CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina coach Roy Williams said on Monday morning that he will likely hold Harrison Barnes out of most of the Tar Heels’ practice today to allow Barnes more time to rest after he re-injured his sprained left ankle during UNC’s 83-74 victory against Maryland on Saturday.
The Tar Heels host Duke at the Smith Center on Wednesday night.
Barnes said he felt about 60 percent healthy entering the Maryland game on Saturday, but he finished with 18 points and made two important shots during the second half. His 3-pointer from the left side gave UNC the lead for good with about nine minutes to play. Then Barnes made a jumper with about a minute to play that stretched the Heels’ lead to six.
Barnes said he experienced considerable pain during the game, and said it felt like he’d been shot in the ankle. Even so, he was in better shape following the victory at Maryland than he was after the Heels’ victory at Wake Forest last Tuesday, when Barnes originally suffered the ankle injury.
“He had less swelling and less pain after the [Maryland] game than he did after the Wake Forest game,” Williams said.
UNC didn’t practice on Sunday, so Williams hasn’t had a chance to see Barnes in action since Saturday.
“I’m going to probably hold him out quite a bit of practice today to give him to give him another [rest] day and we hope that will help him out,” Williams said.
Barnes said on Saturday that never thought about sitting out the game against Maryland because of his injury. With Duke coming to Chapel Hill, there’s little doubt that Barnes will play on Wednesday night. What his ankle feels like by then, though, is another question.