CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - In his first official college game, freshman point guard made his collegiate debut at Carolina.
The night went as expected, with bumps and bruises, but overall, Carolina took their first win into the 2020-2021 season. Garrison Brooks, Armando Bacot, and Leaky Black were the constant throughout lineup changes with seven freshmen on the floor. Still, along with them, Caleb Love held down his position at point even after a nasty fall in the second half.
Twenty minutes into warm-ups, Love was notified of his first collegiate start; A start many knew without much confirmation from Roy Williams. Love entered Chapel Hill after shutting it down in Missouri his senior year; it seems as though he was determined to leave no stone unturned. The Missouri native was voted "Mr. Show-Me Basketball" by the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association and Gatorade Player of the Year in Missouri for 2019-2020. He was ranked No. 18 overall for his class, averaged his senior year 26.3 points, 3.1 assists, and 6.5 rebounds.
In his debut in Chapel Hill, Love finished with 17 points, four assists, and one rebound, including 8-8 at the free-throw line. It was his tenacity and physical contest of shots that shined for veteran players. Armando Bacot highlighted this young team's strength and health, something they didn't have last season. As aforementioned, Love took a nasty fall late in the second half that resulted in just a minor shakeup. In all, this moment was a dream come true.
"I felt good, you know, just growing up, you dream of being in these games. You are watching those games, and you dream of being here. So, just me being here. Just felt good playing out there, having this jersey on and playing for Coach Williams. Just a great experience overall."
Dreams do come true.
Love gets to continue chasing them as North Carolina faces UNLV at the Maui Invitational in Asheville, NC, on November 30 at 7:30 pm.
- Caleb Love and RJ Davis started at guard, the first time two freshmen guards started in a game for UNC since the 2007 NCAA East Regional final vs. Georgetown (Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington)
- Carolina made four three-pointers, three by freshmen (RJ Davis, Puff Johnson and Caleb Love). Senior Andrew Platek made the other.
- Love (17), Day’Ron Sharpe (13) and Davis (11) scored in double figures. That was the first time three Tar Heel freshmen scored in double figures since 12/21/19 against UCLA when Armando Bacot, Anthony Harris and Jeremiah Francis did that.
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