North Carolina (5-2) vs. UNCG (4-4)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Dean E. Smith Center
Saturday, 7 p.m.
ESPNU (Joe Davis, Paul Biancardi)
“They did a good job in their zone making us take tough contested shots and we were stagnant and unaggressive on offense. We started pressing once we got down and they were the exact opposite – they were executing and being patient. Our defensive principles and our communication just were not very good tonight.” – UNCG head coach Wes Miller following his team’s loss to Presbyterian on Tuesday
Season to Date: UNCG enters Saturday’s contest with a 4-4 record. The Spartans best outing of the early season came in an 85-84 loss to East Carolina. Outside of that contest, UNCG lost by 37 to Louisiana Tech, 12 to San Diego and 21 to Presbyterian. The best win on the schedule is an 82-74 win over High Point in the season opener.
Transfer Leading the Way: Red-shirt junior Kyle Cain sat out last season due to NCAA rules after transferring from Arizona State. The 6-foot-7, 210-pound forward started 40 games in 60 career games for the Sun Devils, averaging 6.4 points and 5.5 rebounds per game. Cain leads UNCG in both scoring (16.9) and rebounding (8.0). He’s also shooting 53.8 percent from the floor and 77.8 percent from the free throw line.
Balanced Scoring: Aside from Cain, three other Spartans are averaging in double figures and two more are scoring more than eight points a game. Tevon Sadler tops the list with 14.1 points per game, thanks in large part to his 34-point effort against the Pirates. Jordan Potts is averaging 10.8 points on 69.6 percent shooting, while Nicholas Paulos led UNCG with 22 points against Presbyterian to boost his average to 10.4 points per game. Kayel Locke (9.3 ppg) and Tyrone Outlaw (8.4) are also adding scoring depth. Five different players have led the team in scoring through eight games.
Defensive Downturn: The Spartans are allowing their opponents to shoot 45.0 percent from the floor and 34.5 percent from long range, which ultimately adds up to 77.0 points per game. UNCG ranks 292nd or worse in seven defensive statistical categories, according to kenpom.com. The Spartans’ adjusted defensive efficiency stands at 114.1, good for 343rd nationally.
Turnover Woes: The Spartans own a minus-3.4 turnover margin and currently rank 321st nationally.
Familiar Faces on the Bench: UNCG head coach Wes Miller played three seasons under Roy Williams at UNC, including the 2005 national championship year. He shot 39.7 percent from 3-point range during his career and served as team captain in ’06-07. Along with Miller, former Tar Heels Jackie Manuel and J.B. Tanner fill roles on the UNCG coaching staff. Manuel is in his second season as an assistant coach after serving as assistant strength and conditioning coach at UNC for one season. Tanner, who played on UNC’s ’09 title team as a walk-on, is in his third year as UNCG’s director of basketball operations.
Series History: Saturday marks the first-ever meeting between these two programs. Roy Williams is 1-0 against UNCG. His Kansas Jayhawks defeated the Spartans, 105-66, on Nov. 22, 2002.
1 Drew Parker (6-1, 178, Sr.) - 2.3 ppg, 2.5 apg
0 Tevon Saddler (6-4, 201, Fr.) - 14.1 ppg, 3.8 apg
31 Nicholas Paulos (6-7, 185, Jr.) - 10.4 ppg, 3.5 rpg
14 Kyle Cain (6-7, 210, Jr.) - 16.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg
13 Kayel Locke (6-5, 240, So.) - 9.3 ppg, 5.5 rpg
20 Jordan Potts (5-11, 170, So.) - 10.8 ppg, 2.8 apg
44 Tyrone Outlaw (6-6, 205, Fr.) - 8.4 ppg, 3.6 rpg
34 R.J. White (6-8, 280, Fr.) - 4.4 ppg, 5.0 rpg
3 Diante Baldwin (6-0, 181, Fr.) - 3.7 ppg, 2.2 apg
Location: Greensboro, N.C.
Colors: Navy, Gold & White
Head Coach: Wes Miller (3rd season)
Roster & Bios
(Photos courtesy UNCG)