What's Changed Since Then: Well, Engin Atsur kept getting hurt, playing in only three of State's seven ACC games this year. He seems to be back at full strength though.
Atsur's return doesn't fix most of the Wolfpack's problems. They're still a very shallow team, with only seven players taking the floor in at least 10 games this season. Not only does this keep than from pushing the tempo like Lowe would like, it limits their defensive effectiveness. Their defense is among the worst in all categories - they can't muscle for the defensive rebounds, they generate a low number of turnovers, and they avoid sending their opponents to the line.
Their rebounding is equally poor on offense, the worst in the ACC. Everything else on that side of the ball is strictly average. Gavin Grant is usually good for 15 points, and a second player will usually step up for the same, but the Wolfpack overall score less per possession than everyone else in the conference but Wake Forest.
This looks to be another game where UNC can win by showing up, but I would have said the same thing about Virginia Tech earlier in the week, and look how that turned out. But the Tar Heels have more depth, and are considerably stronger inside than both the Hokies and the Pack. State's even at a coaching disadvantage - Sendek's style of play, detested as it was by many of the Wolfpack brethren, is a good counterpoint to UNC's running offense. If Lowe tries to match the Heels in tempo, it could get brutal quickly. But at least the new coach says the right things in press conferences, right?