UNC faces East Tennessee State tonight after a week off since their last contest against UAB. Before that North Carolina had an exhausting start to their schedule playing in seven games over the 18 games from November 9th through the 27th that left them a bit beat up.
PJ Hairston missed the Indiana game after he sprained his knee in practice. Reggie Bullock suffered a contusion of the fingers on his right hand after Cody Zeller stepped on it going for a loose ball. And finally freshman point guard Marcus Paige suffered a “jammed” shoulder at Friday’s practice and missed the game against UAB.
The Tar Heels have a lot to work on, especially on the defensive end of the court. Having their best players on the court is imperative to building the chemistry this team so obviously lacks on the court. The roster needs to jell, head coach Roy Williams needs to figure out his best options with the rotation and this only happens when the team is at full strength with everybody in uniform and able to play.
With all that in mind I believe unless all of the injured players are at 100% they need to sit tonight in a game against a vastly inferior team that is also short handed due to injuries and suspensions. Carolinas third string could likely pull out a win and that’s not what it’s all about. These games are about improving as a team and finding an identity. More importantly, this team must be healthy when the games really start to matter. Unlike last season this is not a roster that can absorb any major injuries.