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January 11, 2013

FSU - UNC Capsule

Basketball Preview

North Carolina travels to Tallahassee, Florida on Saturday afternoon looking to stop a two-game losing skid that has shaken the young Tar Heels. The trip to Tallahassee comes on the heels of a 68-59 loss to Miami on Thursday night where Carolina struggled to do anything offensively or defensively in the second half against the Hurricanes.

Game Preview Thoughts

Team Defense

"In the second half, that's when the communication kind of dropped because the coaches were farther away and we didn't know our rotations as well and we were late to some rotations. I feel like that was the key to the game," P.J. Hairston said after the Tar Heels loss to Miami Thursday night

Those were P.J. Hairston's thoughts on why North Carolina's defensive effort suffered in the second half. Those words might be true (and if Hairston is telling the truth, that's troubling) but it's past time for the Tar Heels to rely solely on the words of their coaches to guide them on the defensive end.

Miami's players not only drove by their defenders and encountered welcoming scoring opportunities at the basket, they also muscled Desmond Hubert on more than one occasion by simply backing him down until their post players were in range to take a good shot.

Hubert's young frame is going to get pushed around meaning his teammates have to rotate on cue, Joel James has to move his feet and McAdoo has to talk more while his defensive teammates have their eyes turned towards the ball and can't see the cutters behind them.

This team is young. That much is obvious. But at some point the responsibility of execution has to transfer from the coaching staff to the players. It's good that Hairston recognizes a flaw in North Carolina's ability to clamp down on an opponent. Now it's time to do something about it or risk starting 0-3 in ACC play.

Okaro White

North Carolina caught a break by not having to go against Miami's best player Reggie Johnson down low. UNC lost the game but it could have been uglier judging by the way Julian Gamble and Kenny Kadji ran roughshod on North Carolina's interior defenders.

White has averaged 17.5 points and eight rebounds per game in two ACC games. He scored 15 straight points while leading a comeback against Maryland.

North Carolina was unable to stop the high screen and roll attacks used by the Miami Hurricanes during their loss Thursday night. The Heels should be ready for a heavy dose of pick n' roll basketball when White and Michael Snaer step on the court against them.

Speaking of...

Michael Snaer

Snaer is the kind of player that can put a team on his back and take it to the finish line. He's the kind of player that can impose his will on a game. He's the kind of player, who when a team's offense stalls, can be relied upon to take over.

He's the kind of player that's been missing from North Carolina's roster this season.

Unlike year's past (Jackie Manuel, Marcus Ginyard, John Henson), North Carolina doesn't have a lockdown defender. Those come in handy against scores like Snaer. If he gets going, there won't be much resistance unless the aforementioned team defense can get together and make his life difficult.

North Carolina's fight for redemption against Florida State

Tallahassee was not kind to UNC last year. Five (less than famous) unfortunate souls were left to fend for themselves as Roy Williams attempted to get his team out of harm's way due to the impending fan invasion about to take place at half court after Florida State defeated North Carolina 90-57.

North Carolina earned a rematch against the Seminoles in the ACC Championship Game but lost that one as well 85-82 allowing Florida State to win its first ACC tournament title.

Marcus Paige

If there was a silver lining coming out of the loss to Miami, it was Marcus Paige's uptick in confidence after scoring 10 points, dropping 5 dimes and snagging 5 rebounds.

Paige looked smooth in transition, dribbled strong in the lane and set-up teammates with good looks while finding time to look for his shot.

Paige showed some of his potential and that had to make Tar Heels fans confident. Having only one day in-between games could pay dividends for Paige as he looks to continue his solid play against the Hurricanes.

Reggie Bullock and James Michael McAdoo

Both of North Carolina's premier players had poor shooting nights against Miami.

Bullock shot 4-16 and finished with 11 points while McAdoo shot 5-14 and finished with 14 points.

With young players galore still not understanding defensive team concepts and Leslie McDonald nursing a bum knee it's important that North Carolina gets the production it expects out of its cornerstones.

Bullock has been the most consistent Tar Heel this year so it won't be a surprise to see him bounce back quickly. McAdoo, however, has been in a bit of a funk shooting 39 percent over the last five games (three losses).


UNC 63
Florida State 75

North Carolina (10-5, 0-2) vs. Florida State (10-5, 2-0)

Date: Sat, Jan. 12, 2013
Time: 2:00 PM EST
Venue: Donald L. Tucker Center (12,200)

Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network & SiriusXM (Sirius 123, XM 191)
Series: UNC leads, 42-12 (including a 14-5 UNC series edge in Tallahassee)

North Carolina

Head Coach - Roy Williams (267-73 at UNC; 685-174 overall)

Last starting line-up for North Carolina (against Miami)

F - Desmond Hubert
F - James Michael McAdoo
G - Dexter Strickland
G - Reggie Bullock
G - Marcus Paige



Points: 79.9 PPG (13th overall)

Rebounds: 43.3 RPG (4th overall)

Assists: 18.5 APG (4th overall)

Field goal percentage: .450 (110th overall)


Scoring: James Michael McAdoo (14.5 PPG) Reggie Bullock (13.6 PPG)

Rebounding: James Michael McAdoo (8.1 RPG) Reggie Bullock (5.6 RPG)

Assists: Marcus Paige (4.2 APG) Dexter Strickland (4.1 APG)

Florida State

Head Coach - Leonard Hamilton (189-132 at FSU; 389-342 overall)



Points: 73.1 (72nd overall)

Rebounds: 35.5 (167th overall)

Assists: 12.5 (204th overall)

Field goal percentage: .451 (109th overall)


Scoring: Michael Snaer (15.6 PPG) Okaro White (13.3 PPG)

Rebounding: Terrance Shannon (6.6 RPG) Okaro White (6.3 RPG)

Assists: Devon Bookert (2.5 APG) Michael Snaer (2.5 APG)

Last starting line-up for Florida State (against Maryland)

F - Okaro White
C - Kiel Turpin
G - Montay Brandon
G - Michael Snaer

G - Terry Whisnant II

Florida State at a glance

Location: Tallahassee, Fla
Nickname: Seminoles
Colors: Garnet & Gold
Conference: ACC
Arena: Donald L. Tucker Center (12,200)
2011-2012 Record: 25-13 (12-4)
Rankings: AP - NR, USA Today - NR, RPI - 52
Last Game: W 65-62 at Maryland on January 10
More on the Seminoles:
Rivals Site
ACC Standings

Last Season's Meetings

Jan. 14, 2012
90-57 FSU

March 11, 2012
Atlanta (ACC Tournament Final)
85-82 FSU

Florida State was a pre-season dark horse to repeat as ACC champions. They got off to a slow start losing to South Alabama in their season opener and at one point losing three in a row (albeit against #21 Minnesota, Mercer and #6 Florida).

Now they are looking more like the team that got hot last season and won the ACC. That game against Maryland showed that Florida State has resolve and won't get discouraged and give up when things don't go their way.

When North Carolina has had adversity this season it has doomed them more often than not. Given their tough history against Florida State, a close game could get away from them quickly.The walk-ons should be safely secure on the bench but Florida State will still win comfortably.


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