UNC vs Kent State

Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Wednesday, January 2nd, 8:00 PM
TV: ESPN
Records/RPI: UNC 13-0/4th; Kent St. 10-2/38th

I have included the RPI ratings in the summary information above.  In case you were wondering Valpo is presently 36th in the RPI and Nevada is 37th which means Kent State is yet another strong mid-major team paying the Heels a visit.  What makes Kent State’s rating interesting is they have not really beaten anyone of consequence, have a glaring loss to Detroit to start the season with a second loss coming at the hands of previously ranked Xavier. So for some of the noise I have heard that UNC is not playing a tough schedule, I am of the opinion that playing these kinds of top 50 RPI teams from the mid-major ranks are as good as test as you will get from anyone.  Teams like this generally are very well coached, have  players who play like they have nothing to lose while showing zero inclination towards being intimidated whatsoever.  Given UNC’s propensity for playing these teams loosely before clamping down and crushing them, this game is another invitation to see if UNC can put together a full game of solid basketball.

Like Valpo, Kent State is another good three point shooting team coming at over 39% from behind the arc with two players over 42%.  Once more the perimeter defense will be spotlighted and hopefully not grossly exposed as they were during the first 20 minutes of the Valpo game.  When you consider that UNC should easily dominate the boards it becomes important for the defense to step up make shooting difficult in an effort to create missed shots which can be converted to transition points.  I would expect Kent St. will do what everyone else tries to do and slow the tempo to get the game into the sixties and seventies.   This is not really a concern since UNC has shown the ability to win such a game and in some cases push the tempo anyway.

This is the next to last non-conference game for the Heels and their last chance to tune-up before playing their biggest game of the season so far at Clemson on Sunday.

UNC 93 Kent St. 70

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5 Responses to UNC vs Kent State

  1. Josh Bowling says:

    I enjoy playing teams such as this. Often they can turn out to be #7 & 8 seeds in the tournament. I do wish we could have played a GT or Memphis to really evaluate ourselves. But we have to get there first, which means we will have to beat mid-major teams to do it, and that’s what we’re doing now. I am really saddened that we have lost Stepheson for some time. Although he doesn’t get much time, he is impressive in his few minutes. Hopefully Thompson will continue his “rebound” in this game. Nice time for Graves to be big. THF, do you know why William’s last name is Graves? Because when he shoots the 3, he buries it!! I would like to see pg material develop out of one of our players. We may need more than Lawson & Q to push our offense into tournament play, given foul situations and such. I AM NOT convinced I want Ginyard running any point. Not that he can’t, it’s just that he is too valuable crashing the boards for put backs & rebounds. I guess that may become Danny Green’s assignment while Guinyard is pg’ding it. If Graves can continue that shooting, we can afford for G to run point and Green to be cleanup man on the glass.

  2. Josh Bowling says:

    Forgive my Vitale moment when talking about Graves. I just can’t help the puns sometimes!

  3. Josh Bowling says:

    THF, who is the most offensive team in the ncaa? Where do we rank?

    Thanks!

  4. Tar Heel Fan says:

    If we are talking about straight up points per game, UNC is 2nd in the nation with 92.4 ppg. VMI is first with 94.8. Looking forward to the game with Duke, the Devils are at 86.8 and 7th in ppg. That game should be a track meet. Clemson is 21st with 82.0 ppg which points to an uptempo game this Sunday.

  5. Tar Heel Fan says:

    And Josh, you drop that many bad puns again I will edit the comment and remove them. 😉

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