The North Carolina men's basketball team enters this season facing uncertainty at point guard.
Sophomore Jonathan Holmes and freshmen Adam Boone and Brian Morrison are all competing for the starting spot.
Even scoring machine Joseph Forte is a possibility - although a remote one - for the position.
But after the annual Blue-White game Saturday, UNC coach Matt Doherty might want to put another name on the list: Brendan Haywood.
Haywood handed out six assists to go with his 22 points and seven rebounds as he led the White team to a 77-66 victory in front of a crowd of 10,225 at the Smith Center.
"Just call me Magic Haywood," the 7-foot center said, suggesting a comparison to his favorite childhood player.
Just as Earvin Johnson used to do, Haywood got the ball inside and then kicked it out to open shooters once the double-team arrived. Holmes and Max Owens each hit
3-pointers in the first half on passes from Haywood as the White team raced out to a 32-13 lead.
Juniors Brian Bersticker and Jason Capel gave Haywood plenty of help up front. Capel tallied 14 points and eight rebounds, and Bersticker contributed eight points and game-high totals with 10 boards and six blocks.
The strong post play - the frontcourt starters on the White team outscored their Blue counterparts 44-30 - enabled the White team to pull away. The team's advantage grew to 20 at 41-21 after Capel's breakaway dunk 45 seconds before halftime.
That's when the Blue team, led by Forte, finally awakened. Forte drilled a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 17 at the break and then came out gunning with another trey to open the second half.
Forte scored 20 of his game-high 28 points after halftime, connecting on an array of floaters and long-range bombs.
"The first half, I was just kind of trying to enjoy the game, just trying to be low key," said Forte, who also had eight assists and five rebounds. "Then they started kicking our butts, and I couldn't stand to watch that. Second half, I really tried to go after it. I felt like I could bring us back in the game."
Forte got help from junior center Kris Lang. The duo played pick-and-roll much of the second half and combined for 35 of the Blue's 42 points after intermission.
The Blue team cut its deficit to five at 42-37 with 18:10 remaining but could get no closer. Although the Blue's run made the game competitive, a fun atmosphere still prevailed and even carried over to the postgame activities.
"We weren't too worried. Kris was setting a lot of illegal picks," Capel said, just loud enough so Lang could hear him as he walked by in the locker room. "Joe is a great shooter. If you set him an illegal pick and he gets out there, Joe is going to knock it in."
Also showing the ability to hit the open jumper was Boone, who played the best game of the three point guard candidates. Boone was 3-for-4 from the field for the White team and made both of his 3-point attempts on his way to 12 points. He finished with one assist and one turnover.
Holmes had a strong first half with seven points and finished the game with nine points, two assists and two turnovers. He earned one of the day's loudest ovations when he called a timeout near the end of the game while falling out of bounds.
Morrison struggled in his effort to guide the Blue team. He shot 2-for-9 from the field, including 0-for-3 from
3-point range, and posted four assists against five turnovers. He did, however, get to show off his athleticism on a two-handed dunk that was the game's last field goal.
"They did a lot of positive things, and they have a lot to learn," Haywood said of the point guards. "But at the same time, they have a lot of practice time to learn. So I feel very good about the point guard spot."
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