UNC-Elon: What to watch

December, 29, 2011
12/29/11
9:00
AM ET
The Tar Heels haven’t faced the Phoenix since 1950, and if North Carolina stretches its win streak over Elon to 11 straight tonight, it will also tie the all-time consecutive win streak in the Smith Center, at 25 straight.

A few things to watch:

THE MEN IN THE MIDDLE

Although Elon likes to shoot 3-pointers, its leading scorer is 6-foot-10 sophomore Lucas Troutman (12.6 point per game), who is also pulling down 5 rebounds and blocking 1.6 shots per game. He’ll have a lot to deal with, though, in UNC’s starting big man tandem of 7-foot Tyler Zeller, who is averaging 10.6 rebounds his past three games, and 6-10 John Henson, who is averaging a double-double, plus 3.3 blocks, this season.

THE BISCUIT CHANT

Elon assistant coach Jack Wooten – a walk-on who played on UNC’s 2008 Final Four team and 2009 national title squad – was often on the court during his playing years when Tar Heels fans began the “We want Biscuits!” chant, meaning Carolina was closing in on 100 points. (When UNC hits triple digits during home games, fans get two sausage biscuits for a buck at local Bojangles fast food chains.)

When Jason Capel brought his Appalachian State team to Chapel Hill, N.C., earlier this month, that former UNC player’s team kept the fans from their reduced-price morning munchies. Will Wooten’s team be able to do the same? The Phoenix rank first in the Southern Conference, and 17th in the country, in field-goal percentage defense (.386).

P.J. HAIRSTON’S SHOOTING

Although the UNC freshman has scored in double figures in two of his past four games, he’s done it mostly via the free-throw line, while shooting only 4-for-18 from the field. Look for the reserve sharpshooter – whose driving dunk vs. Texas last week won’t soon be forgotten – to start connecting. And soon.

Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.

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