Previewing Florida Atlantic

The Tar Heels will work to continue to fine tune its game against another lesser opponent, as Florida Atlantic comes to Chapel Hill for a Tuesday night matchup. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. at the Smith Center and will be televised by ESPNU.

North Carolina (8-1) vs. Florida Atlantic (4-5)
Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
7 p.m., TV - ESPNU


"In some ways it will be very difficult, but I will look down at the other bench with a great sense of pride. I am extremely proud of that youngster. The three toughest competitors I have ever coached are Michael Jordan, Rex Walters and Raymond Felton." -- Roy Williams


Season to Date: The Owls enter the Smith Center with a 4-5 record, but have won four of their last five games. Their sole name opponent was Oklahoma State in the season opener, in which the Cowboys shot 68 percent from the field and won by 45 points. FAU has also suffered double-digit losses to UMKC, Old Dominion, Marist and UCF. The wins have come against North Florida, Florida Memorial, Norfolk State and Troy. FAU opponents are shooting at a 48.5-percent clip from the field this season.

Missing Star?: FAU may be without its leading scorer on Tuesday. Sophomore off guard Paul Graham (16.2 ppg) is listed as questionable with an ankle injury. He's logged the most minutes on the team (31.6 mpg), is tied for the lead in assists (4.2 apg) and has been the team's only legitimate long-range threat (49% 3pt).

Joining the Fray: Senior guard DeAndre Rice and freshman guard Eni Cuka will see their first action of the season on Tuesday. Rice, who had thus far been ineligible to play because of academic shortcomings, will be a huge addition (especially if Graham is sidelined), as he led the Owls in scoring with 16.1 points per game last year. Cuka is a transfer from Niagara who had to sit out the fall semester due to NCAA rules.

Ruling the Boards: The Owls' frontline combo of Carlos Monroe and Jeff Parmer has been a rebounding force of late. They've combined for an average of 19.3 boards over the last four games. Parmer is the cousin of Houston Rockets guard Tracy McGrady.

Familiar Face: FAU is coached by former Kansas standout Rex Walters, who played for Roy Williams, leading the Jayhawks in scoring during the 1991-2 and 1992-93 seasons. Walters, 36, is in his first year as a head coach, after four seasons as an assistant.

Series History: This is the first meeting between the two schools.

Location: Boca Raton, Fla.
Enrollment: 26,000
Conference: Sun Belt
Nickname: Owls
Colors: Blue & Red
Head Coach: Rex Walters
Record at FAU: 4-5 (1st year)
Last Year: 15-13 (14-6, 3rd)

Projected Starters:
30 Brent Crews (6-3, 210, Sr.) – 5.0 ppg, 4.2 apg
25 Paul Graham (6-4, 185, So.) - 16.6 ppg, 4.2 apg
00 Derrick Simmons (6-6, 200, Jr.) – 10.3 ppg, 3.2 rpg
21 Jeff Parmer (6-8, 235, Jr.) – 8.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg
32 Carlos Monroe (6-8, 245, So.) – 15.7 ppg, 8.4 rpg

Key Reserves:
10 Avery Holley (6-0, 175, Fr.) – 8.5 ppg
 4 Sean Alarcon (6-3, 195, Jr.) – 5.4 ppg
11 Seydou Kone (6-9, 250, Jr.) – 4.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg
 2 DeAndre Rice (6-3, 200, Sr.) – N/A
 1 Eni Cuka (6-2, 180, Fr.) - N/A

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Monroe ....... Simmons

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