Alex Conway & John Gwaltney Jr
Assuming UNC has made it back through the Atlanta gridlock
that was caused by the two inches of snow from the netherworld,
the Tar Heels will host their rivals from Raleigh Saturday
afternoon as the N.C. State Wolfpack come to town.
The Heels are coming off a 78-65 dark match house show
against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in a game that few can
say will be etched in their memories after the weather relegated
the game to the internet.
UNC now has its first winning streak of 2014 and will look to
make it three in a row as they attempt to pull themselves further up
the conference standings.
Let's take a look at some of the storylines heading into
Fueling The Wins
When James Michael McAdoo plays well the Tar Heels win
more often than not. It's easy to say that UNC's best player,
Marcus Paige, is the key to their success but the stats
In UNC's last four wins, McAdoo has averaged almost 20 points per
game while hauling in 7 rebounds per game. He's shot nearly 68
percent in those wins and was aggressive to the basket in all those
games as well. When McAdoo wants to get to the rim there are few
defenders that can stop him.
He's good for one or two plays that energizes his teammates and
when those plays don't come, UNC usually plays at a much more
Another guy that has gotten it going lately is Kennedy Meeks. The big man is becoming less of a big man as he slims
his body down. He's getting up and down the court at a much better
pace than at the beginning of the season and in the last two outings
has played 26 minutes, both career highs.
Meeks' multi-faceted game helps define the roles of the other
guys around him. When he plays in the low post it allows McAdoo to
roam at the top of the key, opening up driving lanes for his
frontcourt mate along with 15-foot jump shots, gives Paige a solid
pick-and-roll buddy and forces guys to focus on him down low and
giving Leslie McDonald to shoot outside.
His long outlet passes give Brice Johnson and J.P. Tokoto easy baskets that reward their efforts on defense
(something that should help keep Johnson motivated on that end of
the floor) and his low-post moves are a thing of beauty when he gets
It seems like just a matter of time before he gains enough
explosiveness to where he isn't getting his shot blocked, but the
head fakes and techniques he's developed while being underdeveloped
physically will serve him well when he adds the athleticism he needs
Meeks' nine points against Georgia Tech snapped his three-game
streak of double-digits but the freshman made up for it by grabbing
10 rebounds, just his second double-digit rebounding effort of the
He'll go against a bruiser in N.C. State's Jordan Vandenberg who is a fellow sneaky athlete that has lost a
significant amount of weight. This could be the game where Meeks can
make a name for himself in the national discussion and become a
breakout star in the ACC.
Stopping T.J. Warren
If you want to stop the ACC's leading scorer T.J. Warren, getting him in foul trouble is a good way to start.
Honestly, there isn't a whole lot you can do to stop him from
getting his points.
The Wolfpack don't have a ton of offensive options so they give
Warren free reign to take as many shots as he wants. Attacking
Warren when he's on defense is a way to shut him down enough to get
some spurts going and put the game away early.
Tokoto should be tasked with getting aggressive. The entire UNC
team should look to drive past Warren whenever possible and try to
take advantage of those hand-checking fouls that suddenly
disappeared once conference play started. This would be a good time
to force some calls.
It's also an opportunity for Tokoto to show he can the one-on-one
stopper Roy Williams believes he can be. The Tokoto-Warren
match-up is the one fans should be most excited about heading into
vs. North Carolina
Date: Saturday, February 1, 2014 Time: 1:00 PM EST Venue:
Dean E. Smith Center (21,750) TV:ESPN2 Radio:Tar Heel Sports
Network & SiriusXM (Sirius
108/XM 191) Series: UNC leads, 148-76 (UNC is 72-22 vs. NCSU in
Chapel Hill, including 22-5 in the Smith Center) Last Meeting: UNC won 76-65 on February 23, 2013, at
the Smith Center.
N.C. State at a glance Location:
Raleigh, N.C. Nickname:
Red & White Conference:
PNC Arena (19,700) 2012-2013 Record:
24-11 (11-7) Last Game:
N.C. State beat Florida State, 74-70, on Wednesday night in Raleigh. More on the Wolfpack: Schedule
| Stats |
Roster Official Site |
Last starting line-up
F - T.J. Warren F - Kyle Washington C - James Vandenberg
G - Anthony Barber G - Ralston Turner
Statistical Leaders Scoring: T.J.
PPG) Anthony Barber (10.8 PPG)
Rebounding: T.J. Warren (7.3
Leonard Freeman (5.9 RPG)
Assists: Anthony Barber (4.2
APG) Tyler Lewis (3.0 APG)
Points Per Game: 72.0 Rebounds Per Game: 35.8 Assist Per Game: 13.0 Field Goal Percentage: .463 3-pt Field Goal Percentage: .293
North Carolina at a glance Last starting line-up
(against Geogia Tech)
F - James Michael McAdoo F - J.P. Tokoto F - Kennedy Meeks
G - Leslie McDonald G - Marcus Paige
Statistical Leaders Scoring: Marcus Paige (16.8 PPG)
James Michael McAdoo (14.9 PPG)
Rebounding: James Michael
McAdoo (6.4 RPG)
Brice Johnson (6.3 RPG)
(4.4 APG) J.P. Tokoto (2.6 APG)
Points Per Game:
75.6 Rebounds Per Game: 40.8 Assist Per Game: 15.9 Field Goal Percentage: .458 3-pt Field Goal Percentage: .319