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February 18, 2013

UNC - Ga. Tech Capsule

Basketball Preview


North Carolina will hit the road and head south to Atlanta to play Georgia Tech only two days after avenging an earlier loss by beating the Virginia Cavaliers 93-81 Saturday afternoon.

Beating Virginia is currently the Tar Heels second best win of the season behind a non-conference win over UNLV.  The win helps push North Carolina back into most people bracket projections for the NCAA tournament but a loss against Georgia Tech would spell huge trouble.

It's always difficult to win on the road in the ACC, even for veteran teams like Duke, who lost to Maryland at the Comcast Center this past weekend.  For a young team like UNC a win is anything but a certainty.

Georgia Tech at a glance

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Nickname: Yellow Jackets; Ramblin' Wreck
Colors: Old Gold & White
Conference: ACC
Arena: McCamish Pavilion (8,600)
2011-2012 Record: 11-20 (4-12)
Last Game: W 56-55 vs. Wake Forest on Feb. 16, 2013 in Winston-Salem
Last Game vs. UNC: L 79-63 on Jan. 23, 2013 in Chapel Hill
More on the Yellow Jackets:
Schedule | Stats | Roster | Rivals Site | Forums


Joel James

Joel James will miss his third straight game after suffering a concussion against Wake Forest. 

James had been a regular in the rotation but since he's departure to the land of the injured, Roy Williams has favored a small line up the last couple of games.

The results are hard to argue with but aren't an indictment on the progression James had been making before getting injured.  James was beginning to look more comfortable and gave UNC a much needed big body.


It looks like the small line-up is here to stay.

While many UNC fans are patting themselves on the back for prognosticating a successful insertion of P.J. Hairston into the North Carolina starting five, Williams correctly pointed out in the post-game press conference that the rebounding effort will be the key to making the switch a full time success.

"I said, 'Guys. You small guys that like this small lineup, I cannot do that if I don't have you guys getting to the boards when James Michael is shooting,'" Williams said. "I think (the rebounding) is the most crucial part of the game."

He's right.  If James Michael McAdoo is shooting it essentially leaves UNC with four guards to attack the boards.  That comment may have given UNC fans some insight into why it took Williams a while to feel comfortable swapping Hairston for Desmond Hubert.

If UNC outrebounds Georgia Tech the way they did Virginia (33-24) it will put Williams' mind at ease.

Dexter Strickland

Dexter Strickland recorded his second straight double digit point performance when he tallied 12 points against Virginia.

Strickland's recovery from a devastating knee injury has been well-documented and it's clear he isn't as explosive as he was before the injury.

It's also clear he's beginning to remold his game and accepting that he's healthy again.

"I think it's more mental," said Strickland after the victory over Virginia.  "I'm out there trying to tell myself to trust in my knee more, just being more aggressive."

If Strickland can give the Tar Heels a consistent scoring output playing alongside the red-hot Hairston and play with renewed confidence, it will be a big boost for the team.

North Carolina (17-8, 7-5) vs. Georgia Tech  (14-10, 4-7)

Date: Tuet, Feb 18, 2013
Time: 9:00 PM EST
Venue: McCamish Pavilion (8,600)
TV: ESPN3/ACC Network

Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network & SiriusXM
Series: UNC leads, 62-24 (UNC is 18-13 vs. Tech in Atlanta and was 12-12 vs. the Yellow Jackets in
Alexander Memorial Coliseum)

2012-2013 ACC Standings

North Carolina
Head Coach - Roy Williams (274-76 at UNC; 692-177 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 30

Last starting line-up for North Carolina (against Virginia)
F - Jame Michael McAdoo
G/F - Reggie Bullock
G - P.J. Hairston
G - Dexter Strickland

G - Marcus Paige
Points: 78.5 PPG (8th overall)
Rebounds: 41.2 RPG (6th overall)
Assists: 17.6 APG (3rd overall)
Field goal percentage: .444 (115th overall)
Scoring: James Michael McAdoo (14.4 PPG) Reggie Bullock (14.0 PPG)
Rebounding:  James Michael McAdoo (8.2 RPG) Reggie Bullock (5.6 RPG)
Assists:  Marcus Paige (4.3 APG) Dexter Strickland (3.9 APG)

Head Coach - Brian Gregor (25-30 at GT; 197-124 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 125

Points: 64.1 (257th overall)
Rebounds: 37.9 (48th overall)
Assists: 12.8 (166th overall)
Field goal percentage: .417 (250th overall)

Scoring:  Marcus Georges-Hunt (10.6 PPG) Robert Carter (9.8 PPG)
Rebounding:  Robert Carter (6.8 RPG) Daniel Miller (6.4 RPG)
Assists: Mfon Udofia (3.0 APG) Daniel Miller (2.3 APG)
Last starting line-up for Georgia Tech (against Wake Forest)
C - Daniel Miller
F - Robert Carter
F/G - Marcus Georges-Hunt
G - Mfon Udofia

G - Chris Bolden


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