No. 14 UNC at Clemson
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Where: Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, S.C.
TV/Radio: ESPN2, 106.1-WTKK
Projected starting lineups
North Carolina (12-3, 0-1 ACC)
G Joel Berry 13.9 ppg, 4.5 apg
G Kenny Williams 6.5 ppg, 3.7 rpg
F Justin Jackson 17.4 ppg, 4.7 rpg
F Isaiah Hicks 12.3 ppg, 5.1 rpg
F Kennedy Meeks 12.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg
Clemson (11-2, 1-0)
G Shelton Mitchell 9 ppg, 3.1 apg
G Avry Holmes 10.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg
F Donte Grantham 10.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg
F Jaron Blossomgame 17.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg
C Sidy Djitte 7.7 ppg, 8.9 rpg
Three things to know
▪ Now would be a good time for the Tar Heels to solve their turnover woes.
UNC committed 17 turnovers last week against Monmouth, which was then a season-high. On Saturday at Georgia Tech, the Tar Heels surpassed that total with 12 minutes to play, and finished with 20 turnovers. That’s not a good trend any time, but especially not entering Clemson, which has made a defensive living of forcing turnovers this season. The Tigers rank among the top 25 teams nationally in forcing turnovers, and their ability to do so has been a big factor in their nine-game winning streak.
▪ The Jackson vs. Blossomgame game within the game should be fun to watch.
Justin Jackson and Jaron Blossomgame might be two of the top five players in the ACC – no small praise in this loaded season in the league – and their back-and-forth is likely to play a significant factor in the outcome. Jackson and Blossomgame aren’t completely similar players (Jackson is a much better perimeter shooter) but they’re about the same size and will be seeing a lot of each other on Tuesday. Defensively, they both have the length and talent to take the other out of what he likes to do. Which one responds better to the challenge?
▪ UNC must exploit its offensive rebounding advantage.
If there’s a clear edge, the Tar Heels have on Clemson, it’s offensive rebounding. UNC ranks third nationally there, while Clemson ranks worse than 250th nationally in keeping teams off of the offensive glass, according to kenpom.com. If the statistics reflect reality at Littlejohn, then the Tar Heels should generate their share of second-chance opportunities – which would be especially important if UNC’s shooting woes, which were a big part of its loss at Georgia Tech, continue.