Previewing Maryland

After surviving another tough ACC road game, the undefeated Tar Heels return home Saturday to face Maryland. Tip-off is set for 3:30 p.m. and will be televised by ABC.

North Carolina (18-0, 3-0) vs. Maryland (11-7, 1-2)
Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
3:30 p.m., ABC (Brent Musburger, Steve Lavin)


"I think they've won five of their last six after what happened a month ago. We realize the last time we played them was up at Maryland last year – they beat us up there. Vasquez played in the game, Hayes played in the game, Gist played in the game [and] Osby played in the game, so they're not deep experience-wise, but they do have a lot of experience in those first four or five guys." -- UNC head coach Roy Williams


Season to Date: Maryland enters Saturday's contest in Chapel Hill with an 11-7 (1-2 ACC) mark on the heels of a largely unimpressive early season slate. The Terps squeaked by Hampton (70-64) and Northeastern (74-72 in OT) before losing to VCU (85-76), Ohio (61-55) and American (67-59). On the flip side, head coach Gary Williams' squad battled No. 4 UCLA in a 12-point loss in the O'Reilly Auto Parts Classic in November, and have lost two ACC games by four points – Boston College (81-78) and Virginia Tech (67-66). Maryland defeated Wake Forest 71-64 on Tuesday.

Offensive Options: Four Terrapins account for the bulk of Maryland's point production this season, led by sophomore guard Greivis Vasquez's 16.8 points and six assists per game. Senior forward senior James Gist adds 14.4 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest, while sophomore point guard Eric Hayes (11.0 ppg, 5.4 apg) and senior forward Bambale Osby (10.9 ppg, 6.5 apg) round out the group to provide Williams with plenty of options in his half court sets. Hayes has been hampered with a sprained left ankle, missing the team's victory over Wake Forest earlier this week.

Defensive Strength: Maryland leads the ACC and ranks seventh nationally in field goal percentage defense (36.4 percent). The Terps also leads the league and are sixth in the country in blocked shots (7.33). Gist is second in the conference at 2.71 blocks per game, while Osby is fourth with 2.24 blocks per contest.

No Rest for the Weary: In an area that may prove to be problematic for the Terps against North Carolina, three of Maryland's starters rank among the top 13 players in the ACC in minutes played per contest – Vasquez averages 36.22 minutes per contest (2nd), Hayes plays 35.13 minutes (4th) and Gist tops the 30-minute mark at 30.53 (13th).

Williams' Success Against Ranked Opponents: Since Gary Williams took over in 1989-90, Maryland has 66 wins over Top 25 teams, and is currently the winningest active coach vs. top-ranked teams with six career victories. During his 18 seasons in College Park, Williams' program has defeated 17 top-5 opponents, 29 top-10 opponents and the No. 1 team five times. Maryland has 14 wins over top-10 teams the last six years, including an 89-87 victory over then-No. 5 North Carolina last season.

Last Meeting:
Maryland shot 64.3 percent in the second half and out-rebounded North Carolina by a 46-33 margin as the Terrapins beat the Tar Heels, 89-87, on Feb. 25, 2007, in College Park, Md. UNC led by 12 points with 7:13 to play but could not hold the lead. Tyler Hansbrough led the Tar Heels with 22 points and Wayne Ellington contributed 17 points, five rebounds and six assists.

Series History:
North Carolina leads the all-time series with Maryland, 113-54, and has won five of the last six in the series. The Tar Heels are 53-16 against the Terps in games played in Chapel Hill and 14-7 versus Maryland in the Smith Center.

Projected Starters:
 5 Eric Hayes (6-4, 184, So.) – 11.0 ppg, 5.4 apg
21 Greivis Vasquez (6-6, 190, So.) - 16.8 ppg, 6.0 apg
 1 Landon Milbourne (6-7, 207, So.) – 7.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg
15 James Gist (6-9, 235, Sr.) - 14.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg
50 Bambale Osby (6-8, 250, Sr.) – 10.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg

Key Reserves:
24 Cliff Tucker (6-6, 190, Fr.) – 4.3 ppg, 2.4 reb
22 Adrian Bowie (6-2, 190, Fr.) – 3.8 ppg
 4 Braxton Dupree (6-8, 260, Fr.) – 3.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg

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