UNC at Virginia: Tar Heels seek to quicken pace against Cavaliers

Andrew CarterJanuary 19, 2014 

UNC at Virginia

When: 7 p.m.

Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, Va.

TV/Radio: ESPN/101.5-WRAL

Projected starting lineups

UNC (11-6, 1-3 ACC)

G Marcus Paige 17.2 ppg, 4.2 apg

G Leslie McDonald 9.8 ppg, 1.9 rpg

F J.P. Tokoto 9.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg

F Jackson Simmons 1.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg

F James Michael McAdoo 14.6 ppg, 6.6 rpg

Virginia (13-5, 4-1)

G London Perrantes 4.3 ppg, 2.1 rpg

G Malcolm Brogdon 10.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg

G Joe Harris 11.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg

F Akil Mitchell 6.7 ppg, 6.4 rpg

C Mike Tobey 7.5 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Player to watch

J.P. Tokoto, forward, North Carolina

Tokoto played one of his better all-around games of the season Saturday during UNC’s 82-71 victory against Boston College. He finished with 14 points, six assists, five rebounds and three steals, and he excelled defensively against Eagles guard Olivier Hanlan. Against Virginia, Tokoto is likely to play a large role in the Tar Heels’ defensive game plan for Joe Harris, the Cavaliers’ versatile 6-foot-6 guard. Harris is averaging 16.3 points in Virginia’s past three games, and he scored a combined 45 points in two games against the Tar Heels last season.

Observations

For the fourth time in five conference games, UNC will play an opponent that prefers a much slower pace than the Tar Heels. UNC already has played Miami, Syracuse and Boston College, all of which rank among the slowest teams in the country. Now comes Virginia, which averages 63.3 possessions per game. That ranks 342nd nationally. … UNC will want to run, but those opportunities are likely to be limited against the Cavaliers, who are allowing an average of 3.7 fast-break points per game. … Virginia ranks among the top 10 nationally in field-goal percentage defense, points allowed per game and points allowed per possession. … UNC coach Roy Williams said he might stick with the same starting lineup he used Saturday, with Leslie McDonald and Jackson Simmons.

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