|Leslie McDonald returned to the court for the Tar Heels after missing all of last season. (US Presswire)|
Two ACC title contenders opened their exhibition schedules this weekend. Here's what you need to know:
No. 11 North Carolina:
Result -- beat Shaw 81-54 Friday night
Expectations Met? -- Final score is about what was expected, but the Tar Heels took a long time getting there. It was a four-point game at the half.
Reason for concern -- Shooting. The Tar Heels made just one of their first 11 3-pointers and made just three of 16 for the game.
Reason for optimism -- Healthy knees. Senior guard Dexter Strickland, who missed the second half of last season with a torn ACL, started and played 22 minutes. Junior guard Leslie McDonald, who missed all of last season after knee surgery, scored 12 points in 17 minutes off the bench.
Star report -- F James Michael McAdoo shot seven of 15 for a team-high 16 points and a team-high eight rebounds. He added three steals.
Newcomer report -- PG Marcus Paige started. On the positive side, he scored six points and grabbed six rebounds. But he only had one assist and three turnovers, and the offense appeared to struggle when he was running the show.
Joel James, a 6-10, 260-pound forward, shot six of seven from the field for 13 points. He also had seven rebounds.
Brice Johnson, a 6-9, 187-pound forward, was four of six for eight points and six rebounds.
J.P. Tokoto, a 6-5, 185-pound forward, was one of four for two points, but he had five rebounds.
No. 8 Duke:
Result -- beat Western Washington 105-87 Saturday afternoon
Expectations Met? -- A little closer and higher-scoring than most would have expected, but as is its tradition, Duke opened with the defending Division II National Champions. Western Washington lost by 10 to Washington three nights earlier
Reason for concern – Defense and ball handling. The Blue Devils allowed Western Washington to shoot .450 for the game and .541 in the second half. Duke also had 18 turnovers on 14 Western Washington steals.
Reason for optimism -- Shooting. The Blue Devils shot .576 for the game and over 60 percent in the second half. Duke also hit six of 14 3-pointers.
Star report -- PF Mason Plumlee had a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. He also shot six of eight free throws after struggling from the line last season.
PF Amile Jefferson, who was quiet in the Blue-White game last weekend, shot five of seven for 13 points.
SF Alex Murphy, who redshirted last year, started and had six points and four boards.
Below the radar -- SF Josh Hairston showed good touch from mid-range in the Blue-White game, but he shot only one of three in 15 minutes on Saturday.
For more up-to-the-minute news and analysis from ACC bloggers Shawn Krest and Sean Bielawski, follow @CBSSportsACC.