CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Will North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes play at Maryland on Saturday? It depends how things work out during Friday afternoon’s workout, coach Roy Williams said.
“I won’t know everything until after practice today, and I shouldn’t say ‘everything,’ because if it swells up again after practice, I won’t know that until late, after we get up to Maryland,’’ Williams said during his Friday news conference. “But I expect him to be able to go a little bit today; he said it was feeling a heck of a lot better yesterday.”
Barnes, sixth-ranked UNC's leading scorer, sprained his left ankle when he was running up the court during the first half of Tuesday’s win at Wake Forest. He ended up returning to the game, and played 15 minutes in the second half, finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds.
The ankle swelled up Wednesday, Williams said, and the sophomore was on crutches for part of the morning. X-rays that day were negative, and Barnes did not practice Thursday (the team had Wednesday off).
Asked how confident he was that the starting small forward would be able to play against the Terps, Williams said: “I’m confident -- but it makes no difference. If he gets out there today and it’s hurting, he’s not going to play.”
Williams added that he was impressed with the way Barnes “gutted it out” at Wake Forest. “He’s shown some toughness in several situations, and that was one of them, because he was not very comfortable, but he did some good things for us.”
Earlier this season, against UNLV in Las Vegas, Barnes left the arena on crutches after spraining his right ankle. Four days later, he was in the starting lineup, and scored 20 points.
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