The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday January 31st

Meeks’ status unknown for Thursday men's basketball game

The sophomore forward sprained his left knee.

<p>Sophomore forward Kennedy Meeks injures his knee toward the end of the second half during Saturday's win over Arkansas.</p>
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Sophomore forward Kennedy Meeks injures his knee toward the end of the second half during Saturday's win over Arkansas.

“We’ll just have to wait and see,” said Williams of Meeks’ status on the radio show. “They’re not completely ruling him out, and they’re not saying that he can play. Let me say it that way: I don’t think we’ll have him, but we’ll just have to wait and see.”

Meeks left UNC’s eventual win over Arkansas Saturday with three minutes and 15 seconds left in the game and did not return. He scored nine points and grabbed four rebounds in 15 minutes. That night, he was diagnosed with a sprained knee and was scheduled to have an MRI on Sunday.

“If he doesn’t practice (Monday), he can still play,” Williams had said during his press conference before the beginning of practice. “If he doesn’t practice Wednesday, it’ll be hard to play on Thursday.”

Williams said he saw Meeks walking on campus on the way to class Monday. Meeks told him that he felt better than he had on Saturday, when he heard his knee pop.

“I didn’t see the play,” said Williams of when Meeks went down under the basket.

“With this, I had no information, but he was very concerned.

“I didn’t feel good because I didn’t think we’d get him back the rest of the game, but I felt at that time that it wasn’t similar to what Desmond (Hubert) did, and it wasn’t similar to what Sasha (Seymore) did.”

Seymore and Hubert both tore their ACLs earlier in the season.

If Meeks doesn’t play Thursday against Wisconsin, UNC will in part have to reevaluate how it defends 7-foot Wisconsin forward Frank Kaminsky, a preseason All-American and a Wooden Award finalist.

Kaminsky averages 18.4 points per game and 8.1 rebounds. He shoots 55.6 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from 3.

“It’s hard to guard Frank because he’s really good with the ball, (and) he’s really good without the ball,” Williams said. “There’s not one guy that I look at and say, ‘Oh yeah, he can guard Frank,’ because I haven’t found that guy. If you’re just thinking about matchups, that’s the most difficult matchup by far.”

Junior guard Marcus Paige said Meeks also told him he was feeling better. But the uncertainty still lingers for Meeks, who averages 11.6 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.

“It is kind of weird to not know what you have going into the game,” Paige said. “We’re really hopeful we’ll get him. Wisconsin’s team has a lot of size, and we’d like to have Kennedy. He’s been really big for us all year.”

sports@dailytarheel.com



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