Tar Heels Present Matchup Problems For Duke

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Besides being the more talented team, UNC presents many match up problems for the Blue Devils.  The Tar Heels biggest advantage comes on the perimeter with its huge size advantage over Duke.  Coach Mike Krzyzewski has ran out six different starting lineups since ACC play began.  Regardless of what lineup he decides to go with against Carolina, the problems still exist for Duke.  Duke’s perimeter looks like a bunch of point guards playing the wing.  Coach K’s (or the little rat as I prefer to call him) two biggest options are Austin Rivers and Andre Dawkins, who are 6-4.  Duke’s desperation for size on the wings has grown so bad, that they’ve been forced to use Josh Hairston, a wide framed 6-7 post player at the small forward position lately to compensate.

UNC on the other hand is just the opposite.  They have the 6-8  Harrison Barnes playing small forward and the 6-7 Reggie Bullock starting at shooting guard.  When defensive standout Dexter Strickland was lost for the season to a torn ACL, perimeter defense was a huge concern for Carolina.  So far, both Barnes and Bullock have demonstrated the lateral quickness need to stay in front of the quick guards.  UNC should have no trouble staying in front of their man as long as they can rotate properly through screens and get out on the shooter.  On the offensive end, the Heels should be able to punish Duke with the size and strength advantages it will have all over the court.

The Tar Heels should have no trouble getting off any shot they want and Roy Williams needs to drill the idea of patience into the teams head before the game.  Bad shots in this game are even worse than normal games.  With such a size advantage UNC should be able to play patient basketball in the half court and find the right shot each time down the floor.  Quick shots and unnecessary contested shots should be a big no-no in this game for Carolina.  Think of it this way, Barnes is about as tall as Lebron James.  Bullock is as tall as Ron Artest and each have decent bulk to them.  The tallest perimeter player on the Duke roster is 6-4.  It’s Lebron vs John Wall all day long 1 on 1.  I know what I would want my guys doing with that type of advantage, high post, turn around jumpers about 15 times each.  Driving the ball right at them and rising up whenever they feel comfortable is fine also.  And when Barnes or Bullock are out of the game.  The 6-6, solid framed PJ Hairston is the first off the bench for UNC.

The point, the perimeter should absolutely kill Duke tomorrow night.  But they must remain patient, quick shots, especially three pointers are especially stupid in this game.  UNC is a far more superior rebounding team than Duke.  Patience on offense not only will give the Heels the best shot, it allows the big men to do their jobs and fight for position under the boards.  The Tar Heels huge rebounding advantage over Duke must be exploited as much as the perimeter size advantages.  As much as Roy needs John Henson and Tyler Zeller to crash the boards hard and come up with double digit output in that category.  He needs his shooters to be patient, unselfish and find the right shot.  If they wait for it, they should have no problem finding that shot each time down the court.

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