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Cardiac Hill ACC Preview: #2 North Carolina Tar Heels

UNC rolls in at number two on our ACC Basketball preview

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Coach - Roy Williams (11 years at UNC, 306-89 record 2 National Championships)

Arena - Dean Smith Center (21,750 capacity)

2013-14 Record - 24-10 (13-5 ACC) Lost to Iowa State 85-83 in NCAA Third Round

Game with Pitt - @ Pitt Saturday, February 14 12:00

Top Returning Players (Bold = projected starter)

Marcus Paige 6'1" JR PG   17.5 PPG   4.2 APG  1.5 Steals per game

Brice Johnson 6'9" JR PF   10.3 PPG  6.1 RPG

J.P. Tokoto 6'5" JR SG   9.3 PPG  5.8 RPG  3.0 APG

Kennedy Meeks 6'9" SO C   7.6 PPG  6.1 RPG

Nate Britt 6'1" SO PG   5.1 PPG

Impact Newcomers

Theo Pinson 6'6" FR SF  Rivals #17 Overall Recruit

Justin Jackson 6'7" FR SF Rivals #11 Overall Recruit

Joel Berry 6'1" FR PG  Rivals #27 Overall Recruit

The Scoop - North Carolina has a talented roster that mixes a good group of veteran upperclassmen, and one of the nation's top recruiting classes. The Tar Heels will miss James Michael McAdoo and Leslie McDonald, but they bring back three starters, most notably Marcus Paige. The junior point guard had a breakout season last year by doubling his scoring average and becoming a go-to perimeter scorer.

He will be joined in the back-court by hard working junior, J.P. Tokoto. He is not the best shooter, but understands his role and can still be an effective scorer.  Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meeks should be in better position to handle all of the front-court duties, and Johnson especially can be a breakout candidate without McAdoo around this year. Isaiah Hicks is another player to watch there, as he was once a big time recruit.

What can separate the Tar Heels this year is a pair of five-star freshmen wings, Theo Pinson and Justin Jackson. Both players will provide immediate scoring for Roy Williams. Jackson may be the better of the two, and could win the starting job.

Final Outlook - North Carolina always has talented offensive teams, and this one should be no different. The program is coming off of two straight third round exits, but they will have an excellent chance to go even deeper into the tournament this year. Paige is a good point guard that can hold everything together, and they have tons of weapons that can go off at any time.  They are projected as a top ten team, and looking up and down the roster, it is hard to argue that.

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