A few thoughts in advance of the Georgia Tech-North Carolina game, starting at 6 p.m. Game is on both ESPNU and online at ESPN3.com.
1. Daniel Miller and Kammeon Holsey (backed up by Nate Hicks and Julian Royal) against North Carolina forwards Tyler Zeller and John Henson. Zeller and Henson average a combined 29.0 points and 19.8 rebounds per game.
Brian Gregory: “The thing with Zeller is the guy plays hard every single play. He’s a very physical player. He’s got that left shoulder jump hook down where he can shoot it from two feet all the way out to 14, 15 feet. Sometimes it’s an unblockable shot.” (I’m not sure if he meant that he takes hook shots out to 14 feet. I sure hope so. That would be pretty cool.)
Miller and Holsey are going to have to bang for rebounds. If they don’t, it’ll be very troublesome for the Jackets.
2. Someone’s got to get hot. Guard Jason Morris was 0-for-7 against Miami. Guard Glen Rice Jr. was 4-for-14. Point guard Mfon Udofia was 6-for-12 but 1-for-5 from 3-point range. I’m not a coach, but it’s kind of a problem if your big men are matched up with probably the best frontcourt in the ACC and your guards can’t knock down jump shots.
3. The Harrison Barnes matchup. Barnes is a 6-foot-8 forward and will either be defended by Rice or Morris, both 6-5. I’m going to guess Rice, who is pretty active and has some length with his arms. You likely know that Barnes is a lottery pick-in-waiting. He averages 17.3 points per game and has seven games of 20 points or more this season, although he has a pretty high shot volume.
Some numbers – Tech has won the past four in this series, its longest winning streak against North Carolina. … In its four-game losing streak, the Jackets have shot 29.1 percent in the first half. They’re also shooting 54.8 percent from the free-throw line in that span. Aiyee. … My first trip to the Smith Center. You’d be surprised how much baby blue there is in here. (kidding).
Enjoy the game.