Martino Brock, Kevin Ware

Pitino: Kevin Ware “isn’t coming back anytime soon”

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A bit of news out of the postgame press conference after the Louisville/Pittsburgh game.

It was announced before the game that, along with swingman Wayne Blackshear who was out with a shoulder injury, sophomore guard Kevin Ware would not play in Monday night’s game.

Well, there’s not much clarification to the situation, at least not yet. But we did hear it was a suspension prior to the game.

Now I guess we can label that suspension “indefinite”.

Coach Rick Pitino told reporters after the game that Ware won’t be on the court anytime in the near future.

Ware, who missed the first semester of his freshman year due to academic issues, is averaging 3.8 points, 1.5 rebounds and hitting 43.1 percent of his shots this season.

The 6-2 Ware has mainly been a defensive presence this season, with his long frame and ability to step into either guard spot, defensively, and not allow any slippage in the press. Prior to the season, Pitino told reporters he was focusing Ware more at the two-guard spot than at point guard, where he got a limited amount of burn at the end of last season.

No one knows at the moment what he did, but it was enough to get nailed to the bench for the time being. He wasn’t even on the bench at Monday’s game and wasn’t seen postgame, according to reports.

It’s a hit to the guard depth for a team that prides itself on being at least two deep at every position.

David Harten is the founder of The Backboard Chronicles. Follow him on Twitter at @David_Harten.

Marcus Paige, Joel Berry lead No. 9 North Carolina past No. 2 Maryland

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — He’s back.

For the first time this season — and for the first time in more than a year that he hasn’t been hampered with some kind of foot or ankle injury — Marcus Paige donned a North Carolina jersey, and it didn’t take him long to find the form that made him the Preseason National Player of the Year.

On the first Tar Heel possession, Paige came off of a ball-screen, drove the lane and found Kennedy Meeks at the rim for a layup. Not 30 seconds later, he came off of a down screen and buried a three. Paige would finish with 20 points and five assists as No. 9 North Carolina put together a fairly resounding win over No. 2 Maryland in the Dean Dome on Tuesday night, winning 89-81.

Paige finished 7-for-12 from the floor and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, hitting a number of threes in the second half that helped hold off a Maryland push sparked by their own all-american point guard, Melo Trimble.

Trimble was erratic early on, committing three turnovers in the first six minutes and eight on the night, but it was his play at the end of the first half and early second half that kept North Carolina from blowing their doors. At one point, Maryland was down 32-19 and in danger of getting run out of Tobacco Road.

In total, Trimble finished with 23 points and 12 assists, hitting four big threes during that stretch. He either scored or assisted on 11 of Maryland’s first 12 second half field goals.

As good as Paige was, the bigger story may actually be Joel Berry II. He took two dumb threes in the first half — which played a role in Maryland being able to make this a game — and he missed a few free throws late, but overall he was terrific. He finished with 14 points and five assists, making 3-of-5 threes and turning the ball over just twice. He’s clearly beat Nate Britt out at the point guard spot, and his ability to take pressure off of Paige as a secondary ball-handler and playmaker is huge.

(More to come from Chapel Hill…)

VIDEO: Melo Trimble drops Nate Britt with a crossover

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North Carolina is hosting No. 2 Maryland in a heated contest in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Terps sophomore guard Melo Trimble is playing very well and part of his performance was dropping North Carolina’s Nate Britt with a crossover in the second half.

(H/T: The Cauldron)