Forward injures thumb in practice

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina forward David Noel tore
ligaments in his right thumb and is expected to be out six to eight

Noel, a 6-foot-6 sophomore, injured the thumb in practice Tuesday,
coach Roy Williams said.

"I am so disappointed for David and our team," Williams said
Wednesday. "David worked hard in the offseason to develop his
all-around game and that work had shown well in his play in the
first weeks of practice."

Noel played in all 35 games last season, averaging 5.9 points
and 3.5 rebounds. Noel was the only regular to shoot better than 50
percent from the field.

Noel had career-bests of 21 points and 12 rebounds against
DePaul in the first round of the NIT.