gear, in the earliest action open to the public in program history.
For the record, Bacot’s game-winning tip-in in the first-to-80-points game gave his White team an 80–69 victory over Love’s Blue team. Davis led the White team with a game-high 24 points, including three 3-pointers, with Bacot pitching in 19 and Dunn 16.
Love led the White team with 22 points (including four 3-pointers), and Trimble added 21, with Nickel and Pete Nance each scoring 11.
A modest crowd paid $10 to get into the game, which benefitted players financially from the proceeds of an event that never would have occurred before the NIL (name, image and likeness) era.
In one amusing second-half sequence, Davis swiped the ball away from Nance on one end. After running behind the benches and scorer’s table to get to the other end, he sneaked behind Love to swipe the ball away. Love looked back to a referee for help, but that was not forthcoming.
The university had nothing to do with the scrimmage and the organizers, G3 Marketing, rented the Smith Center. Also different from a regular game is that there was no media postgame access to the players.
Instead of uniforms, players wore white and blue T-shirts with the Blue-White Game logo on the front and the players’ last names and regular numbers on the back and navy-blue shorts.
All of the scholarship players played except for Leaky Black and Jalen Washington. With no media access, there was no way to ask why.
Like for regular home games, Brian “B-daht” McLaughlin was the host, but little else was the same. What was different is that he provided running commentary throughout the scrimmage.
Jawad Williams and Ed Davis coached the Blue team, Marcus Ginyard and Deon Thompson coached the White team, with Garrison Brooks also on the sidelines.
White 80, Blue 69
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