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UNC vs. Long Beach State Preview

No. 5 North Carolina welcomes Long Beach State to the Smith Center for one last game before embarking on a five-game road trip. The contest tips at 8pm on ACC Network Extra (ESPN3).

North Carolina (2-0) vs. Long Beach State (1-1)
Chapel Hill, N.C. – Dean E. Smith Center - Tuesday, 8 p.m.
ACC Network Extra/ESPN3 (Roy Philpott, Paul Biancardi)

Quotables

“Getting out of the Big West and getting on the big stage. Anybody in Division I would want to play against the best.” – LBSU guard Justin Bibbins

“This team is probably as good offensively as I’ve had for a while.” – LBSU head coach Dan Monson

"It just shows we're working together. I know the coaches were talking about the assists on points were really good. Those are things we emphasize, working together." – UNC forward Isaiah Hicks on UNC assisting on 72 percent of its made field goals

PREGAME NOTES

Tar Heels Forcing Turnovers: UNC outplayed Chattanooga in almost every category in Sunday’s 97-57 victory, but its most impressive feat may have been its ability to take the ball away. Roy Williams’s squad forced the Mocs to turn the ball over 26 times and accumulated 14 total steals. What stood out about the Tar Heels’ performance was that 10 different Tar Heels recorded a takeaway in the matchup. Sophomore wing Kenny Williams led the charge, snatching a total of three steals. UNC has 21 steals and has forced 38 turnovers through two games.

Long Beach State Spotlight: The 49ers arrive in Chapel Hill with a blowout win and a blowout loss already on their resume. Dan Monson’s team opened up its season with a 95-59 thrashing of Cal State Los Angeles on Friday, only to follow that up with a 92-55 loss at Wichita State on Sunday. LBSU is coming off of a 20-15 (12-4 Big West) campaign, in which it finished third in the conference. The 49ers lost to Washington in the first round of the NIT. LBSU is expected to be stronger this season as Monson’s squad was picked as the preseason Big West favorites.

49ers Returning Talent: LBSU entered the season with 14 returning players – it only lost guards Nick Faust and A.J. Spencer to graduation last year. While Faust was the team's leading scorer (17.4 ppg), Monson’s team returns three of its four top scorers from last season. The man suspected to lead the charge in the scoring department this season is junior guard Justin Bibbins. The 5-foot-8 guard averaged 12 ppg last season, but is off to a rough start this season – he’s shot 7-for-25 through two games. Junior forward Gabe Levin currently leads the 49ers in scoring (12 ppg), and will look to take on a leadership role alongside Bibbins.

Matchup to Watch: Justin Jackson shut down SoCon preseason preseason player of the year Tre’ McLean on Sunday, holding the wing scoreless. Jackson’s next challenge will likely be LBSU’s Gabe Levin. At 6-foot-8, Levin is the second-tallest player on the 49ers’ roster, but he still spends a lot of time at the wing. When Levin takes to the perimeter, it will likely be Jackson on duty to guard him. Levin leads his team in scoring, but is only shooting 36 percent from the floor and 33 percent from 3-point range. With few viable options down low, expect the 49ers to try and keep up with the Tar Heels from long range. If Jackson locks down Levin, LBSU will have trouble scoring enough to keep pace.

Last Meeting: UNC defeated LBSU, 78-63, at the Walter Pyramid on Nov. 16, 2012. James Michael McAdoo led UNC with 18 points and nine rebounds. Marcus Paige scored 15 points and P.J. Hairston added 14.

Series History: The Tar Heels lead the all-time series, 3-0. All three wins have come under Roy Williams.

Projected UNC Starters:
2 Joel Berry (6-0, 195, Jr.) – 20.5 ppg, 4.5 apg
3 Kennedy Meeks (6-10, 260, Sr.) - 11.5 ppg, 13.5 rpg
4 Isaiah Hicks (6-9, 242, Sr.) - 14.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg
44 Justin Jackson (6-8, 210, Jr.) – 18.5 ppg, 4.5 apg
24 Kenny Williams (6-4, 180, So.) - 6.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg

Projected LBSU Starters:
1 Evan Payne (6-1, 190, Jr.) – 15.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg
0 Gabe Levin (6-7, 215, Jr.) - 11.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
4 Temidayo Yussuf (6-7, 255, Jr.) - 12.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
21 Justin Tibbins (5-8, 150, Jr.) – 12.0 ppg, 6.0 apg
35 Javonntie Jackson (6-6, 190, Fr.) – 7.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg

UNC Info
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LBSU Info
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