Previewing William & Mary

No. 19 North Carolina will close out its nonconference schedule against William & Mary and its red-hot 3-point shooting. Tip-off at the Smith Center is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday and will be televised by RSN.

North Carolina (9-3) vs. William & Mary (6-4)
Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
Tuesday, 7:00 p.m.
RSN (Wes Durham, Mike Gminski)


“Shoot to get hot. Shoot to stay hot. I’ve got to be aggressive for my teammates.” - William & Mary guard Marcus Thornton after scoring 37 points against Richmond


Season to Date: William & Mary enters Tuesday’s contest with a 6-4 record. The Tribe dropped their season opener at then-No. 7 Florida (68-45) before reeling off five straight wins over the likes of Howard, Bluefield College, Rice, Western Illinois and Wofford. Head coach Tony Shaver’s squad has since lost three of its last four – all on the road – including its last game at Old Dominion (69-62) on Dec. 22.

Senior Sharpshooter: Guard Marcus Thornton leads William & Mary in scoring with 19.3 points per game on 48.8 percent shooting. The Upper Marlboro, Md. native has elevated his play in recent weeks, averaging 23.2 points per game over his last five games. The 6-foot-4, 190-pound senior ranks 26th nationally in scoring and fourth in made 3-pointers among active Division I players. Thornton has connected on 30 3-point attempts this season and is shooting 44.8 percent from beyond the arc.

Bombing the Long Ball: The Tribe has relied on the 3-point shot during Shaver’s tenure and this season has been no different. William & Mary currently ranks 21st nationally in 3-point field goal percentage (40.2) and 28th in made 3-pointers per game (8.4). The Tribe has shot even better of late, knocking down 44.6 percent of their attempts (45-of-101) over the last five games. Three different players have connected on at least 13 3-pointers through 10 games.

Ball Control Woes: Despite decent rankings in assists per game (14.2; T-94th) and assist-turnover ratio (1.04; 132nd) statistics, William & Mary ranks 272nd in turnover margin (-1.7). The Tribe rank 281st in turnover percentage (21.8), according to

Stat Sheet Stuffer: Terry Tarpey does a little bit of everything for the Tribe. In nine starts, the junior guard is averaging 8.2 points on 54.7 percent shooting (33.3 from 3) and leads the team with 6.7 rebounds per game. He also leads the team in assists (30), assist-error ratio (2.3), blocks (16) and is tied for the team lead in steals (10). The 6-foot-5, 210-pounder out of Stamford, Conn. sat out the season-opening loss to Florida due to injury.

Random Charity: William & Mary has found itself at a disadvantage thus far in 2014-15 at the free throw line. The Tribe is shooting 68.6 percent from the stripe (165th), while their opponents have shot a blistering 76.1 percent through 10 games. Only nine of the 345 Division I teams are shooting better than 76 percent from the free throw line this season.

Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Tribe, 85-60, at the Smith Center on Dec. 21, 2010. Dexter Strickland led UNC with 19 points and Tyler Zeller and Leslie McDonald both scored 14 as the Tar Heels built a 19-point first-half lead and never looked back.

Series History: UNC leads the all-time series with William & Mary, 19-3. The Tar Heels have won seven straight against the Tribe.

Projected Starters:
3 Marcus Thornton (6-4, 190, Sr.) - 19.3 ppg, 2.6 rpg
4 Omar Prewitt (6-6, 190, So.) - 10.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg
00 Daniel Dixon (6-5, 210, So.) - 10.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg
25 Terry Tarpey (6-5, 210, Sr.) - 8.2 ppg, 6.7 rpg
31 Sean Sheldon (6-9, 256, Jr.) - 7.4 ppg, 4.8 rpg

Top Reserves:
55 Greg Malinowski (6-5, 205, Fr.) - 3.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg
41 Jack Whitman (6-9, 235, RFr.) - 2.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg
11 Michael Schlotman (6-4, 195, RFr.) - 2.1 ppg, 0.9 rpg

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