North Carolina will be missing veterans Marcus Ginyard and Will Graves when they take the floor Monday night at College of Charleston.
UNC head coach Roy Williams confirmed during Monday morning's Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball teleconference that neither player would be suiting up.
Ginyard and Graves both have ankle injuries---Ginyard suffered his week before last, while Graves suffered his more recently.
Article Continues Below
"We're struggling a little bit health-wise," said Coach Williams. "Marcus Ginyard is not playing tonight. Will Graves will not play tonight."
This will be the third straight missed game for Ginyard and the fourth overall this season, while it will be the first missed game for Graves, who has started 13 out of UNC's 14 contests.
Entering the starting lineup for the Tar Heels will be a pair of rookies---emerging combo guard Dexter Strickland and either John Henson or David Wear at the 'three' spot.
"More than likely, we'll start two freshmen in those spots," said Williams.
Wear made his first career start late last month, while Henson is still waiting for his first career start as a Tar Heel. The decision will be made in the hours leading up to tipoff.
"Dexter will start at one spot and either John Henson or David Wear will start at the other spot," Williams said. "We haven't made the decision yet as a staff (who will start between Wear and Henson)."
Williams said that the injuries to Ginyard and Graves are severe enough to the extent that they wouldn't play even if Monday night's game was the team's ACC opener.
That particular game is actually scheduled for Sunday in the Smith Center against Virginia Tech, and Williams is hopeful that maybe one if not both of them might be available against the Hokies.
"If we were playing Virginia Tech tonight, neither one of them would play," Williams said. "I think there's a chance by Sunday that one of them could play, but I couldn't even guess which one it would be right now."
As it is, Williams goes into Monday night's tilt against UNC's former ACC nemesis Bobby Cremins and a spirited College of Charleston home crowd without two of his top upperclassmen players, which could make things interesting if the youngsters don't come out ready to play.