The nation's top-ranked team will start the season down a player because North Carolina senior Marcus Ginyard had surgery Wednesday to repair a stress fracture in his left foot that is expected to sideline him eight weeks.
Eight weeks from today is Dec. 3 -- meaning Ginyard should miss at least eight games, including the Maui Invitational. It's worth noting the Tar Heels play at Michigan State on Dec. 3 in what should be among their biggest non-league challenges. After that there is a nine-day break in action until North Carolina meets Oral Roberts on Dec. 13.
"You hate this for Marcus because he has worked so hard to get ready for his senior season," coach Roy Williams said in a statement released by the school. "But he decided it was better to have the surgery now and be ready sometime in December than risk a more substantial injury that would knock him out of action later in the season.”
Ginyard averaged 6.9 points and 4.5 rebounds while starting all 39 games last season.
It's expected that Danny Green, the nation's best sixth man, will move into the starting lineup in Ginyard's absence.