Sadly for the North Carolina Tar Heels fanbase, a down year for them just got a little worse. North Carolina head coach Roy Williams announced the team would be without freshman Joel James as they take on the Duke Blue Devils Wednesday night.
As far as anyone can tell, or can see, James suffered a blow to the head in their game against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons last Tuesday. James, who suffered concussion-like symptoms until yesterday, is a rotational player for the Tar Heels that has played sporadically all season but there is still some high hopes for the freshman.
As for Williams, here are his thoughts on the injury:
“We found out basically just yesterday that evidently Joel took a blow to the head in the Wake Forest game, and has been having pretty severe headaches. And they did some tests and found out that — I think I’ll say this right — that he’s concussed. That means that he’s had a concussion. So he did not practice yesterday, he will not practice today nor play tomorrow.”
Obviously it is important that Williams is taking something as a concussion seriously. However, it is still another blow to a North Carolina team who has battled through injuries all season. The thought was not lost on forward James Michael McAdoo:
“I feel like throughout this season, we’ve been faced with numerous situations where P.J. [Hairston] was hurt one game or a couple games, Reggie [Bullock] has been out, Marcus [Paige] earlier in the season. I think it just really helps [motivate] us internally. To know that there’s one less guy that’s going to be out there fighting with us, it just helps us focus even more.”
Being that their game is against the Duke Blue Devils, you can throw records and talent out the window and (hopefully) expect a battle of bitter rivals.
Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone