Published Tuesday, December 3, 2013 AT 8:19 PM / Updated at 8:19 PM
Women’s basketball: No. 15 Nebraska at No. 18 North Carolina
Sam McKewon Omaha World-Herald

When: 5 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Carmichael Arena, Chapel Hill, N.C.
Radio: 93.3 FM KFFF

NORTH CAROLINA (6-2)
F Stephanie Mavunga, 6-3, Fr., 14.8
F Xylina McDaniel, 6-2, So., 10.5
G Latifah Coleman, 5-9, Jr., 3.1
G Brittany Rountree, 5-9, Jr., 5.1
G Diamond DeShields, 6-1, Fr., 16.8

NEBRASKA (6-1)
F Hailie Sample, 6-1, Jr., 6.1
F Emily Cady, 6-2, Jr., 14.3
F Jordan Hooper, 6-2, Sr., 20.4
G Rachel Theriot, 6-0, So., 12.4
G Tear’a Laudermill, 5-9, Jr., 7.0

Scouting UNC: The Tar Heels have four superstar true freshmen — two starters and two bench players — who average 53.5 of the team’s 86 points per game. All four were top 25 recruits in 2013. The best of them is DeShields, a guard who can elevate, push the floor and get to the rim. She’s also a bit of a ballhog; she takes 17 shots per game, which is a lot for a guard who’s making only 42 percent from the floor. But she’s also dangerous on defense, averaging nearly three steals per game. Freshman forward Allisha Gray comes off the bench to average 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds. She’s also one of UNC’s best 3-point shooters. North Carolina is deep, athletic and willing to use 10 players to wear down opponents. Though the Tar Heels are young, they’re the most talented team Nebraska will play this season, and the Huskers will have to play close to perfectly to pull off the win.

Scouting NU: Nebraska needs much more help from its bench. Four of the 66 shots in a 76-72 loss to Washington State won’t cut it, nor will Hooper taking 40 percent of the team’s shots because other players weren’t assertive enough. A number of NU’s flaws — slow starts, so-so consistency on defense, spotty bench play — were exposed in the loss to the Cougars, and while the Huskers certainly would have preferred to win the game, the lesson will be helpful for North Carolina.

Opening tips: NU leads the series against the Tar Heels 1-0, with a win in the 1995-96 season. … Hooper is second in the Big Ten in rebounding (10.6) and third in scoring while Cady is third in field goal percentage (61.2 percent) and third in rebounding (9.6). ….NU’s average home attendance of 5,946 per game ranks in the top 10 nationally. … Xylina McDaniel is the daughter of former NBA star Xavier McDaniel.

About Sam McKewon

Sam McKewon covers Nebraska football for The World-Herald. Got a tip, question or rant? Good. Email him at sam.mckewon@owh.com. And follow him on Twitter at @swmckewonOWH. And call him at 402.219.3790.