North Carolina will not have Kendall Marshall for its Sweet 16 game against Ohio Friday night.
Freshman point guard Stilman White will get the start, but expect senior Justin Watts to see plenty of playing time. He’s a superior defender to the true freshman White.
The Tar Heels (31-5) are the Midwest’s No. 1 seed and are double-digit favorites against No. 13 Ohio, the lowest-seeded team remaining in the tournament. With three future NBA lottery picks in the frontcourt — Tyler Zeller, John Henson and Harrison Barnes — the Heels aren’t lacking for talent. Expect them to look for the big guys early and often.
Marshall, who had surgery Monday to repair a fractured right wrist, tweeted his support for the team Friday evening. “We are still Carolina Basketball. #RiseAsOne #PassFir5t.”
White has played a total of 136 minutes this season. Marshall plays about 33 minutes a game.
You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) Tennessee guard Robert Hubbs won’t practice this week after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Tuesday.
The school said in a news release that Hubbs had it done “to address chronic swelling issues that have been present since the preseason.”
No timetable has been set for when Hubbs could return to action, but he is considered doubtful for Tennessee’s next game on Dec. 12 at Butler. Tennessee (4-3) is in the midst of a 13-day break from games, which marks the program’s longest layoff during a season since December 1967.
Hubbs is averaging 15.3 points per game to rank third on the team. The 6-foot-4 junior has scored at least 13 points in each of Tennessee’s seven games.
Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.
The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.
Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.