Indiana looks to take page out of Butler’s book in matchup vs. UNC
By Andy Proffet Post-Tribune correspondent November 26, 2012 11:12PM
North Carolina's James Michael McAdoo (43) drives to the basket against Florida Atlantic during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012. North Carolina won 80-56. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
Updated: December 28, 2012 6:24AM
BLOOMINGTON — There won’t be any time for either team to celebrate a big play when No. 1 Indiana hosts No. 14 North Carolina tonight in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.
Both teams want to run.
“All five guys (for North Carolina) are going to run the court as hard as they can every possession, so we can’t take one possession off,” Cody Zeller said. “We can’t celebrate a nice play, because they’ll be scoring in two seconds down on the other end.
“That’s what they’ve always done, and that’s what they do this year.”
The key for the Hoosiers (6-0) will be to find a happy medium against the Tar Heels (5-1).
“We just have to slow down their offense, and then once we get the ball, we want to push it up,” Zeller said. “I think it will be a fast-paced game, but we can’t let them score as quickly as they want to on offense.”
That was a key in North Carolina’s 82-71 loss to Butler a week ago in the Maui Invitational. The Tar Heels took just 25 first-half shots and trailed 35-18 at halftime. In their other five games, the Tar Heels took at least 32 first-half shots and led at the break in each one.
“Butler got off to a great start,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said. “They were very physical with them, they made shots and they did a really good job in transition.
“(But) it truly is never over until it’s over. They are one of the great teams at coming back.”
Offense shouldn’t be a problem for either team. The Hoosiers are fourth in the nation, averaging 88.7 ppg, while the Tar Heels average 85.3 ppg, good for 10th.
But North Carolina will likely be without third-leading scorer P.J. Hairston. The sophomore guard sprained his left knee in practice on Sunday and is questionable.
There’s still plenty to defend, though, with top scorer James Michael McAdoo and junior Reggie Bullock.
“McAdoo is unlike anything we have seen with his ability to rebound out of the break,” Crean said. “It is never over with their break. If they don’t score quick, if they don’t get a layup or an open 3-pointer, you have to really be able to guard against the second shot because McAdoo is the trailer with a full head of steam.”