As North Carolina and N.C. State await medical results on their starting wing guards today, the chemistry on both teams could change substantially.
State is hoping for positive news on C.J. Williams’ right shoulder, and UNC is awaiting a report on Dexter Strickland’s knee.
Williams, a senior from Fayetteville, missed the final nine or so minutes in Thursday’s 76-62 win over Boston College.
With a game at Miami on Saturday, the Wolfpack’s situation is far more urgent than Carolina’s. The Heels don’t play again until State visits on Thursday.
Aside from being the team leader, Williams gives the Pack a big wing (6-5, 224), who may be the most versatile on-ball defender in the ACC.
If he has to miss time, Mark Gottfried’s primary rotation would be down to six players and could lead to Lorenzo Brown going to the wing with 5-10 Alex Johnson running the point.
Coupled with C.J. Leslie's chronic cramping problems, the Pack is living on the edge physically.
UNC backcourt could face shakeup
If the Tar Heels learn that Strickland will be sidelined for a significant amount of time after suffering a knee injury in Thursday’s win at Virginia, there will be pressure on subs Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston to step up.
But the ramifications of a Strickland injury also include the point-guard situation since another backup would have to be found for starter Kendall Marshall.
The likely choice would be little used freshman Stillman White, who played only one minute in the 82-68 win at Virginia Tech.
White has limited size _ 6 feet, 160 pounds _ and even more limited experience. He’s played in 15 games but has almost entirely in mop-up duty.
The only other possibility for Roy Williams probably would be senior Justin Watts (6-5, 210), who would help the defense a lot more than the playmaking.
Marshall is averaging roughly 31 minutes but went 37 minutes at VT.