Remember when North Carolina's frontcourt was going to be the strength of its team? With sophomore Ed Davis out for six weeks — essentially, the rest of the season — with a broken bone on his left wrist, the Tar Heels are going to be scrambling for big bodies when they play N.C. State on Saturday.
Reserve 7-footer Tyler Zeller, who has already been sidelined five weeks with a broken bone in his right foot, isn't due to return until the end of next week at the earliest. Reserve freshman forward Travis Wear is still out with a severely sprained ankle and will not play against the Wolfpack.
That leaves normal starter Deon Thompson at one slot in the post, David Wear or John Henson (who has recently moved from small forward to power forward) starting in the other slot, and Will Graves (usually the starting small forward) to fill in.
The Tar Heels enter Saturday's game with the Wolfpack on a four-game losing streak and a 2-7 record in the ACC.
Davis will be the seventh UNC player this season to miss at least one game because of injury. In addition to Zeller and Travis Wear, senior Marcus Ginyard missed four games because of a sore foot, then sprained ankle, freshman Dexter Strickland missed a game because of a hamstring injury and Graves and reserve sophomore Justin Watts each missed a game because of sprained ankles.