Previewing Maryland

After a week off, the Tar Heels will aim to build on the win at FSU when they host Maryland on Saturday. Tip-off at the Smith Center is at noon and will be televised by ESPN.

North Carolina (11-5, 1-2) vs. Maryland (14-3, 2-2)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Dean E. Smith Center Center
Saturday, Noon
ESPN (Dave O'Brien, Doris Burke)


"We were zero for timeouts, there was not one timeout that they did what I asked -- not one. We practiced timeouts two days ago. That's where we are guys. It's not fun. Pe'Shon [Howard] is looking over at me after a timeout like 'What?' He's dribbling the ball at halfcourt and I just drew the play up. It's frustrating ... that's where we are." -- Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon following his team's win over N.C. State on Wednesday

"They're a really good rebounding club… It's got to be everybody rebounding (for us), it's going to be a big emphasis in the game." -- UNC head coach Roy Williams


Season to Date: Maryland enters Saturday's contest with a 14-3 (2-2 ACC) record. The Terrapins lost their season opener to Kentucky (72-69) before reeling off 13 consecutive wins, a streak that included wins over Northwestern, George Mason and Virginia Tech. Second-year head coach Mark Turgeon's squad dropped back-to-back ACC games to Florida State (65-62) and Miami (54-47) before upsetting No. 14 N.C. State, 51-50, on Wednesday.

Len Leads: Alex Len, the 7-foot-1 sophomore hailing from Antratsit, Ukraine, ignited a court rushing against the Wolfpack with a tip-in of a Pe'Shon Howard miss with 0.9 seconds left. He's proven to be Maryland's most consistent scorer this season, averaging a team-high 13.5 points to go along with 8.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.

More Quality Defense: North Carolina has encountered its fair share of strong defensive opponents in recent weeks as Maryland represents the fourth team in seven games that ranks in the top-20 nationally in field goal percentage defense. Maryland leads the ACC and ranks third nationally with a 35.1 percentage mark. The Terrapins have held all four of their ACC opponents under 38 percent shooting, including a 26.7 shooting percentage from 3-point territory.

Edge on the Glass: The Terrapins have utilized their size in the post to lead the ACC and rank second nationally in rebounding margin (plus-11.1). UNC is a distant second in the conference rankings with a plus-6.6 margin. In addition to the 255-pound Len, freshman forward Charles Mitchell has proven to be a force on the boards with his 6.2-rebounds-per-game average. The rebounding success, however, extends beyond the starting frontcourt. Seven different Terrapins average 3.0 or rebounds per game. Maryland has outrebounded all 17 of its opponents.

Stark Contrast: Maryland ranks second in the ACC in field goal percentage (47.4), but a closer look reveals that the Terrapins rank 11th in the very same statistic in ACC games only (38.7). After shooting above 50 percent in nine out of 12 games, Maryland has shot less than 37.0 percent in its last three games. The Terrapins have 27 assists against 46 turnovers during that stretch, while also averaging 53.3 points per game.

Bench Scoring: Maryland's bench has a 454-185 scoring advantage over its opponents.

Last Meeting: North Carolina defeated Maryland, 85-69, on March 9, 2012, in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals in Atlanta. Kendall Marshall broke the ACC's single-season assist record en route to 12 assists, while James Michael McAdoo began his postseason breakthrough with 14 points after John Henson left the game with an injured left wrist. The Tar Heels shot 61.5 percent from the floor after halftime.

Series History: UNC leads the all-time series with the Terrapins, 118-57. The Tar Heels have won 10 of the last 14 meetings, including six of seven at the Smith Center.

Projected Starters:
4 Seth Allen (6-1, 190, Fr.) - 8.2 ppg, 2.7 apg
5 Nick Faust (6-6, 205, So.) - 8.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg
32 Dez Wells (6-5, 215, So.) - 11.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg
44 Shaquille Cleare (6-9, 265, Fr.) - 5.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg
25 Alex Len (7-1, 255, So.) - 13.5 ppg, 8.1 rpg

Top Reserves:
35 James Padgett (6-8, 235, Sr.) - 6.2 ppg, 4.4 rpg
0 Charles Mitchell (6-8, 260, Fr.) - 5.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg
2 Logan Aronhalt (6-3, 205, Sr.) - 5.4 ppg, 1.5 rpg
10 Jake Layman (6-8, 205, Fr.) - 4.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg
21 Pe'Shon Howard (6-3, 190, Jr.) - 3.8 ppg, 5.0 apg

Maryland Info
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(Photos by Getty Images)

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