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Thursday, November 10, 2011
Laughing at the wind conditions

By Robbi Pickeral

SAN DIEGO -- One of the most-asked questions leading up to Friday’s inaugural Carrier Classic between top-ranked North Carolina and Michigan State is how wind conditions might impact the teams’ shooting.

But Spartans coach Tom Izzo had a good quip for that during today’s news conference: “My guys haven’t shot real well in the exhibition [season],” he said. “I told them to shoot the exact same way, and the wind will blow it in.”

That earned a good laugh from friend and Tar Heels coach Roy Williams, who has stressed that the weather conditions while playing on the flight deck of the USS Carl Vinson is something both teams will have to get used to.

“It’s like a sight mark on a green,’’ Williams quipped back. “They’re always fixing those suckers, but sometimes they’ll knock your ball back on line.”

Actually, outside shooting is a concern for the Tar Heels, who particularly want to improve last season’s 32.8 3-point percentage. But it might be difficult to tell just how much they’ve improved by this particular game. Playing in mammoth arenas with high ceilings, such as domes, tends to reduce shooting percentages -- and the ceiling Friday will be sky high.