Alex Conway & John Gwaltney Jr TarHeelIllustrated.com Staff
North Carolina picked up a huge win
last Saturday at Florida State, but now the Tar Heels have to
prove they can take the practice time this week and put it
together with the confidence that was built up in Tallahassee as
they look to even their ACC record at 2-2.
Maryland at a glance
College Park, Md Nickname: Terrapins, Terps Colors: Red, White, Black & Gold Conference: ACC Arena: Comcast Center (17,950) 2011-2012 Record: 17-15 (6-10) More on the Terrapins: Schedule
Game Preview Thoughts
North Carolina is ranked third in the nation in rebounding (43.2
RPG) so it's not often they run into a team that can match their
rebounding production. But that's exactly what they will face
when Maryland comes to town Saturday afternoon.
UNC will need a team effort if it wants to win the rebounding
battle against Maryland (also averaging 43.2 RPG).
UNC snags missed shots in a variety of ways. Unlike most teams
that rely heavily on their front-court players, UNC gets help
corralling loose balls from its wing players.
Reggie Bullock (5.8 RPG) and P.J. Hairston (4.4 RPG) stick their
noses in with the big boys about as well as you could expect from
guys primarily known for scoring.
This game is going to get physical. North Carolina got pushed
around a bit against Miami and will need to stand their ground
against a large Maryland team.
Don't get pushed around
As mentioned above, there were moments in the Miami game where
UNC wasn't able to prevent guys like Julian Gamble from backing them
down and getting close shots around the basket.
Against Maryland, UNC is going up against 7-foot-1 Alex Len.
Len, a sophomore, has taken a step forward in his second season,
averaging 13.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game. Not only does he
put up numbers, but his length allows him to utilize shots from
certain spots of the court that most players cannot.
Len's going to get defended by a trio of freshmen centers
(Desmond Hubert, Brice Johnson and Joel James). This will be a huge
test to see where they stand in their young careers. Are they
players that Coach Roy Williams can count on against elite
competition? Or are they still in the developmental stage?
If it's the former instead of the latter then North Carolina is
exactly where Williams wants them to be. This match-up (Len vs. The
Freshmen) will say a lot about where this year's UNC team will
finish in the standings at the end of the season.
Jump on Maryland early
If North Carolina has taken a walk of shame for their
performances in second halves this season, then Maryland has had
problems getting to the party early, at least in the last two games.
Against Miami, Maryland scored a puke-inducing 14 ugly first half
points and against North Carolina State, Maryland only mustered 22
first-half points (although that was more than North Carolina
State's 16 points).
This is an opportune game for UNC to gain an early lead in hopes
that it will be so large they can't squander it in the second-half.
It appears McDonald will miss his third straight game with a
McDonald, along with Dexter Strickland, are the older guys Tar
Heel fans thought would be the role models for this year's young
It's hard to lead from the sidelines but what UNC will miss even
more is McDonald's three-point shooting (43 percent for the year).
P.J. Hairston and Jackson Simmons
Hairston had a stellar game against Florida State (23 points,
9-14 shooting). Simmons broke into Williams' circle of trust
by providing energy and hustle plays off the bench (8 points, 4
Both players are producing at a time when Williams will begin to
shorten his bench and rely on guys who have earned playing time.
Hairston's production off the bench is well documented and not
surprising but Simmons' must have been a pleasant surprise for
Williams against the Seminoles.
It will be interesting to see if Simmons can carry the momentum from
the Florida State game into the Maryland game.
Maryland's last game in Chapel Hill (for the foreseeable
Maryland is headed to the Big Ten after this season so this may
be the last time the Terrapins make the trip down I-95 to visit the
Dean Dome for a while.
UNC and Maryland, like many old school ACC foes, have gone
head-to-head in some memorable battles over the years.
Maryland (14-3, 2-2) vs. North Carolina
Date: Sat, Jan. 19,
2013 Time: 12:00 PM EST Venue:
Dean E Smith Center (21,750) TV: ESPN Radio: Tar Heel Sports
Network & SiriusXM (Sirius 85, XM 85) Series: UNC leads, 118-57
(including 56-17 UNC in Chapel Hill and 17-8 in the Smith Center)
Head Coach - Roy Williams
(268-73 at UNC; 686-174 overall)
Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today:
NR, RPI: 38
Last starting line-up for North Carolina
(against Florida State)
F - Desmond Hubert F - James Michael McAdoo G - Dexter Strickland G - Reggie Bullock G - Marcus Paige
Points: 79.7 PPG (10th
Rebounds: 43.2 RPG (3rd
Assists: 18.3 APG (4th
Field goal percentage: .452
Scoring: James Michael
McAdoo (14.4 PPG) Reggie Bullock (13.5 PPG)
Michael McAdoo (8.1 RPG) Reggie Bullock (5.8 RPG)
Assists: Marcus Paige
(4.2 APG) Dexter Strickland
Head Coach - Mark Turgeon (31-18 at
UM; 281-177 overall)
Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today:
NR, RPI: 61
Points: 73.4 (60th overall)
Rebounds: 43.2 (2nd
Assists: 16.8 (15th
Field goal percentage: .474
Scoring: Alex Len (13.5
PPG) Dez Wells (11.7 PPG)
Rebounding: Alex Len (8.1 RPG)
Charles Mitchell (6.2 RPG)
Assists: Pe'shon Howard (5.0
APG) Dez Wells (2.8 APG)
Last starting line-up for Maryland (against
F - Dez Wells F - James Padgett C - Alex Len
G - Seth Allen G - Nick Faust
Last Season's Meetings
February 4, 2012
February 29, 2012
March 9, 2012
At one point, Len Bias (Maryland) and Michael
Jordan (UNC) shared the court against one another; an epic amount of
talent that could have (and would have) been a rivalry on-par with Larry
Bird and Magic Johnson in the NBA had tragic circumstances not
For those watching Saturday, this game
represents the last chapter in an underrated rivalry that isn't on par
with the in-state rivalries North Carolina fans always pay attention to,
but should be remembered nonetheless as Maryland departs for basketball
courts in the Midwest.