Alex Conway & John Gwaltney Jr
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
Game Preview Thoughts
"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.
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
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
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.
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
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
Reggie Bullock and James Michael McAdoo
Both of North Carolina's premier players had poor shooting nights
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
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).
Florida State 75
North Carolina (10-5, 0-2) vs. Florida
Date: Sat, Jan. 12,
2013 Time: 2:00 PM EST Venue:
Donald L. Tucker Center
(12,200) TV: ESPN Radio: Tar Heel Sports
Network & SiriusXM (Sirius 123, XM 191) Series: UNC leads, 42-12
(including a 14-5 UNC series edge in Tallahassee)
Head Coach - Roy Williams
(267-73 at UNC; 685-174 overall)
Last starting line-up for North Carolina
F - Desmond Hubert F - James Michael McAdoo G - Dexter Strickland G - Reggie Bullock G - Marcus Paige
Points: 79.9 PPG (13th
Rebounds: 43.3 RPG (4th
Assists: 18.5 APG (4th
Field goal percentage: .450
Scoring: James Michael
McAdoo (14.5 PPG) Reggie Bullock (13.6 PPG)
Michael McAdoo (8.1 RPG) Reggie Bullock (5.6 RPG)
Assists: Marcus Paige
(4.2 APG) Dexter Strickland
Head Coach - Leonard
Hamilton (189-132 at FSU; 389-342 overall)
Points: 73.1 (72nd overall)
Rebounds: 35.5 (167th
Assists: 12.5 (204th
Field goal percentage: .451
Scoring: Michael Snaer (15.6
PPG) Okaro White (13.3 PPG)
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
F - Okaro White C - Kiel Turpin G - Montay Brandon
G - Michael Snaer G - Terry Whisnant II
Florida State at a glance
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: Schedule Stats Roster Rivals Site Forums
Last Season's Meetings
Jan. 14, 2012
March 11, 2012
Atlanta (ACC Tournament Final)
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
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