March 5, 2013

UNC - Maryland Capsule

Basketball Preview

This is it.

The last week of the regular season for college basketball fans.  North Carolina only has two games remaining, the first of which comes in the form of Maryland at the Comcast Center Wednesday night.

The Tar Heels will have the honor of being the Terrapins last home ACC foe before departing to the Big Ten.

 Over the years Maryland was often known as the northern most school in the ACC, at times, seen as going against the grain of the more southern conference members.

The addition of Boston College gave Maryland the chance to look up at someone on the map for a change and their departure comes right as the ACC has added additional footprints in the Northeast section of the country, with the additions of Pittsburgh and Syracuse.

For years, Maryland's home arenas, whether it be Comcast or Cole Field House, have housed some of the rowdiest fans in the entire nation.  Those fans get especially fired up when taking on a Tobacco Road challenger.

This being the last opportunity for Terps fans to ring their fists and chant (possible) vulgarities during an ACC telecast should make for one of the best atmospheres this basketball season will see.

The Last Go-round

There will be no more ACC home games for Maryland after Wednesday night.

There have been many political discussions about why that is but the fact remains that Maryland is leaving behind a conference for which it was charter member back when the ACC was established in 1953.

The flood gate of emotions will be wide open and ready to drift through the arena as Maryland's players take their last warm-ups, the national anthem is sang for the last time and the ball is tipped off one last time.

Obviously these emotions will be readily apparent to Maryland's players as they will, no doubt, have been showered with stories of yester-year as the school closes out this chapter in its history.

Whether those emotions help or hurt Maryland remain to be seen.  They looked pretty good against Duke earlier in the year and the post-game quotes made it pretty evident that it was a big deal to all involved.

North Carolina will need to prepare for the best punch they'll ever get from the Terps and match them step-for-step in the intensity department.

As the season finale against Duke looms for UNC, if ever there was a trap game, this is it.

Shortening The Rotation

UNC's 79-58 victory over Florida State was the fourth straight game that UNC Head Coach Roy Williams didn't allow a seventh member of this team reach double-digit minutes.

As the season has progressed, Williams, obviously, tweaked his line-up so that it would produce better offensive numbers.

More importantly, he's shortened the rotation and gone all in on the members of his team he trusts the most.
Judging by the minutes played over the last two weeks, those players are James Michael McAdoo, Reggie Bullock, P.J. Hairston, Marcus Paige, Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald, with McDonald acting as the sixth man.

It's not that Williams doesn't trust his younger players, like Joel James, Brice Johnson and Desmond Hubert, it's just that this isn't the point in the season where he can allow them to have the dreaded "learning experiences."

Williams knows who he's bringing to the dance and what kind of number they can perform.

If UNC doesn't want an early exit and would like to build momentum going into next season, when they will likely be one of the deepest teams in the nation, these are the guys that are going to have to get it done.

Reggie Bullock

Bullock didn't get the same amount of pre-season accolades that teammate McAdoo got, but he's been UNC's best and most consistent player this season.

Bullock dropped 20 points and garnered 10 rebounds against the Seminoles Sunday afternoon.  He also contributed five assists and hit on four three-pointers.

Bullock has stepped up for the Tar Heels in multiple ways this year.

He's been the leader of the team, none more evident than when he called that player's only meeting earlier in the year.

He's also helped alleviate one of Coach Williams' biggest reservations about moving to a smaller starting line-up: Rebounding.

Bullock has pulled in 10, 9 and 13 rebounds in the last three games respectively.  He's the highest rebounding guard in the ACC at 6.2 rebounds per game.

His scoring output is obviously important but it's his talents on the glass and his leadership among younger teammates that has been most valuable this year.

North Carolina (21-8, 10-5) vs. Maryland  (20-9, 8-8)

Date: Wed, Mar 6, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Venue: Comcast Center (17,950)

Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network & SiriusXM (Sirius 128/XM 192)
Series:  UNC leads 119-57

2012-2013 ACC Standings

North Carolina
Head Coach - Roy Williams (278-76 at UNC; 696-177 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 19

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

G - Marcus Paige
Points: 77.8 PPG (14th overall)
Rebounds: 40.1 RPG (9th overall)
Assists: 17.8 APG (2nd overall)
Field goal percentage: .446 (107th overall)
Scoring: James Michael McAdoo (14.8 PPG) Reggie Bullock (14.2 PPG)
Rebounding:  James Michael McAdoo (8.0 RPG) Reggie Bullock (6.2 RPG)
Assists:  Marcus Paige (4.6 APG) Dexter Strickland (4.0 APG)

Head Coach - Mark Turgeon (37-23 at UM; 287-182 overall)

Rankings - AP: NR, USA Today: NR, RPI: 68

Points: 71.1 (89th overall)
Rebounds: 41.3 (3rd overall)
Assists: 15.2 (32nd overall)
Field goal percentage: .470 (30th overall)

Scoring:  Dez Wells (12.0 PPG) Alex Len (12.0 PPG)
Rebounding:  Alex Len (8.1 RPG) Charles Mitchell (5.6 RPG)
Assists: Pe'Shon Howard (3.9 APG) Dez Wells (3.2 APG)
Last starting line-up for Maryland (against Wake Forest)
C - Alex Len
F - James Padgett
G/F - Dez Wells
G - Pe'Shon Howard

G - Nick Faust

Maryland at a glance
Location: College Park, Maryland
Nickname: Terrapins, Terps
Colors: Red, White, Black & Gold
Conference: ACC
Arena: Comcast Center (17,950)
2011-2012 Record: 17-15 (6-10)
Last Game: W 67-57 vs. Wake Forest on Mar 2, 2013 in Winston-Salem
Last Game vs. UNC: L 65-52 on Jan 19, 2013 in Chapel Hill
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