Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
Nickname: Tar Heels
School Colors: Blue & White
Arena: Smith Center (21,000)
Head Coach: Roy Williams
Record at UNC: 52-14 (2 years)
2004-05 Record: 33-4 (14-2)
2004-05 NCAAs: NCAA Champions
Starters Returning: 0
2005 Record: 8-2 (0-0)2005 Ranking: 25th
North Carolina Information
Projected Starters: F- 34 David Noel SR 13.5 ppg. 7.4 rpg. F- 03 Reyshawn Terry JR 12.9 ppg. 5.3 rpg. C- 50 Tyler Hansbrough FR 16.5 ppg. 7.3 rpg. G- 01 Marcus Ginyard FR 8.9 ppg. 3.2 rpg. G- 04 Bobby Frasor FR 6.4 ppg. 4.7 apg.
Key Reserves: G- 14 Danny Green FR 8.9 ppg 4.5 rpg. G- 22 Wes Miller JR 6.4 ppg 42.5% 3-pointers C- 41 Byron Sanders SR 3.0 ppg 2.9 rpg. G- 11 Quentin Thomas SO 3.0 ppg 2.7 apg.
CAROLINA VS. RANKED TEAMS
Carolina has played two teams ranked in the Associated Press poll this season, beating No. 10 Kentucky 83-79 on Dec. 3 on the road and losing 68-64 to No. 12 Illinois on Nov. 29 in the Smith Center.
Roy Williams is 15-10 as the Tar Heels' head coach against ranked teams, including a 7-5 mark against Top-10 opponents.
TERRY'S BECOMING A MORE COMPLETE PLAYER
Terry exploded for a career-high 25 points, going 9 for 10 at the free throw line, in the Dec. 3 win at Kentucky. He had 16 points, four rebounds and a career-high four blocked shots against Davidson on Jan. 3.
Carolina has won five of its last six Atlantic Coast Conference openers, including an 85-51 win at Virginia Tech last season on Dec. 19, 2004. The Tar Heels lost their ACC opener in 2003-04 in Roy Williams' first season as head coach when Wake Forest beat UNC, 119-114 in triple overtime on Dec. 20, 2003.
The Tar Heels are 19-6 (.760) in their last 25 ACC openers (beginning with the 1980-81 season).
HANSBROUGH LIVING UP TO THE HYPE
Freshman forward Tyler Hansbrough entered the season as the media's preseason choice for Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year and is off to a hot start to his college career, leading all ACC freshmen in scoring and rebounding.
Through 10 games, he leads ACC freshmen in scoring (16.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.2 rpg). He leads the UNC team in scoring and is second behind David Noel (7.4 rpg) in rebounding. Hansbrough's field goal percentage of 63.2 (55 of 87) is first on the squad and second in the ACC. His 80 trips to the free throw line are nearly double the total of any other Tar Heel (Reyshawn Terry is second with 42).
In his last outing against Davidson, Hansbrough scored a season-high 23 points and grabbed eight boards in 24 minutes of action. On Dec. 28 against UNC Asheville, he tied a Smith Center record with eight steals and also recorded 14 points and six boards. Hansbrough tied Derrick Phelps' Smith Center steal record, set on Dec. 7, 1991, vs. Central Florida. Hansbrough's eight steals were one shy of Phelps' school-record nine (set on Feb. 2, 1992, vs. Georgia Tech).
ROOKIES PRODUCING FOR TAR HEELS
Tyler Hansbrough isn't the only freshman playing well for the Tar Heels this season:
Green is tied for fourth on the team with 8.9 ppg and is also fourth with 4.5 rpg.
NOEL'S SCORING ON THE RISE
Senior David Noel has scored in double figures in nine of 10 Carolina games this season after doing so twice last season and three times as a sophomore.
Noel had 12 career double-figure scoring games prior to this season, including seven as a freshman.
He was held to five points against Davidson on Jan. 3 but led all players with 10 rebounds, including nine on the defensive glass, and seven assists. Noel is second on the team in scoring this season with 13.5 points per game. With 135 points this season entering the NC State game, Noel is close to matching his scoring total from all of last season (143).
As the team's leader this season, Noel has already hit two big shots for the Tar Heels. He hit a three-pointer with 1.8 seconds to play to defeat Gardner-Webb in the season-opener. He also hit a three-pointer to put UNC up by 10 at Kentucky with 2:55 left to play in Carolina's win on Dec. 3, helping take the air out of a Wildcat rally.
The nine consecutive double-figure games are the longest such streak of Noel's career. The previous long was three games in his freshman year.
LOST FROM LAST SEASON
Carolina lost 91.0 percent of its scoring, 87.1 percent of its rebounding and 81.7 percent of its assists from last season. According to research by STATS, the Tar Heels lost the largest percentage of their points and the second-largest percentage of their rebounds of any team in the nation from last season. UNC also lost 81.7 percent of its assists from last season. According to STATS' research, Oklahoma State lost the next-most points to UNC at 85.6 percent and Savannah State lost the most rebounds at 89.0 percent.
Carolina lost all five starters from its national championship team of 2004-05 after bringing back all five starters in each of the previous two seasons. David Noel is the Tar Heels' leading returning scorer (3.9 ppg) and rebounder (2.6 rpg) from last season.
Past Tar Heel NCAA championship teams returned far more players the season after their national titles. The 1957-58 Carolina team returned three starters (Pete Brennan, Bob Cunningham and Tommy Kearns) from the ‘57 title team. The 1982-83 Tar Heels returned three starters (Michael Jordan, Sam Perkins and Matt Doherty) from the ‘82 title team. The 1993-94 Tar Heels returned four starters (Eric Montross, Donald Williams, Brian Reese and Derrick Phelps) from the 1993 NCAA champions.
MILLER PLAYING HIS BEST BASKETBALL THIS SEASON
Wes Miller is playing the best basketball of his career this season.
He set new career highs in points (11), three-point field goals (three) rebounds (two), assists (four) and steals (three) against Cleveland State on Nov. 22, then followed that performance with eight points against UC Santa Barbara on Nov. 25.
On Dec. 3 at Kentucky, he again set a new career high with 12 points, hitting three three-pointers and playing solid defense. He hit three three-pointers for a second straight game, finishing with nine points against Saint Louis.
With 63 points so far this year, Miller has already surpassed his total points (26) during the entirety of the 2004-05 season.
NOW HEALTHY, THOMAS EXCELLING OFF THE BENCH
Sophomore point guard Quentin Thomas returned to action on Dec. 17 vs. Santa Clara after missing three games (Illinois, Kentucky and Saint Louis) due to a stress fracture of the third metatarsal bone of his left foot (the bone connected to the third toe on his left foot).
Thomas went scoreless in his first two games back against Santa Clara and USC, but has played well in the two games since. He scored five points and tied his then-career high with five assists in the win over UNC Asheville on Dec. 28. Thomas followed up that performance with a career-high six assists and zero turnovers against Davidson on Jan. 3. In his last two games, Thomas has 11 assists and two turnovers.
Thomas suffered the injury in practice prior to Carolina's season-opener vs. Gardner-Webb on Nov. 19. He played in each of the Tar Heels' first three games but did not start any of those contests. Thomas practiced on a limited basis since the injury.
Tar Heel Tidbits
UNC Athletics and Inside Carolina contributed to this report.