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February 27, 2013

UNC - Clemson Capsule

Basketball Preview

North Carolina is riding a three-game winning streak and coming off an emotionally charged victory over in-state rival N.C. State as it heads to Clemson Thursday night.

The Tigers have a historically long losing streak playing the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill but fortunately for Clemson the only game between the two schools this season will take place at the Littlejohn Coliseum in South Carolina.

Clemson is on a two-game losing streak and has lost five of their last six.  Their average per game rankings in points, rebounds, assists and field goal percentage are all 200th or lower.

UNC plays Clemson on the road in its last game before a three-game stretch that includes the reigning ACC champions Florida State, the last home ACC contest for Maryland and a season finale against arch-rival Duke.

This could be a trap game for the Heels or it could give them the catapult they need to finish strong heading into tournament season.

Clemson at a glance

Location: Clemson, South Carolina
Nickname: Tigers
Colors: Clemson Orange & Regalia
Conference: ACC
Arena: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000)
2011-2012 Record: 16-15 (8-8)
Last Game: L 72-59 vs. Maryland on Feb. 23, 2013 in College Park
Last Game vs. UNC: L 74-52 on Feb 18, 2012 in Chapel Hill
More on the Tigers:
Schedule | Stats | Roster | Rivals Site | Forums

GAME PREVIEW THOUGHTS

Confidence

Assistant Coach C.B. McGrath filled in for head coach Roy Williams during Williams' weekly radio show Monday night.  McGrath offered some insight into why the Tar Heels players have spoken at length about an increased sense of confidence since switching to a smaller starting line-up.

"I think it stems from P.J. Hairston. He's a confident kid. He thinks every shot he shoots is going in. He can shoot from half court and think it's going in," said McGrath. "I think everybody just sort of understands that. If he gets it going everybody else thinks they're going to get it going. I do think that helps."

Hairston has cooled off in the last two games (11 PPG) after setting the world on fire during the first two games of his insertion into the starting five.

But Hairston's presence spaces the floor and puts the pressure on opposing teams to protect the wider driving lanes that UNC's perimeter players will look to take advantage of.

Bracketology

If fans weren't already aware, it's time for everyone's favorite made-up word to make the rounds: Bracketology.

Currently, ESPN's Joe Lunardi has UNC as a No. 8 seed.  UNC will have ample chances to improve its standing in the bracket race with a big game against Duke and the ACC tournament to potentially boost the resume.

But losing against Clemson could kill the Tar Heels if they don't take care of business.  Losing to the Tigers won't end the Tar Heels postseason's dreams but it will make games against tougher opponents that much more valuable. 

Marcus Paige

Marcus Paige had himself a game against N.C. State, especially late in the second half when he helped ice the game for UNC.  Paige tallied 14 points, eight assists and zero turnovers.

But there is an obvious contrast in Paige's performances at home and on the road.

In Paige's last four home games he's scored 14, 17, 8 and 19 points respectively.  During his last four road games he's scored 8, 4, 2 and 8 points respectively.
Paige's only double-digit points performances on the road came against Indiana and Long Beach State back in November.

As any knowledgeable sports fan knows, NCAA tournament games are played on neutral sites.  Paige has been quite good at home but it remains to be seen if he can put it all together away from the Dean Dome.
This will be a good test for the young point guard from Iowa.On the flipside, Paige has really cut down on his turnovers the last few games.  Paige only has five turnovers over his last five games.

North Carolina (18-8, 9-5) vs. Clemson  (13-13, 5-9)

Date: Thur, Feb 28, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Venue: Littlejohn Coliseum (10,000)
TV: ESPN

Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network & SiriusXM (Sirius93/XM 190)
Series: UNC leads, 126-20 (UNC is 36-16 vs. the Tigers in Clemson, including 25-13 in Littlejohn
Coliseum)

2012-2013 ACC Standings

North Carolina
 
Head Coach - Roy Williams (276-76 at UNC; 694-177 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 21

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

G - Marcus Paige
 
Stats
 
(Team)
 
Points: 78.1 PPG (11th overall)
 
Rebounds: 40.8 RPG (7th overall)
 
Assists: 17.7 APG (3rd overall)
 
Field goal percentage: .442 (124th overall)
 
(Individual)
 
Scoring: James Michael McAdoo (14.7 PPG) Reggie Bullock (14.1 PPG)
 
Rebounding:  James Michael McAdoo (8.3 RPG) Reggie Bullock (6.0 RPG)
 
Assists:  Marcus Paige (4.4 APG) Dexter Strickland (4.0 APG)
 
CLEMSON

Head Coach - Brad Brownell (51-40 at CU; 218-125 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 141

Stats
 
(Team)
 
Points: 61.8 (294th overall)
 
Rebounds: 34.2 (200th overall)
 
Assists: 10.7 (308th overall)
 
Field goal percentage: .426 (214th overall)
 
(Individual)

Scoring:  Devin Booker (12.4 PPG) K.J. McDaniels (10.7 PPG)
 
Rebounding:  Devin Booker (8.7 RPG) Milton Jennings (6.4 RPG)
 
Assists: Rod Hall (3.4 APG) Milton Jennings (2.0 APG)
 
Last starting line-up for Clemson (against Maryland)
 
F/C - Devin Booker
F - Milton Jennnings
F - K.J. McDaniels
G - Rod Hall

G - Jordan Roper

 



 

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