LAHAINA, Hawaii — Despite scoring 16 points during North Carolina's semifinal win over Oregon on Tuesday, Tyler Hansbrough is questionable to play in the Maui Invitational championship against Notre Dame on Wednesday night.
“Any decision on whether Tyler plays tomorrow night will be made during warm-ups,’’ coach Roy Williams said. “… If he has any pain in his ankle, we probably won’t play him; if he doesn’t, we probably will play him.”
Hansbrough missed the first two games of the season with a stress reaction in his right shin, made his season debut last Friday at UC Santa Barbara, then sat out Monday's first round game against Chaminade partially because of a "tweaked" left ankle. (Williams was also worried about playing him three straight days because of the shin.)
“I feel good; it feels good to get back out there and get in the groove of things,” Hansbrough said after playing 19 minutes against the Ducks. “Conditioning, I’m a little out of shape. But that will come, the more I play, the more I practice. My ankle, I felt it a little bit, but overall, I felt pretty good.”
WALK-ONS GET SOME PT: UNC fans in the crowd began a familiar chant of "We want biscuits!" after Williams inserted the walk-ons with 3:30 left. The Tar Heels didn't quite reach the 100-point mark needed for last year's Bojangles promotion. But Patrick Moody made 2 of 3 shots and scored six points — after getting only five all of last season.
FAMILIAR UNIS: For the second straight game, Oregon donned special uniforms for the Maui Invitational. This time they were white, with green Hawaiian flowers printed in a bright yellow stripe down the left side of the Ducks’ shorts. The flower motif was also copied on the toes of their black and yellow high tops.
UNC, like Oregon, is outfitted by Nike, but Jerod Haase, Carolina’s director of basketball operations, said the company did not approach the Tar Heels about tweaking their uniforms for the tournament — although they did wear Hawaiian style white and Carolina blue T-shirts during warm-ups and on the bench. (Oregon had the same shirts, only with green print.)
COZY ATMOSPHERE: The fun part of playing Maui isn’t just the beach and warm weather, but the cozy size of 2,400-seat Lahaina Civic Center; there’s not a bad seat for the fans, and for the players and coaches, it’s like being in high school again.
“I even liked it better before they put in air conditioning because it made me feel like I was in an old gym, playing and coaching,’’ UNC’s Roy Williams said before the tournament.
GOOD D: Oregon shot only 21.2 percent in the first half.
"We talked about it defensively in not giving them open looks and not go flying through the air, and the other thing was to finish defensively with great rebounding," Williams said. "I think we out-rebounded them 58-33 and that was huge for us as well.