Antonio Barton

Antonio Barton no longer in boot, could be back for postseason

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Some good news on the injury front for Memphis, and it comes in time for the stretch run.

According to a report from Jon Rothstein, guard Antonio Barton’s broken right foot is out of a walking boot and he could be ready for the Conference USA Tournament, said Tigers’ coach Josh Pastner.

Barton, a 6-2 junior, has missed the last four games after injuring the foot in the early minutes of the Tigers’ 89-76 victory at Southern Miss. He’s averaging 6.4 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.2 assists so far this season.

It’s a bit of good news for Memphis, who haven’t sorely missed Barton in his absence. They’ve won all four games he’s missed and scored at least 80 points in three of them, including a 93-71 route of UCF in the game after Barton went down.

Where they have been missing him is at the defensive end. He averages a steal per game and is tasked with guarding the top or second-best guard for the opposition when he’s healthy. They haven’t had much of an issue with that recently, but will need him when they get into the NCAA Tournament.

Every team wants to be healthy entering the postseason, when the legs get weary and fatigue becomes a major issue. Depth matters more. Joe Jackson and Chris Crawford are performing well and Barton will just be a welcome piece coming back into the fold for a team that could be the lone bid out of C-USA.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten

North Carolina to wear black jerseys December 19 vs. UCLA

UNC Athletic Communications
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While there have been some alterations made to North Carolina’s basketball uniforms over the years, there haven’t been too many drastic shifts. Of course there was the move to the Alexander Julian-designed argyle print during the 1990’s, and there were also those jerseys in 1999 that had the interlocking “NC” logo as opposed to “North Carolina” on the front.

Friday the program announced a major uniform change for its game against UCLA December 19 in Brooklyn. North Carolina will be wearing black jerseys for the first time in school history. Senior guard Marcus Paige showed off the new look to his teammates, and it’s safe to say that they’re happy with the new uniforms.

Traditionalists probably won’t like the uniforms, and that’s fine. Changes such as these tend to focus more on the younger crowd (especially recruits), which in some instances like the status that can come with having something that’s both new and exclusive.

Villanova forward to undergo hip surgery

Jay Wright
Associated Press
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Two-time defending Big East champion Villanova will be down a man in its front court, as the program announced Friday that freshman forward Tim Delaney will undergo hip surgery. According to the release a torn labrum in Delaney’s left hip is the reason for the surgery, and it has yet to be determined how long the freshman will be sidelined.

“I’m disappointed for Tim,” Villanova head coach Jay Wright said in the release. “Tim had a great summer and preseason. He’s a very coachable young man and was picking up everything we do. The good news is that the doctors tell us this is an injury that can be fixed and we know Tim will be fully committed to his rehab.”

Villanova’s front court rotation will be led by senior Daniel Ochefu, who averaged 9.2 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game in 2014-15. Junior Darryl Reynolds and sophomore Kris Jenkins will also see minutes in the front court, with redshirt freshman guard/forward Mikal Bridges factoring into the competition as well.

Villanova also has Fordham transfer Eric Paschall, but he isn’t eligible to compete in games this season.