Wake Forest (10-3, 1-0) at North Carolina (5-5, 1-0)
Dean E. Smith Center
Radio: (Listen Live)
UNC Injury Update:
- Kris Lang is expected to start against Wake. "His knee is still bothering him a little bit," Doherty said. "If I had to give a number to it, I'd say it's 90-95 percent ... People say we might be faster going with a smaller lineup, but Kris is the second-fastest guy on the team. I think things happened to click while he was out. And now that's he back, he'll just have to jump in and he'll have more help. And I think that'll be more enjoyable for him."
- Adam Boone suffered a concussion on the afternoon of Dec. 31, but is expected to play. "He didn't eat and he didn't sleep much and he fainted and hit his head in the middle of the afternoon," Doherty said. "Me as a coach, I said, `OK, I'm supposed to believe that? It's New Year's Eve and you pass out and fall down?" But it was in the middle of the afternoon and Adam doesn't drink, so there's nothing there."
Skip Prosser on Carolina -- "They did struggle early but I haven't seen many of their games. They have talented players. I don't think anybody on our Wake team has won there."
Previewing Wake Forest
At this time last season, the Tar Heels were beginning to gather steam when the undefeated, No. 4-ranked Deacs rolled into Chapel Hill. Brendan Haywood's putback with 3.3 seconds left gave Carolina the 70-69 victory, sending the Saturday night Dean Dome crowd into hysterics. The game would prove to be a catalyst for the Heels, who would win their next ten games and sit atop the national rankings.
The 2001-2002 Deacs enter Saturday's game with a 10-3 record -- 8-0 at home, but 1-3 when playing away from Joel Coliseum. Under first-year coach Skip Prosser's new, uptempo style, they've beaten some quality teams including Arkansas, Fresno State, Minnesota and Marquette to earn a Top 25 ranking. Their three setbacks were all respectable losses, against Syracuse (in NYC), at Kansas and at St. John's. (2001-2002 Schedule/Results w/Stats)
Wake Forest features a well diversified offensive attack. The senior-laden squad has Darius Songaila and Antwan Scott patrolling the paint, with Josh Howard slashing to the hoop and Craig Dawson and Howard stretching the defense from beyond the arc, while Broderick Hicks runs the offense. Songaila has been the go-to-guy for a couple of years now, as he's a great scorer from mid-range and in and is the team's top free throw shooter. There are some solid contributors on Prosser's bench, but few offensive weapons. Northwestern transfer Steve Lepore was expected to be a three-point threat, but is shooting just 24 percent thus far from long range.
Probable Starting Lineup:
Broderick Hicks (6-1, Sr., G) 8.5 pts, 3.6 ast
Craig Dawson (6-5, Sr., G) 11.1 pts, 41% 3pt
Josh Howard (6-6, Jr., F) 13.2 pts, 8.2 reb
Darius Songaila (6-9, Sr., F) 17.8 pts, 7.3 reb
Antwan Scott (6-8, Sr., F) 11.0 pts, 5.0 reb, 1.9 blk
Vytas Danelius (6-8, Fr., F) 5.3 pts, 3.7 reb
Steve Lepore (6-5, Jr., G) 4.0 pts, 2.1 reb
Jamaal Levy (6-9, Fr., F) 2.4 pts, 2.9 reb
Ervin Murray (6-5, Sr., G) 1.7 pts, 2.7 ast
Darius Songaila hits the game-winner in the season-opener against UNC Wilmington.
Head Coach Skip Prosser
(Photos are courtesy of the AP.)