With the fall semester classes over and finals week underway, North Carolina plays host to East Tennessee State of the Atlantic Sun Conference. Tip-off Saturday at the Smith Center is set for 7:30 pm and will be televised online by ESPN3.
North Carolina (6-2) vs. East Tennessee State (2-4)
Chapel Hill, N.C. -- Dean E. Smith Center
Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
ESPN3 (Mike Gleason, Paul Biancardi)
"We are really facing a tough situation right now without Petey. McClain. And really, it's not fair for us to ask Rashawn [Rembert] to go out there and play point guard. It would be like asking a tight end to go play quarterback." -- ETSU head coach Murry Bartow following his team's loss to James Madison on Wednesday
Season to Date: East Tennessee State enters Saturday's contest with a 2-4 overall record. The Bucs lost their opener to Virginia Tech, 80-62, and their fourth game to Georgia, 54-38. Head coach Murry Bartow's squad also dropped games to Tennessee Tech and James Madison, while picking up wins against Charleston Southern and Milligan.
Point Guard Out: Freshman Petey McClain sat out Wednesday's game at James Madison due to an ankle injury and is listed as doubtful for Saturday's contest in Chapel Hill. The Mobile, Ala. native has been effective running the team, averaging 4.0 points and 3.4 assists per game in his five college outings. James Madison took advantage of McClain's absence with a full court press that resulted in 18 turnovers and a 25-point victory. Off guard Rashawn Rembert handled the point guard duties against the Dukes.
Roster Shakeup: The Bucs totaled 17 wins and posted a 10-8 record in the Atlantic Sun last season, but there's been very little carryover to this season. ETSU graduated a trio of seniors in Adam Sollazzo, Isiah Brown and Tommy Hubbard that combined for 3,091 career points and dismissed its top two returning scorers in Sheldon Cooley and Marcus Dubose for violating team rules. Add in injuries to McClain and senior guard Jarvis Hones and the Bucs are down to seven scholarship players against North Carolina. Forwards John Walton (5.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg) and Hunter Harris (7.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg) have assumed some of load.
Stat Crunch: ETSU is shooting 39.3 percent from the floor this season, including a 34.2 percent effort from 3-point territory. Despite allowing opponents to shoot 44.0 percent, the Bucs have managed to stay on the positive side of the turnover (plus-0.8) and rebounding margins (plus-0.7).
Random Fact of the Day: Georgia and Milligan combined for just one free throw attempt in back-to-back games against the Bucs. The Bulldogs missed their lone attempt.
Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Bucs, 118-65, at the Dean E. Smith Center on Feb. 18, 1987.
Series History: UNC leads the series with ETSU, 5-0.
(Photos by US Presswire)