Your North Carolina basketball preview!

#25 R.P.I. Virginia Tech @ #16 R.P.I. North Carolina: 

Virginia Tech men’s basketball travels to play one of the two BIG name men’s A.c.c. basketball factory schools in a place where most visitors come away as being crowned Atlantic Coast… Chumps!

The Hokies must face the no.15 ranked team in the land on the road when the square off against mighty North Carolina on national Telly Monday night for an 7 pm kick-off on ESPN and streaming over on ESPN3. The T.Heels check in at 14 up and 4 down already on the season and that gives us all just a flicker of not exactly annualized hope. As this legendary powder-blue court has proved to be a hooping tribunal way more often than not. Nevertheless, what you wanna know is who is gonna win and by how much? So read on, to find… out!

North Carolina Head CoachRoy Allen Williams: age=68, 856–231 (.787) overall,
and 438–130 (.771) at North Carolina.
$800,000.oo base
(with $2.15 mill in: “supplemental pay”, +incentives, +a 2027 extension!)

“free bowl of soup… it looks good on you.”

Baller Williams lettered in basketball and baseball at T. C. Roberson High School in Asheville, NC all four years. In basketball, playing for Coach Buddy Baldwin, he was named all-county and all-conference for two years (1967 and 1968), all-western North Carolina in 1968 and served as the captain in the North Carolina Blue-White All-Star Game. Williams has stated that Coach Baldwin was one of the biggest influences in his life. Williams went on to play on the freshman team at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and study the game under legendary coach Dean Smith. When Williams was a sophomore at Carolina, he asked Smith if he could attend his practices and would sit in the bleachers taking notes on Smith’s coaching. Williams also volunteered to keep statistics for Smith at home games and worked in Smith’s summer camps.

After coaching golf and hoops in high school for five years; in 1978, Williams came back to the University of North Carolina and served as an assistant to Coach Dean Smith until 1988. During his tenure as assistant coach, North Carolina won the NCAA national championship in 1982, the first for Smith (and Roy); and second for North Carolina. One of Williams’ more notable events came as an assistant coach when he became instrumental in recruiting a nobody who was already cut from his H.S. team, some kid named… Jordan. After that, taking over at Kansas, his Jayhawk career was riddled with wins (28 per year on average!); conference titles (9); and more a few recruiting foibles as well. Since getting home to U.n.c. coach Williams has notched two national championships (2oo5) and (2008). Coach Williams is the only basketball coach in NCAA history to have 35o or more victories at two NCAA D-1 schools {sic: Kansas and North Carolina}. Coach Williams is the only coach in NCAA history to have led two different programs to at least four Final Fours each; wow. In 2oo7, Coach Williams was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Coach Williams’ teams have made the post-season 29 outta 30 times. He was won a stunning 15 different coach of the year awards nationally or in-conference combined. He has won 23 total regular season or tournament conference titles and put 39 kids into the Association.

Coach Williams chairs a $10 million dollar U.n.c. basketball endowment and Roy had surgery September 19, 2012, to remove a tumor from his right kidney; God Bless.

Daddy Williams is married to Wanda Williams. They have a son, Scott (ex-UNC Pt.Guard), a daughter, Kimberly (dance school owner), and three grandsons

North Carolina at a glance:

  • 6th in scoring O (87.4 ppg)!
  • 6th in rebounding margin (+10.3 rpg)!
  • 6th best in defensive resounding itself (30.88 d-rpg)!
  • 7th most assists (19.1 apg)!
  • 36th most FT’s (∑=286 makes).
  • 60th most steals (∑=130 swipes).
  • Everything else 256th or better. i.e. nothing south of average more/less.
  • 1 injury listed below, (Godspeed).

U.n.c. Returning Starters=2

North Carolina Strengths:

  • 6′8″, 240 lb. final year P/F Luke Maye has the game; as the beta scorer at U.N.C. (14.4 ppg) virtually always does. Ditto being the 14th Tar Heel to earn Academic all-A.C.C. honors in multiple seasons— as likewise his father (Mark) also earned Academic all-A.C.C. honors as a UNC Qb -who only led the A.c.c in passing back in 1986- way back in 1986 and 1987 in educational terms. So smarts run in the family. Good on them! As young Maye was the 7th ranked student in the school of business last semester. And good on being the alpha rebounder at 10 caroms per contest, the bronze medalist in swats with .7 bpg; with all that on middleocore 43% overall and a now slipping 31% from range— off by a whopping 17% from deep compared to when we saw him last year. Although his FT-shooing has come up by 18% and now check-marks well enough at 77% on his FTA’s. Prior to U.n.c., Luke was the Florida high school 3-point contest champ’, a VHT baseball recruit (outfielder); and he placed nationally in the USofA in the French Honor Society and in the Math Honor Society alike. Plus Luke enjoys a rep’ as one of the hardest working Heel hoopster in years! That’s a complete person folks; never-mind a complete baller who is prolly due to start playing better sooner rather than later.
  • Lengthy looking Wing-S/G and Pitt grad’-transfer, 6′8″, 210 lb. Cameron Johnson plays a cool-modine old-school L.a. Rams Rb Wendell Tyler gliding -to mix my sporting metaphor- type of game. As he’s come way way up from having his eligibility regained after a and shooting slump alike last season. As Cameron is now up to the team lead with 16 ppg on a mutually team-leading and sizzling like the Sun “hot-hot-hot” 48% from behind the arc after a chilly start to his debuting T.Heel New Year last year. Now mix in 5.7 boards, a couple of dimes (2.1 apg) and 1.3 swipes with 51% from the floor and 79% from the FT-line and you have a Sade ‘esque smooth-operator who is just now rounding into complete roundball form. As the Moon Township, Pa. native grew 1″ this off-season and stacked up a much needed 25 lbs. of right-mass since he got to U.n.c. Further, after the aforementioned .edu.hiccup, Cameron is now a two-time Academic All-A.c.c. baller so real live rally-cap points are hereby awarded for bucking down and coming classroom correct just like that. As Mister Johnson is already working toward his master’s degree in sports administration— in his fourth year, although he did receive a med’-red-shirt due to a shoulder injury up at Pitt (may St.Christopher bless). This after being the salutatorian at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School and a 2-year starter at Wr in football with big hoops offensive numbers for a relatively small single-A high school. Can’t say I’ve ever player-bio’ read that one before. And he has not less than five different nuclear family members who all ran college basketball. Which is pretty decent efforting for the no.224 nationally ranked scholastic recruit who is coming off of arthroscopic hip-surgery from last year! (may St.Nikon bless).

    Hirsute, 1o1…
  • One #2, 6′5″, 185 lb., rookie or nugget year Coby White is stringbean combo’-G who same as Fletch is 6′8″ with his “big” Ben Wallace ‘fro all the way out. He is also a gold medal holding FIBA Americas U-18 Championship member from last year. Prior to that, Co.White only broke the all-time North Carolina high school scoring record with 3,573 points in leading Greenfield to a state playoffs championship game appearance in 2018. Coby is the two-time Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year for North Carolina, the Associated Press Player of the Year in North Carolina and the Charlotte Observer’s Mr. Basketball in 2018. And only the no.24 baller in America per Rivals where he was known to routinely crack 40’s and 50’s as a true light-you-up pure scholastic scorer. That’s all. Though he was also known to regularly field a lower than expected FG%, as a pure Smith & Wesson gunner for it. And yet he is further said to be the fastest guy on the team.

North Carolina Weaknesses:

  • Joel Berry II and Theo Pinson both gonzo and gone with them would be… ~30 ppg and ~12 rpg on top of that.
  • A few turnovers do live here (256th most in turnovers nationally says so). Although those with brains says that that’s (mostly) just a function of a higher tempo pedal to the metal rob-Roy style attack.
  • The whispers say to watchdog and evaluate One or Pt.Guard play, and lockeroom leadership this campaign for the Heels. Stay, tuned…

Heels Bench: (depth=5+)

(possibly the deepest Team I’ve ever studied in hoops, as not less than a staggering 16 guys have played in 13 outta the ‘Heels 17 games. Yes, some of that is blowing-peeps off the court and some of that is holding pine-squad court to boot)

Garrison Brooks and Sterling Manley are your main box score stat-sheet contributors here in raw numerical terms; however, make no mistake folks; this is as deep of a bench as it gets in Atlantic Coast terms. As deep as I’ve seen in many a year and I’ve been at this for years; quite plural. As no less than 13 total Heels could be said to compromise this 2019 playing rotation.

Brooks goes as a 6′9″, 230 lb. second-year frontcourter from Auburn Alabama who prolly broke some S.E.C. hearts down south when he climbed Chapel Hill. Garrison was a scoring and rebounding machine in high school who was (barely) the Alabama State player of the Year runner-up. Brooks has a first-school Big-E (Elvin Hayes) face-up and shoot game and he will block shots; (plural). As 8.2 ppg and 5.8 rpg on 53% in P/F relief work is no bad work; if you can get it from a solid interior player who has rebounding acumen.

Sophomoric, 6′11″, 235 lb. honor roll student (props) S.Manley is a manly set baller already; as he came to U.N.C. with a prefab turnkey ready made D-1 body; just add P.T. His great, great uncle Willie Thrower played football at Michigan State, where he won a national championship in 1952 and was the first African American quarterback in the N.F.L. (playing for the Chicago Bears in 1953); wowow on dat! And 4.4 ppg with 4.3 rpg on 55% shooting with a swat does not a bad substitute baller make. Even if his 56% from the FT-line is pretty masonic or bricky at times. This is still decent enough for a late-blooming rim-defender who only took up hoops in high school and was said to be an inside-out player who needed to add strength to this game. As Manley missed a handful of games last year with an on-again-off-again trick left-knee; (may St.Nikhon bless). Although he did cut ~11 lbs. of mass from last season and appears to be a bit quicker for it right now.

Upsetting the Heels @U.n.c. as 4-point underdogs is all about, what???

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Illationconclusion(s) and OPT digits:

Number of T.Heel's who could start @Tech=7 or 8.

the takeaway:
The takeaway here is… North Carolina is close to 90% at home the last few years whereas we are one for the year as a visitor. C’est la’ A.c.c.

And as Will has taught you his ownself… the A.c.c. visitor wins about 3 in 10 times out on the Atlantic Coast road.

Accordingly, the ESPN circle-graph to the right is actually rather encouraging in historic terms. All the more so @U.n.c.

Who I do view as being very good, and even deeper than that.

Although I also view them as lacking that James Worthy level baller at the moment. Not even a “sleepy” Sam Perkins with a lotta Jimmy Black’s. And yes, I know, about ~340 other NC2A D-1 hoops teams would love to have North Carolina’s problems. (no doubt)!


As the year to date, or seasonal metrics go… V.Tech is +4% better on shooting margin overall and likewise 4% superior in 3-point margin as well. U.n.c. however is up a useful looking +8 boards in rebounding margin for the year. As the most recent 5-game statistics go… V.Tech is now only up 2% in shooting from the floor and actually 6% underwater from behind the arc. (thanks both to a dip in O&M longball accuracy and in defending the same alike). With U.n.c. now Windex swiping the glass on a lucrative looking +15 boards per game in the most recent five contests.

Our handy-dandy friend the so-called Forum Guide of Graham Houston fame is calling for an unlikely 11 point VicTory here. That -and on the road no less- strikes me as dismissible or premature here. Virginia Tech is (yet again); a nutty looking +4 on rest in the last fortnight of play— although we must sojourn 202 miles to the Dean Dome.

Virginia Tech is nearly 1% better from the charity-stripe or virtually even for the year.

  • Virginia Tech has entirely 1 dub-a-u (win) vs. U.n.c. since 2010.
  • North Carolina leads the all-time series 31-7, although Virginia Tech snapped a seven-game L’ing streak to the Tar Heels with a win in Blacksburg, Va., last season.
  • Our Hokies have been a bit foul-prone in A.c.c. play thus far this year. So keep on Eye on that vs. always deeper U.n.c. in their backyard.
  • U.n.c. is coming off of a scorching shooting (60%) nite vs. Miami. So now may not be the best Tobacco Road, time.

The call… U.n.c. has been beaten by #7 Michigan, #21 Kentucky and by big-name schools in Texas and Louisville. And so have a lot of other hoops teams— double-nickel or 55 other hoops teams in point of fact have been beaten by those four to date. Still yet, U.n.c. -to their credit- did upset #4 Gonzaga; so there, of course, remains a good deal of (sky)-blue-chip talent in stock here.

Nevertheless, if there is such a thing as a reloading or a retooling campaign down @Chapel Hill? 2018-2019 is surely it. And Roy ain’t exactly getting any younger or any more vibrant as I type, either.

As of right now, I am inclined to type that U.n.c. prolly does win here… and this just in… rain is (still) rumored to be, wet.

However, U.n.c. does play a favorable Tech-tempo per their pet style of play. And that brings our free-flowing outside offensive game into play and that gives Buzzketball their proverbial… shot in this one.

And frankly -with this much Hokie experience, and with a slightly lowercase ‘Heel team in front of us- if we are ever gonna beat U.n.c. @U.n.c… now is the time.

As: “timing is everything” indeed.
-Anthony Liccione-

(74% confidence interval)
Virginia Tech
=78, North Carolina=76







4 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. Your article mentions Seventh Woods is gone with Joel Berry and Theo Pinson. Seventh Woods is still at Carolina and relieves Coby White at point.

    1. Far out.
      Could not get the scroll bar to roll down to the last roster guy on

      My bad. Your good eye.

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