NCAA BK

Sun, Nov 11, 2012 - 2:30 PM ET
Game Preview
 

FAU-North Carolina Preview

Share This Story

   
 

North Carolina coach Roy Williams knows his players might struggle at times but remains confident as long as they continue to show improvement.

Despite an overall easy season-opening victory, the No. 11 Tar Heels hope to please Williams with a more complete effort Sunday against Florida Atlantic.

With four starters from last season's ACC regular-season champion team now in the NBA, North Carolina overcame 18 turnovers, 1-of-12 shooting from 3-point range and 9-of-19 at the free-throw line to beat Gardner-Webb 76-59 on Friday. James Michael McAdoo set career highs with 26 points and 14 rebounds while Dexter Strickland scored 13 for the Tar Heels, who are expected to challenge North Carolina State and Duke for ACC prominence.

"I was disappointed in how we played, but I'm not disappointed in my team," Williams said. "I think it was a good night for us, and I think we learned a lot. We need to be better on Sunday."

Williams appears willing to deal with poor shooting and carelessness in these more favorable matchups as long his team learns from its mistakes to prevent them from happening against tougher competition. His players certainly understand they are far from perfect.

"I think we still need to do a better job," Strickland told the Tar Heels' official website. "We still have some areas we need to go over and get better at in practice, and we have a lot of work to do but I think we have come a long way."

While the Tar Heels had their issues on the offensive end, they proved too much for Gardner-Webb while forcing 22 turnovers, outrebounding the Bulldogs 48-32 and holding them to 40.0 percent shooting, including 6 of 22 from beyond the arc.

McAdoo, a sophomore, appears ready to make the most of his opportunity as a starter after he averaged 6.1 points and 3.9 rebounds almost entirely as a reserve behind big men Tyler Zeller and John Henson in 2011-12.

"It was a dream come true just to see that I'm out there and have that responsibility," said McAdoo, who went 10 of 12 from the field. "I feel like now I know what I'm capable of doing. Last year I was just going out there just trying to find a loose ball here and there and fit in. This year I'm embracing my role."

Having a senior like Strickland running the offense also should help young players like McAdoo and freshman guard Marcus Paige adjust to their roles as starters. Strickland went 5 of 8 from the field and recorded three steals in his first action since he suffered a torn ACL against Virginia Tech on Jan. 19.

Looking for its 76th straight home victory over an unranked, non-conference opponent, North Carolina faces Florida Atlantic for the first time since a 105-52 win Dec. 19, 2006. This contest is part of the Maui Invitational which continues on the Hawaiian island Nov. 19-21.

The Owls head into their opener counting on production from senior guard Greg Gantt, who averaged a team-high 14.0 points for last season's team that finished 11-19.

Florida Atlantic is in the midst of 10-game skid against Top 25 opponents dating to an 83-81 win at No. 11 Oklahoma State on Dec. 1, 1998.

Tagged: North Carolina, Florida, Florida Atlantic, Dexter Strickland

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..