Previewing Wake Forest

The Tar Heels aim to put an end to its three-game losing streak Sunday against Wake Forest. The game tips off at the Dean Dome at 5:47 p.m. on Fox Sports Net. <br><center> (<a target=new href="">INTERNET BROADCAST</a>) - (<a href="'','GameTrackermbaskbl','toolbar=no,resizeable=no,scrollbars=no,width=780,height=540'); void('');">LIVE STATS</a>)</center>

North Carolina (11-8, 2-4) vs. No. 17 Wake Forest (14-2, 4-2)
Smith Center, Chapel Hill
5:47 p.m., Fox Sports Net (Thom Brennaman and Mike Gminski)


Opening Remarks -

Getting ready to take on a talented Wake Forest team that is very physical and the best rebounding team in the country - with one of the best players in the country in Josh Howard.

What's the game plan to deal with Howard, who had big games against UNC last year?

Just really be alert to him as a team. He's so fast down the court in transition, such a great offensive rebounder and over the last couple of years he's really improved his outside shooting. To me he's one of the best pro prospects in the country. That makes it tough for us, because he can post up, shoot the three, pass in transition, blocks shots, steals the ball - he's maybe the best all-around player in our league. You just hope he doesn't go for 40 and try to keep him off the offensive boards, as he's a very aggressive offensive rebounder.

As he's developed his outside shot, has that made you change your defensive plan on him?

The first year we played him as a driver only. Last year he started shooting the ball well and so you couldn't do that. He puts up pretty good [shooting] numbers for a guy who can post up, take it to the basket and the way he can rebound the basketball ...

LINK: Doherty's Friday Quotes

Wake Forest Scouting Report
by Brett Ayers

Offensive Schemes - Wake is a team that wants to come at you on the break primarily. Howard, Danelius, Downey and company all want to get as many buckets in transition as they can. When they do have to slow it down the main focus of their attack is Josh Howard, who right now is probably the best player in the ACC. Howard will shoot the three, post up, drive on you and shoot the pull up. They throw lobs to him, you name it he does it. Williams is a solid low block scorer and Danelius is playing better each time I see him. Wake likes to run a series of about six to eight entry plays, some things out of the 1-4 set. Their biggest weakness tends to be attacking zones. They are becoming very stagnant and passive offensively against zones. They are not a team that wants to make a lot of passes on offense if they don't have to.

Defensive Schemes - Wake will throw everything at you but the kitchen sink. You may see some 2-2-1 full court press, some 1-2-1-1 full court press, some man-to-man full court pressure. You might also see some half court scramble a-la UNC out of time outs. Will play either man-to-man or zone in the half court, it really depends upon how they feel they match-up with UNC. Wake is not very good at blocking out on the defensive boards and they are very open to getting hurt there.

Players to Watch:

Josh Howard - Mr. Everything for Wake. Shoots the three, drives, pulls up, gets lobs. He does everything but drive the bus to the game as far as I can tell.

Vytas Danelius - Much like Songalia before him, he is rough and tumble and at times can be very foul proned. He is, however, becoming more confident and polished with each game. He has long arms that make him seem a lot taller than he is.

Eric Williams - Just a wide load down on the block and a kid who has very soft hands. He still has lot of work ahead of him, but losing that weight before the start of the season has made him much better.

Taron Downey - A lefty who has nice range and is very athletic. If you fall asleep on him he will drive down the middle and rise up over the top of you and dunk it on you.

Probable Starting Lineup:
   Taron Downey (6-2, G, So.) – 10.9 ppg, 3.8 apg
   Josh Howard (6-6, F, Sr.) – 18.1 ppg, 8.1 rpg
   Jamaal Levy (6-9, F, So.) – 6.4 ppg, 5.6 rpg
   Vytas Danelius (6-8, F, So.) – 13.4 ppg, 7.8 rpg
   Eric Williams (6-9, C, Fr.) – 9.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg
Key Reserves: 
   Trent Strickland  (6-5, G, Fr.) – 5.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg
   Chris Ellis  (6-8, F, Fr.) – 4.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg

Wake Forest Info

Photo Gallery

Josh Howard ... Vytas Danelius

Taron Downey ... Skip Prosser

(Photos courtesy the AP.)

Game Notes
by WF Sports Info

Wake Forest-UNC Series History

- North Carolina leads the all-time series, 146-59.
- Wake Forest won the previous two meetings, sweeping the regular season series last year. The Deacons beat the Tar Heels, 90-66 in Winston-Salem, and 84-62 in Chapel Hill. That marked the first time WFU has swept the regular season series since 1969-70.
- The Deacons have not defeated North Carolina three straight times since sweeping that series in 1969-70 and winning the first meeting in 1970-71.
- The Deacons have won four of the last seven meetings.
- North Carolina has dominated the series in Chapel Hill, 68-16, including a 15-2 mark in the Dean Smith Center. Last year's Wake Forest win at the Smith Center was WFU's first since 1995.
- The Deacons and Tar Heels first met during the 1910-11 season.
- The Wake Forest-North Carolina series is the fifth-most frequently played series in the ACC (see box at above right).
- Last year's meeting in Chapel Hill (Jan. 5, 2002) marked the first time ever that a ranked Wake Forest team played an unranked Tar Heel team.
- Wake Forest coach Skip Prosser is 2-0 all-time against North Carolina.
- North Carolina's Matt Doherty is 2-3 all-time versus Wake Forest. That includes a loss to the Deacons in the 2000 NIT championship game while coaching at Notre Dame.

Deacon-Tar Heel Connections

- North Carolina assistant coach Doug Wojcik was the starting point guard on the Wheeling (WV) Central Catholic High School team that was coached by current Wake Forest's Skip Prosser. That Central Catholic team won the state championship. Prosser later coached Dave Wojcik (Doug's brother), who went on to serve as an assistant coach with Prosser at Xavier. In the UNC media guide, Doug Wojcik lists Prosser and Paul Evans as the two people who had the greatest influence on his playing career.
- Wojcik was an assistant coach at Navy in 1997-98 when the Midshipmen lost at Wake Forest, 67-43.
- North Carolina assistant coach Bob MacKinnon served as the head coach at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy -- Skip Prosser's alma mater -- from 1997-99.
- WFU's Eric Williams was on the same East team in the 2002 McDonald's High School All-America Game with North Carolina's Raymond Felton, Sean May and Rashad McCants.
- Wake Forest (seven) and North Carolina (six) combine to have 13 players on their rosters from the state of North Carolina.
- WFU's Justin Gray and T.J. Little and UNC's Phil McLamb all call Charlotte (NC) home.
- Former Deacon Rodney Rogers now plays for the New Jersey Nets. Former Tar Heel Mike O'Koren is a Nets assistant coach.
- UNC's Matt Doherty went 7-3 against Wake Forest while playing for the Tar Heels from 1981-84.
- Doherty and WFU media relations staffers Dean Buchan, Bill Newton and Mike Vest all previously worked at the University of Kansas.

Statistical Comparison

Record 14-2 11-8
Conference Record 4-2 2-4
Scoring Average 81.6 70.4
Opponent Scoring Average 65.5 68.6
Scoring Margin +16.1 +1.8
Rebound Average 43.9 37.3
Opponent Rebound Average 31.6 38.6 R
Rebound Margin +12.3 - 1.3
Field Goal Percentage 45.8% 41.7%
Defensive Field Goal Percentage 39.5% 41.3%
Free Throw Percentage 75.5% 68.3%
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game 6.5 7.5
Three-Point Field Goal Percentage 35.1% 33.4%
Assists Per Game 15.2 14.6
Turnovers Per Game 15.2 15.1
Blocked Shots Per Game 4.4 4.1
Steals Per Game 7.2 8.3

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