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January 31, 2013

Virginia Tech - UNC Capsule

Basketball Preview

UNC got back in the win column against Boston College Tuesday night. The Tar Heels defeated the Golden Eagles 82-70 but did so at the expense of P.J. Hairston.

Hairston, who scored 14 points in his limited action, was knocked to the ground by a Dexter Strickland elbow. The blow proved to be concussive and Hairston didn't return to the game and will most likely be out against Virginia Tech Saturday afternoon.

The Tar Heels lose one guy off their bench to injury but gain back another in the form of Leslie McDonald. McDonald has missed the last six games due to a knee injury and a suspension.

His return couldn't come at a better time. McDonald is UNC's fourth leading scorer (8.4 PPG) and will be counted on to produce in Hairston's absence.

Virginia Tech at a glance

Location: Blacksburg, Virginia
Nickname: Hokies
Colors: Chicago Maroon & Burnt Orange
Conference: ACC
Arena: Cassell Coliseum (9,847)
2011-2012 Record: 16-17 (4-12)
Last Game: L 73-64 vs. Miami
More on the Hokies:
Schedule | Stats | Roster | Rivals Site | Forums

Game Preview Thoughts

Leslie McDonald

McDonald returns to the court Saturday afternoon against Virginia Tech after a three-game suspension and three games missed due to a knee injury.

McDonald returns to a team that has developed a somewhat deep, but sometimes inconsistent, bench.

Jackson Simmons has emerged as reliable energy guy and Brice Johnson, J.P. Tokoto and Joel James have provided Roy Williams with a diverse set of skills to call upon.

Had Hairston not gone down with an injury, McDonald may have struggled to not disrupt the rhythm this team has found with its reserve. With Hairston out, it's imperative McDonald continue shooting the ball well from three-point range (43 3P%) to stretch the defense and open up the paint area down low.

James Michael McAdoo

James Michael McAdoo took 20 shots against Boston College while racking up 17 points. Nobody can ever say McAdoo isn't aggressive on the basketball court.

He often takes difficult shots and can appear to press at times. It's not entirely his fault because UNC doesn't have a ton of skill or experience down low.

Something to keep an eye on is if McAdoo's energy levels remain consistent late in the season. Last season Tar Heels fans saw McAdoo emerge as a high energy reserve that was given a green light to attack the basket.

This season McAdoo is a starter, still appears to have the green light but is already closing in on the minutes he played as a freshmen. Last season he played a total of 594 minutes. After the game Tuesday night McAdoo has 588 minutes and has been the main focus of everyone's defensive game plans.

It will be interesting to see how McAdoo's legs look down the stretch.

Erick Green, Virginia Tech

Erick Green is a monster scorer. Green leads the nation in scoring and has only scored less than 20 points in a game once this season (BYU, 12 points).

Even more impressive is Green's efficiency. He's only shot less than 40 percent twice all season (against UNC Greensboro and BYU).

Green is also a workhorse. He gets to the line often meaning he could get the Tar Heel defenders in foul trouble. Green has made double-digit free throws in a game six times this year.

He's also played a ton of minutes and hasn't played less than 30 minutes in a game since Dec. 10 against Mississippi Valley State.

On Roy Williams' radio show Wednesday night Williams talked about his admiration for Green's productive season.

"Every team they've played someone their trying to stop him. He's leading the nation in scoring. He's hitting 50 percent in conference play as a guard which is outstanding," said Williams. "We've got a big challenge trying to slow him down."

J.P. Tokoto

Tokoto has seen an increased role the last few games, something Williams talked about on his radio show as well.

Virginia Tech (11-9, 2-4) vs. North Carolina (14-6, 4-3)

Date: Sat, Feb 2, 2013
Time: 12:00 PM EST
Venue: Dean E. Smith Center (21,750)
TV: ACC Network

Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network & SiriusXM (Sirius 85, XM 85)
Series: UNC leads 62-13 (Carolina leads the series 28-5 in Chapel Hill)

2012-2013 ACC Standings

North Carolina

Head Coach - Roy Williams (271-74 at UNC; 689-175 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 32

Last starting line-up for North Carolina (against Boston College)

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

G - Marcus Paige

Stats

(Team)

Points: 79.1 PPG (8th overall)

Rebounds: 42.2 RPG (4th overall)

Assists: 18.4 APG (2nd overall)

Field goal percentage: .448 (99th overall)

(Individual)

Scoring: James Michael McAdoo (14.7 PPG) Reggie Bullock (13.7 PPG)

Rebounding: James Michael McAdoo (8.5 RPG) Reggie Bullock (5.7 RPG)

Assists: Marcus Paige (4.5 APG) Dexter Strickland (4.1 APG)

Virginia Tech

Head Coach - James Johnson (11-9 at VT; 11-9 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 138

Stats

(Team)

Points: 73.8 (47th overall)

Rebounds: 37.8 (61st overall)

Assists: 11.2 (292nd overall)

Field goal percentage: .435 (160th overall)

(Individual)

Scoring: Erick Green (25.5 PPG) Jarell Eddie (14.4 PPG)

Rebounding: Cadarian Raines (6.7 RPG) Jarell Eddie (6.4 RPG)

Assists: Erick Green (4.2 APG) Robert Brown (2.5 APG)

Last starting line-up for Boston College (against Miami)

F - Jarell Eddie
F - Joey Van Zegeren
F - C.J. Barksdale
G - Erick Green

G - Marques Rankin

Last Season's Meeting

January 19, 2012
Blacksburg
82-68 UNC

"A lot of times when you get more playing time it's what you're not doing that's just as important as what you are doing. He's not turning the ball over as much," said Williams. "He's cut down on his turnovers and he's started shooting the ball a little bit better. J.P.'s going to be a big time player for us."

It's true. Tokoto didn't have a turnover against Boston College and has seen a three-game trend where he has gotten better in that category with each consecutive game.

He also hasn't shot less than 40 percent since he went scoreless against Florida State.

Joel James

James only played two minutes against Boston College Tuesday night after it seemed like he was putting some things together in games previous to that.

One reason for James' inactivity Tuesday was the long-range shooting of Boston College and James' inability to track down long rebounds.

Against Virginia Tech, James along with Hubert should be seen as valuable assets as they make Hokie scorer Erick Green's life difficult when he drives to the basket.

The long limbs and large frame of James should see plenty of action Saturday afternoon. "A lot of times when you get more playing time it's what you're not doing that's just as important as what you are doing. He's not turning the ball over as much," said Williams. "He's cut down on his turnovers and he's started shooting the ball a little bit better. J.P.'s going to be a big time player for us."




 

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