After a week off, UNC returns to action against the Buccaneers of East Tennessee State.
This game is one of those cupcake specials against a team that is being given a 3% chance of winning by KenPom. In other words there won't be much of value to gleaned from this game. Add to that a UNC team coming off a week break chances are everyone is going to be a little rusty.
For freshman point guard Marcus Paige, it has been almost two weeks since he saw game action. Ideally a freshman PG who starts should be getting as many minutes as possible. Taking an eleven day break and missing game does not help however that's better than some sort of injury that derails his whole season.
This game does not carry a lot of expectations for it. UNC should win, very handily though some rough edges are expected as a combination of the layoff and this team's stage of development. If there was a wish list it would be some sign of consistency from James Michael McAdoo and Reggie Bullock in particular but also P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald. Hairston and McDonald in the limited sample of games we have so far have posted offensive efficiency ratings of 117.2 and 126.9. There is a heavy disclaimer on those ratings at this stage since there are only eight games in the bank and much of it against lower tier opponents. However it is worth watching both of these players, especially Hairston who has the tools for a breakout season if he can simply be consistent.
Outside of that, this game is just another notch in the experience belt for the freshman and another chance for the team to continue to show progress in the right direction.
UNC 84 ETSU 57