North Carolina (16-5, 6-1) vs. Florida State (16-6, 6-2)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Dean E. Smith Center
2:00 -- Fox Sports Net (Tim Brando, Mike Gminski)
“Leonard [Hamilton] does a good job with his defensive concepts, period. They’re long and athletic. They can get to you and bother your shot. When you think you’re open, you’re not quite as open as you thought you were. They block shots around the basket. Other teams are shooting 35.5 [percent] against them. If we shoot 35.5, it’s really hard to win those kinds of games.” – UNC head coach Roy Williams
“He’s a great player – offensively and defensively. He can block shots, get steals, can shoot the 3, bring the ball up the court – he just creates problems throughout the game.
You have to always remember just because he’s 6-9 he’s not always a low post player. He can do it all.” – Clemson guard Tanner Smith on Chris Singleton
Season to Date: Florida State enters Sunday’s contest with a 16-6 (6-2 ACC) record. The Seminoles’ most impressive nonconference showing was a 68-61 victory over then-No. 15 Baylor in December, while also dropping a 58-44 contest against top-ranked Ohio State. Leonard Hamilton’s squad handed then-No. 1 Duke its first loss of the season on Jan. 12 with a 66-61 home victory, and has now won five of its last six games in conference play.
Higher Learning: Last season’s ACC Defensive Player of the Year – expected to retrieve that honor once again this season – has found some offense to go along with his lockdown ability. Chris Singleton leads Florida State with 13.8 points and 7.4 rebounds per game to go along with steals (48) and blocks (38). The 6-foot-9 forward is two steals shy of becoming the first Seminole to snatch 50 steals in three consecutive seasons. Singleton’s production has taken a hit in ACC play, however, as he’s averaging 11.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per outing.
Downright Defensive: No sugarcoating needed here – the numbers speak for themselves. Florida State is one of only two teams in the nation ranked in the top-25 in the following statistical categories: field goal percentage defense (35.5, 1st), blocked shots per game (6.0, 8th), 3-point field goal percentage defense (29.7, 13th), scoring defense (60.6, 22nd) and steals per game (9.0, 22nd).
What’s Cooking in the Kitchen: Senior guard Derwin Kitchen is averaging 10.2 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.6 assists per outing, but he’s elevated his level of play during his last six games. During that stretch, he is averaging 12.0 points on 60.5 percent shooting (26-of-43), including a 57.1 mark from 3-point territory (8-of-14). Kitchen has also picked up nine steals in those six games.
Offensive Ineptitude: The Seminoles are apparently so stifling on the defensive end of the floor that they end up guarding themselves on the offensive end. Hamilton’s squad ranks 10th in the ACC in field goal percentage (41.8) and assists (10.6) in league play. Florida State’s 0.7 assist-to-turnover ratio stands 11th in the ACC. Six of the 10 Seminoles that are averaging 10 minutes or more per game are shooting less than 42.0 percent from the floor.
Random Facts of the Day: Florida State has won three of its last five games against ranked ACC opponents, while also winning four of its last seven conference road games.
Last Meeting: Florida State defeated North Carolina, 77-67, on Feb. 24, 2010 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill. Despite shooting 52.0 percent in the first half, the Tar Heels still trailed by 15 at halftime as the Seminoles scored 17 first-half field goals on 14 assists. Will Graves led UNC with 21 points and John Henson posted 12 points and five rebounds. Chris Singleton paced Florida State with 19 points and eight rebounds.
Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series with Florida State, 40-10. The Tar Heels have won 21 of the last 26 and 10 of the last 12 meetings with the Seminoles.
22 Derwin Kitchen (6-4, 204, Sr.) - 10.2 ppg, 3.6 apg, 6.0 rpg
21 Michael Snaer (6-5, 205, So.) - 8.2 ppg, 2.5 rpg
10 Okaro White (6-8, 195, Fr.) - 5.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg
31 Chris Singleton (6-9, 220, Jr.) - 13.8 ppg, 7.4 rpg
5 Bernard James (6-10, 240, Jr.) - 8.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.1 bpg
4 Deividas Dulkys (6-5, 195, Jr.) - 7.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg
30 Ian Miller (6-3, 190, Fr.) - 5.4 ppg, 1.1 rpg
15 Terrance Shannon (6-8, 220, So.) - 4.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg
50 Jon Kreft (7-0, 260, Jr.) - 3.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg
3 Luke Loucks (6-5, 205, Jr.) - 3.1 ppg, 2.4 apg
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