In a game where the odds are already heavily against the Tar Heels’ favor, the odds just took another plunge against their favor.
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams spoke in a press conference just moments ago announcing that freshman forward Joel James will not play Wednesday night against No. 2 Duke.
James has reportedly suffered a concussion last week against Wake Forest, the same game where James Michael McAdoo reportedly injured his back.
Joel James did not practice yesterday, and will not practice or play today and tomorrow. McAdoo is expected to practice today and play tomorrow night, but with an injury like that, it could get worse for McAdoo against a very physical Duke team with Mason Plumlee.
“I think we’re gonna start Marcus Paige on Plumlee and have him bite him on the kneecaps. we haven’t tried that yet,” coach Williams said during his Tuesday press conference.
Williams is facing tons of public backlish for his starting lineup and lack of giving “better” players (as many fans and analysts) put it, more playing time.
James hasn’t had much of an offensive impact this season yet, but his size is very important when it comes to pressure in the paint. Duke already has the advantage with Mason Plumlee, but now James is injured and McAdoo is nursing a sore back, it will be tough for North Carolina to edge the Blue Devils.
There is no word on when James will return to the court. He will more than likely miss one week just as PJ Hairston did just a few weeks ago after suffering a concussion against Boston College.