January 28, 2013

UNC - BC Capsule

Basketball Preview

North Carolina is coming off a 91-83 defeat to North Carolina State. They follow that emotionally draining loss by taking a long trip up the eastern seaboard to play a 9 p.m. weekday game against the ACC's most northern team, Boston College.

Boston College is at the bottom of the ACC standings and will face a UNC team that won't lack for motivation.

UNC Head Coach Roy Williams was clearly perturbed in the post-game press conference.  He said he wasn't into "learning experiences" but here's betting that Williams and his team would love to teach the Golden Eagles what it's like to face a team that's coming off a tough nationally televised loss.

Boston College at a glance

Location: Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts
Nickname: Eagles
Colors: Maroon & Gold
Conference: ACC
Arena: Conte Forum (8,606)
2011-2012 Record: 9-22 (4-12)
Last Game: L 65-51 at Virginia
More on the Wolfpack:
Schedule | Stats | Roster | Rivals Site | Forums

Game Preview Thoughts

A cautionary tale when facing cellar-dwellers

UNC only has to look at its last opponent to see what can happen when you take any ACC team lightly, even one sitting in the basement of the conference.

Getting an ACC road win is nothing to sneeze at.  The Tar Heels have only won two true road games this year (Long Beach State and Florida State).

Boston College's five ACC losses have all been single-digit shortcomings.  They haven't been blown out yet and should be another stern test for the Tar Heels.

Reggie Bullock

Reggie Bullock didn't have a great night against N.C. State.  He only shot 4-of-11 and 2-of-6 from three-point range.

Bullock managed to finish with 10 points against the Wolfpack.  It was almost his fourth game of the season where he didn't score in the double-digits.

In games that Bullock didn't score over 10 points (Gardner-Webb, Long Beach State and Indiana) he didn't score any less than 15 points in his next outing (Florida Atlantic, Mississippi State and UAB).

Bullock has been this season's team leader.  Even if he doesn't produce, he's always ready to take his shots.  He's a scorer but more importantly serves as the voice of this team, evident by his calling a player's only meeting earlier in the year.

It would be shocking if Bullock does anything but perform well Tuesday night.

P.J. Hairston

Tar Heels' fans want more P.J. Hairston. Check this message boards for verification on this matter.

Hairston, whose biggest issues is his consistency, scored 12 of his 19 points in the final seven minutes of the game during a stretch that saw UNC cut a 28 point deficit down to 5 against N.C. State.

Hairston's ability to score isn't a question. As stated above, it's all about being consistent. 

There could be many explanations as to why Williams chooses to keep Hairston in his sixth man role. Maybe Hairston isn't impressive enough in practice.  Maybe Williams' fierce loyalty, something Williams has admitted has caused him problems in the past, won't allow him to bench the senior Dexter Strickland in favor of the more dynamic Hairston.

Whatever the reason is, only Williams knows but this team performs at another level when Hairston is on his game.  Whether that production comes from the bench or after Hairston's name is called once the lights dim and the music gets turned up real loud doesn't really matter as long as it's there. 

Marcus Paige

This next point isn't rooted in any statistics whatsoever.

Marcus Paige got schooled by N.C. State's Lorenzo Brown on Saturday.

But then a funny thing happened in the locker room.
Take a look at the post-game video of Paige after the NCSU loss.  Notice the demeanor Paige displays as he answers questions after the man he guarded introduced him to what the elite level of point guard play is all about.

Paige didn't lower his head.  He didn't look overly upset.  He didn't look like a man who was beaten.  He also didn't look much like a guy who was about to give up.

North Carolina (12-6, 3-3) vs. Boston College (9-10, 1-5)

Date: Tue, Jan. 29, 2013
Time: 9:00 PM EST
Venue: Conte Forum (8,606)

Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network & SiriusXM (Sirius 92, XM 191)
Series: UNC leads, 9-5 (including 3-1 in Chestnut Hill in the Conte Forum)

2012-2013 ACC Standings

North Carolina
Head Coach - Roy Williams (270-74 at UNC; 688-175 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 36

Last starting line-up for North Carolina (against N.C. State)
F - Desmond Hubert
F - Reggie Bullock
F - James Michael McAdoo
G - Dexter Strickland

G - Marcus Paige
Points: 78.9 PPG (9th overall)
Rebounds: 42.5 RPG (4th overall)
Assists: 18.3 APG (2nd overall)
Field goal percentage: .446 (111th overall)
Scoring: James Michael McAdoo (14.6 PPG) Reggie Bullock (14.1 PPG)
Rebounding:  James Michael McAdoo (8.4 RPG) Reggie Bullock (5.7 RPG)
Assists:  Marcus Paige (4.4 APG) Dexter Strickland (4.1 APG)
Boston College

Head Coach - Steve Donahue (39-45 at BC; 185-183 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 130

Points: 67.8 (173rd overall)
Rebounds: 33.5 (237th overall)
Assists: 12.5 (189th overall)
Field goal percentage: .431 (177th overall)

Scoring:  Ryan Anderson (16.4 PPG) Olivier Hanlan (13.7 PPG)
Rebounding:  Ryan Anderson (9.1 RPG) Dennis Clifford (4.7 RPG)
Assists: Joe Rahon (3.8 APG) Olivier Hanlan (2.6 APG)
Last starting line-up for Boston College (against Virginia)
F - Ryan Anderson
G - Lonnie Jackson
G - Olivier Hanlan
G - Joe Rahon

G - Patrick Heckmann

Last Season's Meeting

January 7, 2012
Chapel Hill
83-60 UNC

It's clear that Paige hasn't put everything together yet.  He doesn't have Kendall Marshall's basketball instincts, Ty Lawson's speed and his shot hasn't fallen at the rate it needs to.

But Paige has something, that those guys had, and it's every bit as important when trying to become the next great UNC point guard: Confidence. 

You can see it in the way he answers every question, the way he never seems to crumble under pressure on the court and (sometimes to his and UNC's detriment) the way he never hesitates to shoot when he's left open.

Who knows if that means he'll be something special.  But he's got a special belief in himself that is incredibly hard to find and he's developing it more with each game.  That is certainly something to watch heading into the Boston College game.


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