Preview: UNC vs. Evansville

Let’s hope the hangover isn’t too severe. With several days of rest after the big win, the Purple Aces might put up more of a fight than the Heels are ready for, especially playing on their home court. Luckily for the Heels, Tyler Zeller will have a homecoming of sorts. Washington, Indiana is only about an hour north of Evansville and this whole series UNC has with Evansville is because of Zeller, similar to when the Heels played in Akron when Jawad Williams was on the roster. Carolina last played Evansville in Chapel Hill in December of 2008 on their way to the national championship. Zeller was sidelined that game with the broken wrist he had suffered earlier in his freshman year against Kentucky, but UNC still rolled 91-74. The teams will play again next year in Chapel Hill.

  • Sophomore guard Colt Ryan (right) leads the Aces with 16.8 points per game. He also shoots 56 percent from behind the arc. Kentucky stayed in the game because of their three point shooting and guards always threaten big games against the Heels. Maybe not now though with Larry Drew II’s smothering D.
  • Junior Kenneth Harris also averages double digits to go with 6.5 rebounds, but after that it’s a toss-up. Evansville rotates 11 players, eight of which average above 4 points. Not going to say this is a lot of weapons, but it is a lot of bodies.
  • How many times will we say UNC’s strength is in the post? Probably a lot with the emergence of Zeller and John Henson as serious point scorers, but this should be a big game in the blocks. Evansville has only one player over 6’8″ on the roster. A Dutchman, Pieter van Tongeren, who stands 6’10” and scores 6 points and only 3.3 rebounds. If Tyler, John and Justin don’t get the ball in the post and the other Heels don’t drive to the basket, it will be a total waste.

UNC needs to play a good game. Nothing fancy, but just cut down on the turnovers and get the ball down low. This game should be an easy win, but Evansville has knocked off a ranked Butler team earlier this year in Indianapolis so they are capable of big games.

Prediction: UNC 82, Evansville 66