Friday, December 02, 2011
Kentucky vs North Carolina
(12/3/11 Saturday 12 Noon-EST/11:00AM-CST on CBS)
UNC leads the series 22-12
North Carolina Tar Heels
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
Head Coach: Roy Williams
Career Record: 643-163 (79.8%) 23 Seasons
At North Carolina: 225-62 (78.4%) 8 Seasons
2010-11 Record: 29-8
2010-11 ACC Record: 14-2
2010-11 Postseason: NCAA Elite Eight 3-1
2011-12 Record: 6-1
North Carolina 67 Michigan St. 55
North Carolina 91 UNC Asheville 75
North Carolina 101 Mississippi Valley St. 75
North Carolina 102 Tennessee St. 69
North Carolina 87 South Carolina 62
UNLV 90 North Carolina 80
North Carolina 60 Wisconsin 57
North Carolina Stats
3 PT.%-41.1% (5.3 PG)
RPG-42.3 (+4.6 PG)
3 PT%-39.6% (6.0PG)
Probable Starting Lineup
Harrison Barnes F-6’8” So……….………17.7 PPG
John Henson F-6’10” Jr……………….….14.7 PPG
Tyler Zeller C-7’0” Sr……………………13.3 PPG
Dexter Strickland G-6’3” Jr…………….…8.4 PPG
Kendall Marshall G-6’3” So………………4.7 PPG
Other Key Players
P.J. Hairston G-6’5” Fr……………………8.3 PPG
Reggie Bullock G-6’7” So…………...……7.4 PPG
James Michael McAdoo F-6’9” Fr………...5.9 PPG
North Carolina comes into Rupp arena with a 6-1 record after having a difficult win over a very tough Wisconsin team. This pits the two greatest basketball programs against each other….as well as two of the greatest coaches against each other. The Tar Heels return their entire starting lineup from a team that made it to the Elite 8 last season. Unquestionably, The NC frontline of Harrison Barnes, John Henson and Tyler Zeller would have to rank among the top 2-3 in college basketball this season. Although Barnes struggled early last season as a freshman, he has been meeting his high expectation ever since with great play. This season, Barnes is the team’s leading scorer shooting 49% from the field and 39% from the perimeter. Barnes is a very talented and smooth player who is becoming better and better. He will be a very high NBA draft choice next year. Henson, a junior, has also continued to improve….he is tough in the paint and leads NC in rebounds averaging 11 per game….plus he leads the team in blocks with 23. Zeller, a senior, is a solid post player…..not great, but he gets his share of points and rebounds. Zeller also gets to the free throw a lot and hits 70%. Together, these three players form an imposing frontline for the Tar Heels!
Kendall Marshall runs the point for NC and is an outstanding PG. Marshall doesn’t shoot much, but rather runs the team with few mistakes. Importantly, Marshall has 72 assists for an average of 10.3 PG….very impressive. Dexter Strickland is a solid 2 guard who shoots for a high average…62.2% from the field.
Unfortunately, for NC…PJ Hairston will not play in the UK game due to a wrist injury. Losing Hairston is significant….he is very important in the Tar Heel rotation and is by far the best perimeter shooter on the team….hitting 14-31 for 45.2%.
It is always very special when these two Blueblood programs tangle….and this season is no different as no two teams in the nation can match the overall talent that these two teams will display Saturday at Rupp arena!
Kentucky faces North Carolina with a spotless 7-0 record after a very impressive defensive win over St. John’s 81-59. The Cats once again got off to a slow start, but great performances from Anthony Davis with 15 points..15 rebounds and 8 blocks…along with Terrence Jones 26 points and 9 rebounds put the Cats on the path to victory. UK played great defense, but they did struggle offensively….only 40.6% from the field….Miller missed all 5 perimeter shots and UK was only 5-16. In addition, UK only shot 20-30FT’s for a poor 66.7%. Obviously, the Cats will need to have a better offensive performance against the Tar Heels!
Both UK and NC are blessed with great talent, but both teams need improvement and both will make a deep run in the NCAA.
I see a very close game between these two college basketball giants…but, UK edges NC at Rupp arena by just 4 points. GO CATS!