UNC Basketball: Know Your Enemy – Kentucky Wildcats

Dec 7, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige (5), forward Joel James (42), forward James Michael McAdoo (43), forward Brice Johnson (11), and forward Kennedy Meeks (3) sit on the bench against the NC-Greensboro Spartans at Dean E. Smith Student Activities Center. North Carolina won 81-50. Mandatory Credit: Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

This match-up may be UNC Basketball’s most important game all season as one of these two teams may end up being the National Champions this year.  This contest will show the Tar Heels where they stand up against one of the best teams in the country.  This may even be a first-hand glimpse of what the National Championship game could even look like this season. 

The University of Kentucky is the preseason ranked #1 team in the nation.  The Wildcats missed the NCAA Tournament last season, but that did not stop Coach Calipari from having the number one team this season after grabbing the no. 1 recruiting class.  Kentucky was able to bring in the nation’s top-ranked recruiting class to join returners Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein. 

This year’s top ranked recruiting class for Kentucky consisted on three key members.  First is the country’s top-rated point guard Andrew Harrison.  His twin brother, Aaron Harrison, also joined the Wildcat squad and is the top-rated shooting guard out of high school.  Along with the twin brothers is the top-rated power forward of the 2013 class Julius Randle.

Although Kentucky brought in a strong recruiting class, Carolina has experience over the young incoming team.  The freshmen for the Wildcats have yet to see time on the college floor yet.  This gives the Tar Heels some edge over the Wildcats.  Carolina’s point guard, Marcus Paige, can possibly be one of the best point guards in the nation going up against the best point guard out of high school.  That makes it an interesting match-up as Paige has a full year of experience over Andrew Harrison.  Both players are deadly shooters from behind the arc and are great on ball defenders.  They key to winning this game is which one of them can get a hot hand early and limit the other player’s shots.

James Michael McAdoo will be a key player in this match-up for the Heels.  He is a physical threat in the post and can size up with anyone. He will need to dominate the offensive and defensive boards, along with Desmond Hubert, Joel James, and Brice Johnson.  Wildcat Julius Randle will be a key player for Kentucky as he will most likely be matched up against McAdoo.  Both teams will be looking to control the momentum in this game, especially since Carolina is a much faster team than Kentucky. Controlling the momentum of the game will be important for Coach Roy Williams’ squad, especially if his fast tempo offense wants to upset the #1 preseason ranked team in the nation.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted on October 8th.

Topics: Basketball, Kentucky Wildcats, North Carolina Tar Heels

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