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Saturday, December 10, 2011
What to watch: UNC-Long Beach State

By Robbi Pickeral

Anyone else think North Carolina will go to senior Tyler Zeller on the first offensive play, in order to get that 1,000-point mark out of the way? The 7-footer will become the NCAA-leading 64th Tar Heel to record quadruple scoring digits in his career – after coming up one point short during Tuesday’s victory.

Other things to keep an eye on tonight:

INTENSITY

Long Beach State might sound like one of UNC’s normal December gimme games, but think again. The 49ers are road-tested, having won at Pitt, and played at the likes of Louisville and Kansas already this season. They boast a veteran team, quick guards – and last season in the Smith Center, they made a run at the Tar Heels, scoring 57 points in the second half. UNC won 96-91, but it marked only the third time in the Roy Williams era that a foe has scored 90 or more points, but Carolina still prevailed. The Tar Heels will need to be on their toes.

JAMES MICHAEL MCADOO

It didn’t get much attention, but the freshman forward tied his career high with 10 points, in 16 minutes, against Evansville. He also pulled down 5 rebounds and recorded 2 steals. Williams is trying to use this homestand to give some reserves some more minutes, and as McAdoo grows more comfortable, look for his stats to grow, as well.

P.J. HAIRSTON’S HEALTH

The freshman sharpshooter has scored in double figures in three of his past five games (and the other two, he left early after spraining his left wrist, and right ankle, respectively). After hurting his ankle Tuesday, he did not practice Wednesday. UNC was off Thursday, but Hairston practiced Friday and felt good, a team spokesman said.

Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.