Alex Conway & John Gwaltney Jr
It was a tale of two halves (as it often was last season) for
UNC against Oakland. They went into halftime with a 58-21 lead
but were outscored 40-26 in the second half of their 84-61
opening season victory.
The Tar Heels were team last year that couldn't seem to put
together a complete basketball game and it will be interesting
to see if that is a trend that continues into this season.
It could be that Roy Williams just wanted to give his
guys a chance to try different things in the second half but it's
tough to says since many of last year's key components are still the
main players on this team.
UNC will look to do what their supposed to do this Friday against
Holy Cross while also giving guys a chance to audition for more
permanent roles and playing time.
Here are some storylines to pay attention to.
Eight players received double digit minutes in the opener. Almost
everyone that wasn't suspended made it into the game. Just like last
year, every game could feature a different starting line-up,
especially while P.J. Hairston remains sidelined.
If that sounds like a negative indictment of those four guys,
it's really not. It actually speaks to the kind of depth and
flexibility Williams can have with this year's team.
While they will certainly be thin throughout the year on the
wing, they will be big and have plenty of options and different
styles they can throw at opponents.
This game against Holy Cross will be the second "science
experiment" for Williams as he figures out which line-up
combinations will work best and who can provide the type of
versatility they'll need to contend for an ACC title.
UNC is going to have a size advantage against almost every
opponent they face this season. McAdoo, James, Tokoto, Brice
Johnson, Isiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks give
UNC a plethora of large and athletic guys that can muscle around
anybody on the front lines.
They were able to outrebound Oakland 41-22 and Holy Cross was
outrebounded 44-27 against Harvard in an 82-72 opening season loss.
On his weekly radio show, Williams said he thought Tokoto has the
potential to become the greatest offensive rebounder he's ever
coached. That will pay dividends if it comes true sooner rather than
later because UNC isn't going to have a great shooting team this
Whereas a team like Duke has a stellar, dynamic signature player
like Jabari Parker, UNC strength comes in its numbers and
size. That's a welcome sight for Williams who has always favored
those elements and will be able to play his brand of basketball this
Last year, Brice Johnson was pushed around on the block quite a
bit because of his skinny frame. While it was a challenge for the
coaching staff to find some extra pounds to pack on the skilled
inside scorer, and he still doesn't really look like Fat Albert yet,
he looked a lot stronger against Oakland.
He has a silky smooth turnaround hook shot and it looked like it
was on point as he scored 10 points on 4-5 shooting last game.
Johnson won't be a traditional three-man but neither will McAdoo
when he gets minutes there. Both guys, especially while UNC's best
wings are out, will have to play in that spot and play well for UNC
to do what they want.
Johnson can get the job done and it will be fun to see just how
much he's improved from Year One to Year Two.
There were questions about Marcus Paige and where he would end up
getting the majority of his minutes. He split time at the point
guard spot with Britt last game and that will likely be the case all
Williams said on his radio show that Paige has put on 10-plus
pounds this offseason and his shot looked much improved and
consistent. The best asset Paige possesses is his attitude. He never
gets down on himself, has a great belief in himself and doesn't take
things personally. He's competitive but he'll do whatever it takes
to help the team.
Whether that means sliding over and letting Britt take the reins
or coming off the bench, Paige will be a key to a lot of UNC's
success this year.
vs. #11/12 North Carolina
Date: Friday, November 15,
2013 Time: 8:00 PM EST Venue:
Dean E. Smith Center (21,750) TV:
ESPNU Radio: Tar Heel Sports
Network & SiriusXM (Sirius 157/XM -)
Holy Cross at a glance Location: Worcester,
Royal Purple Conference:
Patriot League Arena:
Hart Center (3,600) 2012-2013 Record:
(4-10) Last Game:
W 122-118 2OT over Sacred Heart on November 13. More on the Crusaders: Schedule
| Stats |
Roster Official Site
North Carolina Head Coach - Roy Williams
(283-79 at UNC; 701-180 overall)
Last starting line-up for North Carolina
F - Jame Michael McAdoo F - J.P. Tokoto F - Joel James
G - Marcus Paige G - Nate Britt
Statistical Leaders Scoring: James Michael
McAdoo (21.0 PPG) Marcus Paige (14.0 PPG)
Michael McAdoo (9.0 RPG) Joel James (8.0 RPG)
Assists: J.P. Tokoto
(5.0 APG) Marcus Paige
Points Per Game:
84.0 Rebounds Per Game: 41.0 Assist Per Game: 25.0 Field Goal Percentage: .600
Holy Cross Head Coach -
(24-36 at HC; 119-156 overall)
Statistical Leaders Scoring:
Dave Dudzinski (25.5
PPG) Cullen Hamilton (22.0 PPG)
Rebounding: Dave Dudzinski (10.5)
Malachai Alexander (7.5 RPG)
Assists: Justin Burrell (6.0
APG Eric Green (2.5 APG)
Last starting line-up for Holy Cross (against
F - Malcolm Miller F - Taylor Abt C - Dave Dudzinski
G - Justin Burrell G - Cullen Hamilton
Points Per Game: 97. 0 Rebounds Per Game: 36.0 Assist Per Game: 15.0 Field Goal Percentage: .446