Previewing Evansville

North Carolina begins a nine-game homestand on Tuesday that will span five weeks. Tip-off against Evansville is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.

North Carolina (6-2) vs. Evansville (3-3)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Dean E. Smith Center
7:00pm -- ESPNU (Mike Patrick, Hubert Davis)


Season to Date: Evansville enters Tuesday night's contest with a 3-3 overall record. The Purple Aces have posted victories over Butler (80-77, OT), Oakland City (80-53) and Alabama State (62-55), while dropping games to Indiana (94-73), Illinois-Chicago (79-75) and TCU (70-68, OT).

Colt the Gunslinger: Junior Colt Ryan is averaging 19.7 points on 41.3 percent shooting, including a 40.7 percentage from 3-point territory. The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder earned Preseason All-Conference Team recognition after scoring 15.7 points per game in '10-'11. He is also averaging 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.0 blocks in 36.8 minutes of action. The Batesville, Ind. product is coming off a 31-point performance against TCU in which he knocked down 7-of-17 field goals and drained 14-of-16 free throws.

Three Starters Back: Senior wings Denver Holmes and Kenny Harris join Ryan as Evansville's returning starters from last season's 16-16 squad. That trio has combined to score 56.6 percent (41.3 of 73.0) of the Purple Aces' points this year.

Defensive Deficiencies: Opponents have found plenty of scoring opportunities against the Purple Aces this season. Evansville ranks 10th in the MVC in scoring defense (71.3 ppg) and ninth in both field goal percentage defense (45.6) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (39.8).

On the Rebound: Evansville has only won the rebounding battle once in six games this season and that was by the slimmest of margins – 34-33 against Butler. The Purple Aces' rebounding margin is negative-6.8 and is even worse over their last five outings (minus-8.4).

Creating Turnovers: The Purple Aces have done a solid job in forcing turnovers (19.8), despite committing 14.5 of their own each game. They boast the top turnover margin in the MVC (plus-5.33).

Random Fact of the Day, Part I: Since the 1999-00 season, Evansville has posted a 30-128 record in true road contests.

Random Fact of the Day, Part II: Evansville victory over Butler marks the second straight year that the Purple Aces have defeated the Bulldogs. They beat the eventual national title runner-up, 71-68, on Nov. 27. Less than two weeks later, UNC blasted Evansville by 27.

Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated Purple Aces, 76-49, on Dec. 8, 2010, in Evansville, Ind. Tyler Zeller led UNC with 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds while Justin Knox added 13 points.

Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series with Evansville, 2-0.

Projected Starters:
5 Troy Taylor (6-0, 184, Jr.) - 5.7 ppg, 2.3 apg
34 Denver Holmes (6-4, 180, Sr.) - 8.6 ppg, 3.3 apg
11 Colt Ryan (6-5, 210, Jr.) - 19.7 ppg, 5.2 rpg
32 Kenneth Harris (6-6, 185, Sr.) - 13.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg
3 Matt Peeler (6-8, 240, Sr.) - 1.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg

Top Reserves:
22 Ned Cox (6-1, 185, Jr.) - 10.5 ppg, 2.9 apg
13 Jordan Jahr (6-6, 205, So.) - 6.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg
4 Lewis Jones (6-3, 205, Jr.) - 5.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg
1 Jordan Nelson (6-0, 160, Fr.) - 3.8 ppg

Location: Evansville, Ind.
Enrollment: 2,822
Conference: Missouri Valley
Nickname: Purple Aces
Colors: Purple, White & Orange
Head Coach: Marty Simmons (5th season)
2010-11 Record: 16-16 (9-9)

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