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Scouting North Carolina

Since falling at Wake Forest by three on Jan. 11, North Carolina has won five straight and will enter tomorrow night's matchup against the Terps with a 19-2 overall record, 5-2 in ACC play. The Tar Heels, widely regarded as the overwhelming conference favorite heading into the season, offers a star-studded lineup guided by sixth-year coach Roy Williams.

North Carolina is at or near the top of many ACC statistical categories. The Tar Heels lead the conference in scoring offense (92.4 points per game), scoring margin (+21.7) and assist/turnover ratio (1.5). They rank second in free throw percentage (75.2 percent), field goal percentage (49.0 percent), three-point shooting percentage (37.4 percent), rebounding margin (+7.6) and turnover margin (+4.0).

However, North Carolina does rank 11th in scoring defense, allowing 70.7 points per game, and one ACC coach described the Tar Heels' defense as "unsound."

Senior forward Tyler Hansbrough (6-foot-9, 250 lbs.) leads the way for North Carolina. He is leading the ACC in scoring, averaging 22.4 points per game. He also is averaging 7.6 rebounds per game and is shooting 53.5 percent from the field. In the Tar Heels' most recent win, a 93-76 victory Saturday at N.C. State, Hansbrough tallied 31 points on 12 of 17 shooting.

Hansbrough's top side-kick is junior guard Ty Lawson (5-foot-11, 195 lbs.). Lawson drilled the game-winning three-pointer Jan. 28 at Florida State. He took an inbound pass with 3.2 seconds left and the game tied, 77-77. He raced downcourt and fired from near the top of the arc as time expired. Lawson is averaging 15.2 points per game and is shooting 46.6 percent from three-point range, but his mastery can be found in another stat.

Lawson has registered 136 assists to just 40 turnovers this season. That's an assist-to-turnover ratio of 3.4, which isn't as impressive unless compared to the second-best assist-to-turnover ratio in the ACC. Maryland's own Eric Hayes ranks second in that category with a ratio of 1.9.

The Tar Heels' glue guy is senior swingman Danny Green (6-foot-6, 210 lbs.). In addition to scoring 13.2 points per game, he also has recorded 40 steals and 32 blocks. He is shooting 52.0 percent from the field and 45.8 percent from three-point range.

Junior guard Wayne Ellington (6-foot-4, 200 lbs.) checks in with 13.9 points per game. He shoots 44.4 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from three-point range.

Rounding out North Carolina's starting five is junior forward Deon Thompson (6-foot-8, 245 lbs.). Thompson averages 11.9 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. He is shooting 52.0 percent from the field.

As you can tell from the scoring averages, North Carolina gets a strong majority of its offensive production from its starting lineup. That being the case, the Tar Heels don't go all that deep on their bench.

Freshman forward Ed Davis (6-foot-10, 215 lbs.) averages 7.0 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He is shooting 50.9 percent from the field and has tallied 40 blocks.

Senior guard Bobby Frasor (6-foot-3, 210 lbs.) also receives a good chunk of minutes in reserve, though he averages just 2.4 points and 1.2 rebounds per game.

By Steve Yanda  |  February 2, 2009; 7:03 AM ET
Categories:  Men's basketball  
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Comments

Shock "the world" @ UNC again Terps...

Posted by: Lee26 | February 2, 2009 9:04 AM | Report abuse

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