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#5 UNC vs Monmouth

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Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Sunday, January 1st, 3:00 PM
TV: ESPNU
Records: UNC 12-2; Monmouth 2-11

Happy New Year!

And now the final installment of Games vs Teams With Former Heels on the Coaching Staff.

So far this season UNC has played games versus Appalachian St. and Elon which included former Heels Jason Capel as head coach of the Mountaineers and Jack Wooten as an assistant for the Phoenix. Now, Monmouth brings back to Chapel Hill former Tar Heel point guard King Rice in his first season in charge of the Hawks. Rice's staff includes his successor at the PG slot, Derrick Phelps and Brian Reese both members of the 1993 NCAA title team.

And that pretty much covers the only aspect of this game that any of us will find remotely interesting. Monmouth is probably as bad as Nicholls State or whatever we are calling them nowadays. Among the exceptionally low ranking in most every major KenPom statistical category, Monmouth is dead last in the nation in effective FG defense giving up an astronomical 59.7% per game. The Hawks are ranked in the 300s for both offensive and defensive efficiency. The only thing that will keep this game anywhere close to being in check is the fact Roy Williams won't want to totally destroy a team coached by three members of the Carolina family.

There will always be some debate as to what purpose games versus teams like this serves and the benefit may be more for the opposing team than UNC both on the court and financially. For the Heels this beats going against each other in practice and maintains the routine of playing games every few days. Otherwise this will be another exercise in 20-25 minutes for the starters and some run for the bench. ACC play starts next weekend making this the last game before this crap gets real.

UNC 105 Monmouth 60