Wednesday, February 12, 2014
McAdoo and Paige lead UNC hot streak
By Ryan Feldman
Duke and North Carolina enter Wednesday's matchup as two of the hottest teams in college basketball.
Since January 21 (the last three weeks), Duke and North Carolina are No. 1 and No.2, respectively, in BPI.
UNC has been terrific in its last five games, averaging nearly 16 more points per game and 18 more points per 100 possessions compared to its first five conference games.
Much of the improvement has to do with the improved play of James Michael McAdoo and Marcus Paige.
JAMES MICHAEL McADOO
McAdoo is averaging 17 points and eight rebounds per game in his last five games.
McAdoo has especially improved on post-up plays. He's shooting 46 percent on post-ups in his last five games compared to 39 percent in his first 18 games.
McAdoo has been much more active moving around on offense lately, cutting to the basket three times as often in his last five games compared to his first 18 games.
In the first 18 games, he was averaging just 1.5 plays per game cutting to the basket, which represented 10 percent of his offensive plays and 1.3 points per game. In his last 5 games, McAdoo is averaging 4.6 cut plays per game, which represents 26 percent of his offensive plays and four points per game.
Paige has been a more efficient half-court scorer in his last five games. During that span, he's shooting 47 percent on half-court plays compared to 38 percent in his first 18 games.
Paige has especially improved on jump shots. He's shooting 47 percent on jumpers in his last five games, compared to 37 percent in his first 18 games.
On catch-and-shoot jumpers, Paige is shooting 53 percent in his last five games after shooting 36 percent in his first 18 games.
Not only has Paige been more efficient as a scorer, but also as a distributor. He's averaging about two more assists per game with a 2.7 assist-to-turnover ratio over his last five games.
UNC freshman Kennedy Meeks leads the ACC in defensive rebound percentage. But he's only playing 16 minutes per game. Meeks has double-digit rebounds in two of his last four games.
Meeks is also fifth in the ACC in offensive rebound percentage.
KEYS FOR UNC
North Carolina leads the ACC with 10 post-up points per game, so getting the ball down low could be a key for the Tar Heels.
Limiting Duke’s transition points will also be a key. The Tar Heels lead the ACC in transition defense, allowing 0.90 points per play and 41 percent shooting.