North Carolina (10-3) vs. Wake Forest (10-3)
Winston-Salem, N.C. -- Joel Coliseum
Sunday, 8 p.m.
ESPNU (Adam Amin, Jay Williams)
“When you look down and see that somebody is holding a team to under 40 percent on the defensive end of the floor, that’s always impressive to me. The rebounding totals are plus-7.3 rebounding margin – that’s one of the places in the past that I think we’ve been able to hurt Wake Forest." -- UNC head coach Roy Williams
Season to Date: Wake Forest enters Sunday’s contest with a 10-3 record. The Demon Deacons won their first five games before losing to then-No. 2 Kansas, 87-78, in the Battle for Atlantis Tournament. Jeff Bzdelik’s squad topped USC (77-63) before losing to Tennessee by 19 in wrapping up the Bahamas event. WFU won its next four before losing its last game out at Xavier, 68-53. The Demon Deacons are 9-0 at home this season.
Miller-McIntyre Making Plays: Codi Miller-McIntyre joins UNC’s Marcus Paige as the only two players in the ACC ranked in the top-10 in both scoring and assists. That’s a high honor for Miller-McIntyre, who was inconsistent during his rookie season alongside of the departed C.J. Harris. The sophomore guard is averaging 17.0 points on 48 percent shooting to go along with 4.0 assists per game.
The 6-foot-3 guard has made his living by getting to the free throw line via penetration. His 6.1 free throw attempts per game rank sixth in the ACC.
Working the Glass: Wake Forest ranks 28th nationally and is tied for fourth in the ACC in rebounding margin (plus-7.3). While four Demon Deacons average five or more rebounds per game, Devin Thomas has been the most critical part of that success as the sophomore forward leads the ACC in rebounding with a 9.3-rebounds-per-game average. The Harrisburg, Pa. native is nearly averaging a double-double with 11.5 points per game as well.
Blocks Headlining Defensive Effort: The Demon Deacons have increased their defensive efforts this season, holding opponents to 39.4 percent shooting, which is good for seventh in the ACC. Bzdelik’s squad has been effective in the paint in blocking shots. Wake Forest is averaging 5.4 blocks per game – fifth in ACC, 47th nationally – thanks in large part to 7-foot sophomore center Andre Washington, who is swatting 2.1 shots per game. Opposing teams are also shooting just 28.0 percent from beyond the arc, good for third in the ACC.
Savvy Veteran: Forward Travis McKie has provided much-needed leadership for the Demon Deacons in his final season in Winston-Salem. The 6-foot-7, 220-pounder leads all active ACC players in points (1,469), rebounds (700), starts (107), double-doubles (17), 20-point games (20) and double-digit rebound games (22). McKie is one of four Demon Deacons averaging in double figures (10.4) while pulling down 5.1 rebounds per game.
Turnovers Proving Problematic: While the Demon Deacons have improved in most areas from recent seasons, turnover margin has plagued them thus far. Wake Forests owns a minus-.0.38 turnover margin, good for 11th in the ACC.
Stat of the Day: If you were thinking UNC is the worst free throw shooting team in the ACC, think again. Wake Forest has worked diligently to claim the cellar spot with a 61.9 percent effort.
Last Meeting: The Tar Heels knocked off the Demon Deacons, 87-62, at the Smith Center on Feb. 5, 2013. UNC shot 62.1 percent in the first half in taking a 20-point lead into the locker room. Reggie Bullock scored 23 points and James Michael McAdoo added 20.
Series History: UNC leads the all-time series with Wake Forest, 155-65. The Demon Deacons, however, are 2-1 in ACC openers against the Tar Heels.
0 Codi Miller-McIntyre (6-3, 195, So.) - 17.0 ppg, 4.0 apg
13 Coron Williams (6-1, 175, Sr.) - 10.4 ppg, 2.8 rpg
30 Travis McKie (6-7, 220, Sr.) - 10.4 ppg, 5.1 rpg
34 Tyler Cavanaugh (6-9, 230, So.) - 8.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg
2 Devin Thomas (6-9, 245, So.) - 11.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg
45 Arnaud Adala Moto (6-6, 225, So.) - 4.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg
1 Madison Jones (6-1, 160, So.) - 4.2 ppg, 3.6 apg
31 Andre Washington (7-0, 240, So.) - 3.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg
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(Photos by USA Today Sports)