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January 18, 2013

Maryland - UNC Capsule

Basketball Preview

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

Location: 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 | Stats | Roster | Rivals Site | Forums

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.

Leslie McDonald

It appears McDonald will miss his third straight game with a tweaked knee.

McDonald, along with Dexter Strickland, are the older guys Tar Heel fans thought would be the role models for this year's young squad.

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 offensive rebounds).

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 future)

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 (11-5, 1-2)

Date: Sat, Jan. 19, 2013
Time: 12:00 PM EST
Venue: Dean E Smith Center (21,750)

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)

2012-2013 ACC Standings

North Carolina
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 overall)
Rebounds: 43.2 RPG (3rd overall)
Assists: 18.3 APG (4th overall)
Field goal percentage: .452 (96th overall)
Scoring: James Michael McAdoo (14.4 PPG) Reggie Bullock (13.5 PPG)
Rebounding:  James Michael McAdoo (8.1 RPG) Reggie Bullock (5.8 RPG)
Assists:  Marcus Paige (4.2 APG) Dexter Strickland (4.0 APG)

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 overall)
Assists: 16.8 (15th overall)
Field goal percentage: .474 (27th overall)

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 N.C. State)
F - Dez Wells
F - James Padgett
C - Alex Len
G - Seth Allen

G - Nick Faust

Last Season's Meetings

February 4, 2012
College Park
83-74 UNC

February 29, 2012
Chapel Hill
88-64 UNC

March 9, 2012
85-69 UNC

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 intervened.

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.


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