Previewing Miami

Following an eight-day break, North Carolina travels to Coral Gables, Fla. to face Miami. Tip-off at the BankUnited Center is set for 7:30 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN2.

North Carolina (13-5, 3-1) vs. Miami (12-7, 1-4)
Coral Gables, Fla. -- BankUnited Center
7:30 -- ESPN2


"Right now we're playing good basketball, and this is the first part of the year. So hopefully we can get better and progress, and get to the point where we're one of the top -- teams in the top half of this league. I think this team is very capable of getting there." – Miami head coach Frank Haith

"They do present matchup problems for us. Their 4-man is a 3-point shooter. It's difficult for John Henson or Justin Knox or Tyler Zeller to get off switches and get out and guard somebody at the 3-point line. Frank does a nice job. They press a little bit and play some zone." – UNC head coach Roy Williams

"I've seen Harrison play quite a bit in terms of high school and watching tape on him. He's a terrific player. It's like anything. In terms of a freshman, it takes time. We're going to use our due diligence and guarding him and having a tremendous amount of respect for him as a player. Knowing he's capable of having a big night. So there is no doubt in my mind he's a guy that we've circled and understand it's important for us to do a great job on him." – Haith on Harrison Barnes


Season to Date: Miami enters Wednesday night's contest with a 12-7 (1-4 ACC) record. The Hurricanes' top victory in nonconference play was a 79-76 decision against West Virginia, while dropping games at Memphis (72-68) and Rutgers (61-45) and losing at home to Central Florida (84-78). Despite the poor conference record to date, Frank Haith's squad has played solid in losses at Duke (74-63), Clemson (79-72) and N.C. State (72-70). Miami has split its two home ACC games this season, defeating Boston College, 72-71, before falling to Florida State (55-53) on Jan. 19.

Dangerous Backcourt Duo: While Durand Scott and Malcolm Grant still have a ways to go individually to match what Jack McClinton brought to the Miami program, the duo has worked together to become one of the top backcourts in the ACC this season. Grant, a red-shirt junior that originally signed with Villanova out of high school, ranks seventh in the conference in scoring 15.7 points per game, while adding 3.7 assists per contest. Scott, a sophomore hailing from New York City, is averaging 13.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game in 32.0 minutes of action. What makes this tandem even tougher to defend is their ability to effortlessly merge a combined 42.8 shooting percentage from 3-point territory with a knack for being able to get to the rim.

Big Man Down Low: Winston-Salem, N.C. native Reggie Johnson is the definition of a space-eater in the post, standing 6-foot-10 and weighing in at a svelte 303 pounds. The sophomore is averaging 12.3 points and 9.8 rebounds in just 23.4 minutes per game. Johnson is connecting on a solid 57.6 percent of his field goal attempts and is also making opponents pay when they foul him with a 72.0 free throw percentage. Fouls have posed a problem, however – Johnson is averaging 3.5 fouls per outing.

Scorching the Nets from Deep: Miami ranks fourth in the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage (38.1), but the most troubling aspect of that statistic is that the Hurricanes have five players that have connected on 14 or more treys this season, and four of those five are connecting on 37.8 percent or better of their attempts.

Turnover Trouble: The Hurricanes have faced an uphill climb this season in taking care of the basketball, coughing up 13.2 turnovers per game while only forcing 12.2. That minus-1.0 turnover margin is good for 11th in the ACC overall. But give the Hurricanes credit – in five league games, they boast a plus-0.4 turnover margin and are committing a league-low 10.0 per contest.

Last Meeting: North Carolina defeated Miami, 69-62, on Mar. 2, 2010, at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill. Marcus Ginyard delivered his first career double-double on Senior Night with 12 points and 12 rebounds and fellow classmate Deon Thompson added 14 points as UNC notched its 2,000th win in program history. The Tar Heels shot just 40.4 percent from the floor and committed 17 turnovers, but managed to hold Miami to 34.8 percent shooting.

Series History: The Tar Heels lead the all-time series with the Hurricanes, 14-2. UNC has won six straight games against Miami.

Projected Starters:
3 Malcolm Grant (6-1, 180, Jr.) - 15.7 ppg, 3.7 apg
1 Durand Scott (6-3, 200, So.) - 13.7 ppg, 3.1 apg
25 Garrius Adams (6-6, 196, So.) - 6.7 ppg, 3.2 rpg
32 Erik Swoope (6-6, 230, Fr.) - 2.5 ppg, 1.4 rpg
42 Reggie Johnson (6-10, 303, So.) - 12.3 ppg, 9.8 rpg

Top Reserves:
30 Adrian Thomas (6-7, 226, Sr.) - 8.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg
45 Julian Gamble (6-9, 258, Jr.) - 3.5 ppg, 3.1 rpg
15 Rion Brown (6-5, 188, Fr.) - 3.5 ppg

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