Previewing Miami

North Carolina needed game-winning shots in the final seconds to beat Miami in both games against the Hurricanes last year. The two teams meet for the first of two match ups this season on Tuesday. Tip-off at the Smith Center is set for 9 p.m. on the ACC Network.

North Carolina (14-2, 1-0) vs. Miami (9-5, 0-1)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Dean E. Smith Center
9:00pm -- ACC Network (Bob Rathbun, Mike Gminski)


"I don't think they understand the concepts. It's not complicated but we all live based on our habits -- the way you do things or the way you've done things in the past. We're not where we need to be." – Miami head coach Jim Larranaga on his team's slow transition from Frank Haith's zone defense to his man-to-man defense


Season to Date: Miami enters Tuesday's contest with a 9-5 (0-1 ACC) record. The Hurricanes won their first four games of the season before losing four times in their five games. Those losses include Ole Miss (64-61, OT), Purdue (76-65), Memphis (71-54) and West Virginia (77-66). First-year head coach Jim Larranaga's squad then won four straight before dropping its ACC opener at Virginia (52-51) on Saturday.

Big Apple Guard Show: Miami's New York-based backcourt of senior Malcolm Grant and junior Durand Scott has paced the Hurricanes in scoring this season with a blend of quickness, driving ability and long-range marksmanship. Grant leads the team with 13.9 points per game and ranks fourth in the ACC in 3-point shooting percentage (.356). Scott is averaging 13.2 points per game and ranks fifth in the conference in assists (3.5).

Defensive Adjustments: After spending years in former head coach Frank Haith's 2-3 zone defense, the Hurricanes have undergone a drastic change as Larranaga has employed his staple man-to-man approach. Miami is allowing opponents to shoot 41.8 percent from the field (8th ACC) and 35.7 percent from 3-point territory (11th). Larranaga told reporters last week that the two biggest areas for improvement where in getting all five players back down the court quickly and putting pressure on the ball handler to prevent dribble penetration.

The Return of Reggie: Winston-Salem, N.C. native Reggie Johnson presents a sizeable challenge in the post with his 6-foot-10, 284-pound frame, but his return from a torn meniscus in his right knee in June has sparked improved offensive play from his teammates. Johnson (10.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg) missed the first nine games of the season and Miami shot 39.9 percent from the field and 35.5 percent from long range during that stretch. In the five games since his return, Miami has connected on 55.7 percent of its shots and 48.0 percent from 3-point territory.

Heating Up: One player that has elevated his game since Johnson returned to provide an extra body in the paint is red-shirt sophomore Kenny Kadji. During that five game stretch, the Douala, Cameroon native has averaged 17.2 points, 7.4 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game, while shooting 60.0 percent from the floor.

Random Fact of the Day: Larranaga is the only ACC coach not named Roy Williams or Mike Krzyzewski with a Final Four appearance on his resume.

Last Meeting: North Carolina defeated Miami, 61-59, on Mar. 11, 2011, in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals in Greensboro, N.C. Kendall Marshall drove and dished to Tyler Zeller for a layup as the buzzer sounded to complete the largest comeback in ACC Tournament history. UNC trailed by 19 points with 9:51 left to play and outscored the Hurricanes 27-6 to close the game.

Series History: UNC leads the overall series with Miami, 16-2. The Tar Heels have won eight straight against the Hurricanes.

Projected Starters:
3 Malcolm Grant (6-1, 188, Sr.) - 13.9 ppg, 1.7 apg
1 Durand Scott (6-5, 202, Jr.) - 13.2 ppg, 3.5 apg
4 Trey McKinney Jones (6-5, 216, Jr.) - 7.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg
35 Kenny Kadji (6-11, 251, So.) - 10.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg
42 Reggie Johnson (6-10, 284, Jr.) - 10.0 ppg, 7.0 rpg

Top Reserves:
0 Shane Larkin (5-11, 160, Fr.) - 8.2 ppg, 2.2 apg
5 DeQuan Jones (6-8, 221, Sr.) - 6.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg
15 Rion Brown (6-6, 194, So.) - 6.2 ppg, 1.8 rpg
25 Garrius Adams (6-6, 200, Jr.) - 5.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg

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