Where: Carolina First Arena, Charleston, SC
When: Monday, January 4th, 7:00 PM
Records: UNC 11-3; Charleston 7-6
First up, the injury report goes as follows. Three Tar Heels are recovering from sprained ankles. Marcus Ginyard has been hobbled for over a week and likely will not play. Justin Watts and Will Graves are expected to play according to the UNC game guide. How long they play will be the real question and if the answer to that is "not much" then heavy doses of Dexter Strickland, John Henson and the Wears will be in order. And that will be a good thing in terms of experience but a bad thing if they do not play particularly well.
Secondly, this is a road game at the home arena of a Southern Conference team. I am hard pressed to think of many teams that opt to go into a small arena for a road game. UNC did it last season at UCSB and also played at Nevada. This season it is a trip to Charleston where the Heels have been since Saturday. Yes, UNC has been knocking around Charleston, SC for two days and based on the Twitter traffic last night, thoroughly bored out of their minds. I am not sure what the reasoning was here to go down this early for a game on Monday night. I would be interested to know if Roy Williams planned this well ahead of time or recently decided to go down early for some extra team bonding time and practice.
As was the case in the last game, UNC fans and Roy for that matter is looking for signs that this team is getting their act together. A good indication of that would be not giving up 23-2 runs or turning the ball over like a high school girl's game. Something along the lines of "hey this team is playing smarter on both ends and looks really efficient on offense" would be welcome since this constitutes the last cupcake on the schedule. The ACC is wide open mind you and every team UNC plays in the league this season is a threat to some point except for UVa and Boston College and in the case of both them, the offense each of them using is prone to give UNC fits.
Regardless of anything else that might happen this evening, working out any additional kinks and getting some idea that this team (1) has their heads on straight and (2) are focused in their execution for forty minutes would be nice.
UNC 81 Charleston 59