College Basketball Notebook
The college basketball notebook …
CHAPEL HILL ó Marcus Ginyard’s slow recovery from preseason foot surgery has become a frustrating issue for third-ranked North Carolina.
The senior swingman missed the first 11 games and played sparingly in the next three before sitting out the Tar Heels’ rout of College of Charleston on Wednesday night. Coach Roy Williams said Ginyard is not playing or practicing at full speed, adding Friday that he is considering “holding him out” for a while to focus on rehabilitating his left foot.
“I’m very ó you pick the adjective ó frustrated, concerned,” Williams said Friday. “I just thought, and Marcus thought, he would be farther along at this step.”
Ginyard’s absence is a key loss for the Tar Heels (14-1, 0-1) heading into Sunday’s critical ACC matchup against fourth-ranked Wake Forest. He is the team’s top defender and veteran leader, and is versatile enough that he played four positions last season. He had surgery in October to repair a stress fracture in the foot, an injury that was supposed to keep him sidelined for about eight weeks.
Coach Sidney Lowe finally is getting his injured players back on the court for North Carolina State.
Lowe said Friday that banged-up guards Courtney Fells, Javi Gonzalez and Trevor Ferguson expect to play in the Wolfpack’s ACC opener at No. 12 Clemson.
Fells and Gonzalez have been battling ankle injuries, while Ferguson broke the ring finger on his left hand last month against Marquette.
Lowe said Farnold Degand will start at the point today, but he expects to play multiple point guards simultaneously against the Tigers’ high-pressure defense.
Unbeaten Clemson is forcing more than 18 turnovers per game. Lowe said Gonzalez and freshman Julius Mays also would see time because “with three being able to handle the ball, we’re going to need that.”
UNDEFEATEDThere are just three teams left with a chance at Division I’s first unbeaten season since Indiana in 1976.
No. 1 Pittsburgh (14-0), No. 4 Wake Forest (13-0) and No. 12 Clemson (15-0) were the last three yet to lose when unranked Illinois State dropped to 14-1 with a 56-52 loss at Bradley on Tuesday.
It’s certain one of those three won’t make it since Wake Forest and Clemson have a home-and-home series in the ACC.
In 2006-07, Clemson didn’t lose until its 18th game.
The Big East is the talk of the poll this week with a record nine teams in the Top 25.
Don’t forget, however, to throw the ACC some rankings respect.With No. 2 Duke, No. 3 North Carolina and No. 4 Wake Forest, the ACC has three teams in the top five for the 34th time since the AP poll began in 1949.
The last time the ACC had three in the top five was the final poll of 2004-05, when North Carolina was No. 2, Duke No. 3 and Wake Forest No. 5.
Maryland expected to begin ACC play with an eight-game winning streak, an unblemished record at home and the confidence that comes with going 41 straight days without a defeat.
Now, after an ugly 66-65 defeat against Morgan State, the Terrapins enter today’s league opener against Georgia Tech shrouded in uncertainty.
Maryland (11-3) shot 36 percent, went 1-for-14 from 3-point range and committed 21 turnovers. Worse, the Terrapins blew a 14-point lead in the final 12 minutes in falling at home to a MEAC team that came in with a 5-8 record.
“We lost a game we shouldn’t have,” said Eric Hayes, who went 1-for-7 from the floor.
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