UNC Basketball: Joel James Cleared to Play


The North Carolina Tar Heels have a huge game against in-state rivals North Carolina State this Saturday. It’s critical for the Tar Heels to beat the Wolfpack to have a quality win on their tournament resume. Things may have gotten a bit easier for the Heels on Saturday.

Jan 26, 2013; Raleigh, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Lorenzo Brown (2) attempts to steal the ball from North Carolina Tar Heels forward Joel James (0) during the second half at PNC Arena. North Carolina State won 91-83. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Head coach Roy Williams announced earlier today during a press conference that 6’10”, 260 pound freshman forward Joel James has been medically cleared to play on Saturday. However that doesn’t mean he will play. Coach Williams said that his conditioning could keep him benched on Saturday. That big size that is a benefit on defense has hurt his playing time.

James has been sidelined for the last three consecutive games after suffering a concussion a couple of weeks ago against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons.

James is averaging just over ten minutes per game. The big man scoring average is 2.7 points per game and 2.9 rebounds per game.

He is a key figure on defense for the Tar Heels off of the bench and his size will come to their advantage when guarding CJ Leslie.