Game Preview: East Tennessee State

Every year it hits around the same time: the Finals lull. That time where Roy makes the Heels hit the books and no games are scheduled. This year we have only one game in a 14 day span and it’s against the mighty Buccaneers of ETSU.

That’s all we’ve got for up here.

  • Redshirt freshman Lester Wilson is a bright spot for the 2-4 Bucs. On paper he’s an undersized forward at 6’4″ but it hasn’t stopped him from scoring over 19 points a game and grabbing more than 6 rebounds. He’s attempted more 3s than even PJ Hairston in two less games and hit 47% of them. Expect him to get buckets.
  • ETSU is down two senior guards due to indefinite suspension and also played its last game without now-starting PG Petey McClain. After losing the seniors (the 2nd and 3rd highest scorers on team) the Bucs have had issues putting up points against quality opponents. In loses to Georgia and James Madison, ETSU failed to top 45 points, scoring only 38 against UGA.
  • James Michael McAdoo may still lead the team with 15.8 ppg but he’s only led the team once in the last five games (Chaminade). Only one player on ETSU is over 6’8″ and he doesn’t play. Two 6’7″ forwards (Hunter Harris and John Walton) have started every game yet combine for only 16 points. If JMM, Brice Johnson, Joel James and Desmond Hubert don’t take advantage of this we’re going to have a litany of questions to add to the already mounting collection regarding the front court.
  • Marcus Paige is still a game-time decision after injuring his shoulder and missing last week’s win over UAB. If Paige is out will we see a similar starting lineup of Dexter Strickland, Leslie McDonald, Reggie Bullock, James and JMM? We don’t know, and as we talked about on the pod, Roy probably doesn’t know either. Maybe Roy will experiment with a small starting five against a small team replacing James with PJ. Maybe he inserts Brice Johnson. Maybe we’ll stop guessing, because chances are it’ll be wrong or Paige will just start.
  • While we’re on the topic of experimenting, Adam Lucas reports that Roy may be toying with the idea of playing a little zone on defense. In the past this has been disastrous. But hey, if you’re going to try, why not against an over-matched foe.

We mentioned on the pod (shameless plug, get used to it, or just listen to the podcast already) that it’s hard to know what UNC team will show up. Is it the team that’s scored over 100 TWICE or the one that can’t get to 20 before halftime? We’re going big with our prediction and saying we’re going to see a lot of points on Saturday night.

Prediction: UNC 95, ETSU 64