John Chaney intends to take a page from Dean Smith's book on Sunday, substituting early to keep North Carolina from wearing down Temple in the NCAA East Regional final.
The top-seeded Tar Heels used 15 players in Friday night's 93-67 victory over Eastern Michigan, and none was on the floor for more than 30 minutes.Chaney used seven players in 10th-seeded Temple's 72-63 overtime victory over No. 3 Oklahoma State, and all five starters played 40 or more minutes.
"North Carolina puts a lot of fresh, talented players on the floor," Chaney said Saturday. "We were a little fatigued at the end against Oklahoma State, so I feel like I've got to use fresh players early on Sunday, regardless of the score, and not just substitute when a guy's in foul trouble."
Chaney said he wants to "buy some time and stretch our lineup. That could help us in the long haul."
Smith, trying to take North Carolina to the Final Four for the first time since 1982 when the Tar Heels won the national championship, said that his team's depth is overrated.
"We're deeper than Temple, but I don't think the ninth, 10th and 11th guys are going to decide this game," Smith said. "I imagine our last five could beat their last five, but no one is suggesting that as a matchup."
Smith said Chaney's use of a matchup-zone defense "allows him to use just five or six guys."
North Carolina got strong inside-outside production as it broke open a 61-57 game by outscoring Eastern Michigan 32-10 in the final 12:30.
Hubert Davis hit all five of his 3-point attempts and scored 18 points for the Tar Heels, along with 6-foot-10 Pete Chilcutt, who was 8-for-9 from the field. Freshman center Eric Montross scored 17 points on 5-for-7 shooting.
"North Carolina lives in the paint and lives on second shots," Chaney said. "They have so much talent they can keep on the same pace at all times. We play more of a `lay and pray' style instead of run and gun."
Smith said Davis' hot shooting from the perimeter should open the inside up for Chilcutt and Montross.
"The other team is aware that he's shooting so well, so it has to help the inside game," Smith said.
But Smith said he doesn't like to let an opponent's defense dictate what he wants to do offensively.
"We're stubborn," he said. "We don't always take what the defense gives us. We take what we want to take."
Senior Mark Macon scored 26 points for Temple against favored Oklahoma State, eight of them in overtime after the Owls survived a 17-point second half to score 19 points in overtime.
As a freshman, Macon was 6-for-29 from the field in the 1988 East Regional final against Duke, also at the Meadowlands. Chaney said Macon has taken a bad rap from media who may remember Macon only for that game.
"We're not on TV every week like UNLV and North Carolina, and the only time we get on national TV is when we play a team like that," Chaney said. "But when we play great teams, Mark's played great."
Macon, averaging 21.7 points this season, needs 22 against North Carolina to become the 21st player in NCAA history to reach 2,600 for his career.
"People wonder where Mark went," Chaney said. "But if he has regressed as some people say he has, what is it that other coaches know that makes them put two people on him? When he misses 15 shots, he still gets that attention."
When Temple lost to Duke in the 1988 regional final, the Owls were ranked No. 1 in the nation. Now, as a 10th seed in the region, Chaney said the atmosphere is different for the Owls (24-9).
"In '88, there was so many expectations and pressure about being successful," Chaney said. "This year, we weren't expected to be here, so that makes it a little sweeter."