February 8, 2013

UNC - Miami Capsule

Basketball Preview

North Carolina makes a trip down to South Beach to take on the ACC leading Miami Hurricanes Saturday afternoon.

The Tar Heels are coming off three straight victories and will look to continue the streak and climb the rankings.  UNC will also seek to avenge an earlier loss to the Hurricanes and end Miami's undefeated ACC run.

Miami at a glance

Location: Coral Gables, Florida
Nickname: Hurricanes
Colors: Orange, Green & White
Conference: ACC
Arena: BankUnited Center (7,200)
2011-2012 Record: 20-13 (9-7)
Last Game: W 72-50 on Feb. 5, 2013 vs. Boston College
Last Game vs. UNC: W 68-59 on Jan. 10, 2013 in Chapel Hill
More on the Hurricanes:
Schedule | Stats | Roster | Rivals Site | Forums

Game Preview Thoughts

Miami's front court

James Michael McAdoo will be matched up against the formidable duo of Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson.

Johnson hasn't quite been his double-double self since returning from injury but seems due to have a breakout game one of these days.

Kadji on the other hand has played at an All-ACC level for much of the year.  Kadji (13.4 PPG, 6.8 RPG) has a smooth inside-outside game that will put McAdoo in weird positions on the defensive end.

It will be imperative that McAdoo isn't a one man gang in the paint.  He'll need help from Desmond Hubert and other big men to contain the two talented Miami Hurricanes down low.

James Michael McAdoo

Speaking of McAdoo, he's managed a double-double in his last four outings.

He's also developed a nice mid-range game that has allowed his efficiency to rise on the offensive end. 
McAdoo and fellow talent Reggie Bullock have become the unquestioned leaders of UNC's basketball team this year.

Bullock called a player's only meeting earlier in the year and McAdoo has become the go-to guy for UNC on the court.

Playing against the elite of the ACC over the next few games will require McAdoo and Bullock to continue performing at a high level.


The game against Miami begins a stretch where UNC will play at Miami, at Duke, home against Virginia, then back on the road against Georgia Tech and then hosting N.C. State.

Beating Miami, while obviously good for UNC's quest to climb the standings, will give UNC its biggest win of the season heading into its most difficult stretch.

The confidence that would come from such a victory can't be understated.

UNC will head to Duke next week and won't catch any advantages heading into Cameron Indoor Stadium.  That experience will be a new one for guys like Brice Johnson, Joel James and J.P. Tokoto.

Avenging a loss to Miami, who in retrospect wasn't a bad loss, could create a snow-ball effect as UNC continues along its journey.  Losing could have the same effect, only in the opposite direction.

Brice Johnson

Keep an eye on Johnson in this one.

McAdoo is going against two aggressive guys from Miami and it won't be a stretch to see him get into foul trouble.

Johnson was called upon to play an increase role against N.C. State when McAdoo had to leave early and Johnson might see himself in a similar situation.

Johnson has been crafty around the basket shooting almost 60 percent.  He's got a nice fade-a-way and is athletic, which could pose problems for the heavier-set Reggie Johnson.

The difference between then and now

Miami beat North Carolina earlier in the year.  So what's change?

Miami (18-3, 9-0) vs. North Carolina  (16-6, 6-3)

Date: Sat, Feb 9, 2013
Time: 2:00 PM EST
Venue: BankUnited Center (7,200)

Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network & SiriusXM (Sirius 91, XM 91)
Series: UNC leads, 18-3 (including 7-1 overall on the road and 5-0 in the BankUnited Center)

2012-2013 ACC Standings

North Carolina
Head Coach - Roy Williams (273-74 at UNC; 691-175 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 31

Last starting line-up for North Carolina (against Wake Forest)
F - Desmond Hubert
F - Reggie Bullock
F - James Michael McAdoo
G - Dexter Strickland

G - Marcus Paige
Points: 79.1 PPG (7th overall)
Rebounds: 42.2 RPG (3rd overall)
Assists: 18.3 APG (2nd overall)
Field goal percentage: .448 (101st overall)
Scoring: James Michael McAdoo (15.3 PPG) Reggie Bullock (14.0 PPG)
Rebounding:  James Michael McAdoo (8.4 RPG) Reggie Bullock (5.6 RPG)
Assists:  Marcus Paige (4.5 APG) Dexter Strickland (4.0 APG)

Head Coach - Jim Larranaga (38-16 at UM; 508-350 overall)

Rankings - AP: 8, USA Today: 11, RPI: 2

Points: 69.6 (118th overall)
Rebounds: 36.7 (105th overall)
Assists: 11.8 (254th overall)
Field goal percentage: .454 (75th overall)

Scoring:  Durand Scott (13.8 PPG) Kenny Kadji (13.4 PPG)
Rebounding:  Reggie Johnson (9.1 RPG) Kenny Kadji (6.8 RPG)
Assists: Shane Larkin (4.1 APG) Durand Scott (2.9 APG)
Last starting line-up for Miami (against Boston College)
F/C - Julian Gamble
F/C - Kenny Kadji
G - Trey McKinney Jones
G - Durand Scott

G - Shane Larkin

Not much.  Miami hasn't lost since and has gotten strong and gained more accolades.  The same could be said for North Carolina.

UNC has gelled over the last few weeks and didn't totally collapse against N.C. State after going down big.  They've shown resiliency and have become stronger because of it.

Keep in mind that UNC hasn't lost in Miami the last five times they've played there. 
This should be a close one and has all the makings of a game that will forecast a lot about the coming month heading into tournament season.


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