North Carolina vs Tulane, 7:00 PM
Announcers: Bob Picozzi, LaPhonso Ellis
Line: UNC -24.5, KenPom UNC 86-64
Who's ready for more Joel James in the lineup?!?!?!?
Last season James actually looked like a solid backup when Kennedy Meeks was out of the game. This season through nine games it feels a little like James has regressed. Still, with the depth issues in the post he is going to play. Whether he starts or not is another question. Last season when Meeks missed UNC's ACC Second Round game against Boston College, James started and played 15 minutes. He also started the quarterfinal game against Louisville with Meeks coming off the bench. Both played 19 minutes in that game. However if you go back to the regular season win over Boston College in 2015, Hicks started alongside Brice Johnson with the sophomore having a career game with 21 points. Johnson and Hicks combined for 41 points and 15 rebounds in that game.
In short, there are options here. Starting Hicks without Meeks available means there is no interior offense of the bench. At the same time, the match-up may have a huge bearing on who plays and how much with fouls playing an even bigger role.
Comments if you have 'em.