No. 11 UNC at Wake Forest
When: 8 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Lawrence Joel Coliseum, Winston-Salem
TV/Radio: ESPN2, 106.1-WTKK
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Projected starting lineups
North Carolina (14-3, 2-1 ACC)
G Joel Berry 15.4 ppg, 4.4 apg
G Kenny Williams 6.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg
F Justin Jackson 17.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg
F Isaiah Hicks 12 ppg, 5.2 rpg
F Kennedy Meeks 12.6 ppg, 9.6 rpg
Wake Forest (10-6, 1-3)
G Keyshawn Woods 12.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg
G Bryant Crawford 14.3 ppg, 3.8 rpg
F John Collins 16.4 ppg, 9.3 rpg
F Austin Arians 8.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg
F Dinos Mitoglou 10.6 ppg, 6.4 rpg
Three things to know:
▪ Expect Theo Pinson to start seeing more playing time.
Pinson, the junior wing forward, was expected to be a starter before suffering a broken bone in his right foot that required surgery a couple of weeks before the beginning of the season. He returned on Sunday and played 13 minutes during UNC’s 107-56 victory against N.C. State. Pinson didn’t score but did a little bit of everything else, and coach Roy Williams said the next step is finding him more playing time. Pinson eventually could enter the starting lineup but it’s unclear when that might happen. Williams on Sunday spoke of Pinson’s 13 minutes against N.C. State and said, “Before he got hurt, he earned more minutes than that. So we’ve got to get him back to that stage.”
▪ The Demon Deacons could be a welcome sight for UNC, given its relative turnover woes.
Even after a fairly error-free game on Sunday against N.C. State, the Tar Heels through three ACC games have been the conference’s second-worst team (just ahead of the Wolfpack) at limiting turnovers in league play. In three ACC games, UNC has committed turnovers on nearly 21 percent of its possessions, according to kenpom.com. The Demon Deacons might be a welcome opponent for UNC, given that Wake doesn’t force a lot of turnovers. In their three conference games, the Demon Deacons have forced turnovers on 14.6 percent of their opponents’ possessions, which ranks 14th in the ACC.
▪ It will be a mismatch when it comes to experience.
In his third season as head coach, Danny Manning continues to face an arduous rebuilding task at Wake Forest. His roster, with an abundance of youth, reflects that. Eight of 13 scholarship players are either freshmen or sophomores, and three sophomores are among the team’s starting five. The Tar Heels represent a contrast, with a core of veteran players who reached the national championship game a season ago. Four of UNC’s five starters are juniors and seniors, giving the Tar Heels a significant advantage in experience.