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January 22, 2013

Ga. Tech - UNC Capsule

Basketball Preview

North Carolina basketball fans will have droopy eyes Thursday morning after staying up late Wednesday night watching the Tar Heels take on Georgia Tech at 9 p.m.

The Tar Heels are coming off a 62-52 victory over Maryland, extending their winning streak to two and making them 2-2 in ACC conference play.

The Yellow Jackets come to Chapel Hill without an ACC victory (0-4).  It will be UNC's objective to keep it that way when Georgia Tech departs the Dean Dome.

Georgia Tech at a glance

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Nickname: Yellow Jackets
Colors: Old Gold & White
Conference: ACC
Arena: McCamish Pavilion (8,600)
2011-2012 Record: 11-20 (4-12)
Last Game: L 73-57 at Duke
More on the Yellow Jackets:
Schedule | Stats | Roster | Rivals Site | Forums

Game Preview Thoughts

Defensive Intensity

Has UNC played a better five minutes of defensive basketball this season than they did in the first five minutes against Maryland?  One would be hard pressed to say yes.

In total, the Tar Heels forced 21 Maryland turnovers and hounded their opponents, especially in the first half.

Maryland had been a tough out in the ACC coming into that game.  In fact, they had just knocked off North Carolina State, a team that was coming off a win over Duke at the time.

Georgia Tech, on paper, isn't the same caliber team as Maryland.  If UNC's defensive effort against Maryland becomes a trend, Georgia Tech will struggle mightily on the offensive end.

Desmond Hubert

Hubert started but only played 14 minutes.  He's been a consistent starter of late but has also consistently played small minutes.

Against the Terps he showed some improvements keeping his positioning defensively in the paint, holding his own against the bigger, more heralded, Alex Len.
By the end of the game Hubert had 2 blocks, 2 steals, 2 rebounds and made a combined effort, along with the other big men, in holding Len to only 10 points and 5 rebounds.

Reggie Bullock, James Michael McAdoo

The two leaders of this UNC team stepped their games up big time against Maryland and set a tone that will be hard to beat going forward.

McAdoo had his best game in a while, scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds.

Bullock exacerbated Maryland's terrible start against UNC by scoring the first eight points of the game and ended up scoring 21 first half points.

Bullock's NBA Jams style output ended up netting him 24 fiery points for a career high scoring total at home in Chapel Hill.

P.J. Hairston

Hairston has really only had one good ACC game so far (23 points against Florida State).

He was ice-cold against Maryland (3 points, 1-8 shooting) and didn't look good against Virginia and Miami (2-9 shooting from 3-point range combined) either.

Hairston continues to get big minutes off the bench but he's got teammates who may have him looking over his shoulder, gunning for his playing time.

Jackson Simmons played well against Florida State and Leslie McDonald will eventually return from his knee injury.

Hairston is an inherently streaky player but UNC can't afford a drop-off in his production over the long haul.

How will Georgia Tech respond after losing to Duke?

Georgia Tech had to feel like they were going to hand Duke its second loss of the season before Duke went on a 27-6 run that began in the second half, and then knocked the Yellow Jackets out of the game for good when it ended in the second half.

Georgia Tech playing at Duke and following that game at UNC is tough break for the young Atlanta ball club.  Losing the way they did against Duke can be deflating, especially for a young team without their emotions in check.

How Georgia Tech responds should be evident early.

Georgia Tech (10-6, 0-4) vs. North Carolina (12-5, 2-2)

Date: Wed, Jan. 23, 2013
Time: 9:00 PM EST
Venue: Dean E Smith Center (21,750)

Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network & SiriusXM (Sirius 93, XM 190)
Series: UNC leads 61-24 (including 26-6 in Chapel Hill and 21-4 in the Smith Center)

2012-2013 ACC Standings

North Carolina
Head Coach - Roy Williams (269-73 at UNC; 687-174 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 35

Last starting line-up for North Carolina (against Florida State)
F - Desmond Hubert
F - Reggie Bullock
F - James Michael McAdoo
G - Dexter Strickland

G - Marcus Paige
Points: 78.6 PPG (14th overall)
Rebounds: 42.9 RPG (2nd overall)
Assists: 18.1 APG (3rd overall)
Field goal percentage: .446 (110th overall)
Scoring: James Michael McAdoo (14.7 PPG) Reggie Bullock (14.1 PPG)
Rebounding:  James Michael McAdoo (8.2 RPG) Reggie Bullock (5.8 RPG)
Assists:  Marcus Paige (4.3 APG) Dexter Strickland (3.9 APG)
Georgia Tech

Head Coach - Brian Gregory (21-26 at GT; 193-120 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 118

Points: 65.0 (240th overall)
Rebounds: 38.1 (61st overall)
Assists: 13.2 (152nd overall)
Field goal percentage: .419 (236th overall)

Scoring:  Marcus Georges-Hunt (10.7 PPG) Mfon Udofia (9.9 PPG)
Rebounding:  Robert Carter (6.7 RPG) Daniel Miller (6.7 RPG)
Assists: Mfon Udofia (3.1 APG) Daniel Miller (1.9 APG)
Last starting line-up for Maryland (against Duke)
F - Marcus Georges-Hunt
F - Robert Carter, Jr.
C - Daniel Miller
G - Mfon Udofia

G - Chris Bolden

Last Season's Meetings

January 29, 2012
Chapel Hill
93-81 UNC

Will they still be mentally depressed thinking about what could have been against the Blue Devils or are they using that game as motivation as they gear up for the ACC's other glamour team (UNC)?

Given their track record this season, it will be up to UNC's first half effort to plant the seed of doubt in Georgia Tech's minds as to whether they can beat the Tar Heels.

 If UNC can't pounce on Georgia Tech early they risk letting a young team gain confidence as the game wears on.


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