Tigers look to bounce back at UNC

To say that Brad Brownell was disappointed with his team after their trip to Pittsburgh on Tuesday night would be an understatement.

WHAT: Clemson at UNC
WHERE: Chapel Hill, NC. - Dean E. Smith Center
WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 26 (6:02 p.m.)
SPREAD: N/A
TV: ESPNU (Carter Blackburn, Jay Williams)

He was angry, not because they didn't play well, but because they didn't play with an acceptable amount effort in the 76-43 loss to the Panthers.

"I didn't think we fought, played with kind of determined spirit, the collective determined spirit that we have throughout the year." Brownell said.

With four days between games, he's had plenty of opportunities to reinforce his anger.

"We just talked about it, watched film and we talked about effort and what we need to do to play better, coach better," Brownell said. "We better fix it in the next couple of days. When we have another, we better be more prepared.

"I don't know that it's anything drastic. We're not putting on helmets and hitting each other. We don't need to do any of that right now. We need to understand what makes our play well and what we stand for, what we need to do to compete. We especially better do it against a big, strong team like North Carolina."

The Tar Heels [11-7, 1-4 ACC] have one of the biggest frontlines in the ACC. Starters Joel James [6-10, 280] and James Michael McAdoo [6-9, 230] rotate with Brice Johnson [6-9, 210] and Kennedy Meeks [6-9, 290]. Isaiah Hicks [6-8, 220] and Jackson Simmons [6-7, 220] are also part of the low-post equation.

"They just have…four guys in there that all have great size, length, do different things well, bulk, terrific offensive rebounding team that present a lot of challenges that way," Brownell said.

At 6-1, 175, Marcus Paige is the smallest of the North Carolina starters, but he's the straw that stirs the drink for Roy Williams.

"Paige is certainly their go-to guy, a guy that's great player, can play the 1, can play the 2," Brownell said. "He can score, pass, great free-throw shooter, really just an outstanding player."

In addition to the Tar Heels' size, Clemson will have to contend with a few other factors on Sunday night, among them being the lack of experience playing in Chapel Hill.

K.J. McDaniels and Rod Hall are the only players on Brownell's roster that have played the 21,750-seat Smith Center.

And, course, there's the streak.

"You better get over being nervous. You better handle your business on the court. If you're worried about what's going on off the court and all the things that surround it, if you're not experienced in dealing with some of that, you're going to be exploited," Brownell said. "I think that's the next step our team has got to take, going into a hostile environment and competing at a level where we need to compete."

PROBABLE STARTERS
North Carolina, 11-7 (1-4 ACC)
G #5 Marcus Paige - 16.8 PPG, 4.2 APG (6-1, 175)
G #2 Leslie McDonald - 9.8 PPG, 1.9 RPG (6-5 215)
F #13 J.P. Tokoto - 9.6 PPG, 5.7 RPG (6-5, 200)
F #43 James Michael McAdoo - 14.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG (6-9, 230)
F#42 Joel James - 2.9 PPG, 3.9 RPG (6-10, 280)

Clemson, 13-5 (4-2)
G #12 Rod Hall - 9.8 PPG, 3.7 APG (6-1, 210)
G #20 Jordan Roper - 9.0 PPG, 2.3 RPG (5-11, 165)
F #32 K.J. McDaniels - 16.4 PPG, 7.0 RPG (6-6, 200)
F #5 Jaron Blossomgame - 4.2 PPG, 4.5 RPG (6-7, 215)
C #35 Landry Nnoko - 5.6 PPG, 6.6 RPG (6-10, 250)

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