What's Changed Since Then: Most importantly, Sean Williams and Akida McClain were tossed off the team. BC weathered the loss, and have gone a respectable 5-3 since then - losing once to Clemson and twice to Duke. How have the players changed since the roster contraction?
- Jared Dudley has remained the team's superstar, putting together a strong case fdr ACC player of the year. He averaged 19.8 ppg and 9.6 rpg in the ACC before the dismissals, and 20.4 ppg / 8.3 rpg after.
- Shamari Spears replaced Williams in the starting lineup, and has upped his perfromance from 6.8 ppg / 6.5 rpg / 0.5 apg to 8.4 ppg / 4.1 rpg / 1.6 apg.
- Tyrese Rice at the point has increased his scoring from 15.8 ppg to 20.1 ppg, and is the only player dropping in assists, from 6.4 apg to 4.4 apg. Most of those points have come from an increased propensity to shoot the three - he's the team's primary outside threat, although Dudley has been showing up behind the arc more of late as well.
- Sean Marshall is the big loser in the new system - perhaps as the only remaining Sean defenses are no longer confused. His output, originally 19.4 ppg / 6.4 rpg / 2.4 apg, has dropped to 12.4 ppg / 4.0 rpg / 1.6 apg. His steals have dropped as well (1.8 to 0.3 per game) and he's started turning the ball over significantly more (0.6 to 3.3 per game).
- John Oates is also suffering. What was once a 5.6 ppg / 4.6 rpg performance is now 2.6 ppg / 3.0 rpg.
The other side of the ball is where UNC hopes to shine. BC is a lacksidasical defensive team, generating a low number of turnovers, and defensive rebounding well below what you'd expect. They defend the three rather well, but UNC doesn't shoot much from outside to begin with. If the Heels can control the paint like they should, and defensively shut down Dudley and Rice, they should be able to get the win and control of the conference race.
They've also got history on their side. While their Dean Dome perfromance leaves much to be desired, they've only once failed to win on their first visit to a conference expansion team's floor. (UNC is unfortunately under a three game losing streak to the Eagles, stretching back to a certain NCAA tournament game in 1994 that we've all pretty much decided just didn't happen. So perhaps history is not the best place to look here.)