Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Injuries mounting for N.C. State

Junior guard Courtney Fells collapsed to the floor in obvious pain against N.C. Central on Wednesday night, shortening an already injury-riddled N.C. State roster.

Fells suffered a sprained right ankle and was on crutches after the game. If he can’t play Saturday at North Carolina, the Wolfpack could be without two players who began the season as starters plus a key reserve against the No. 1 team in the nation.

A torn knee ligament ended starting point guard Farnold Degand’s season on Dec. 23 against Cincinnati. Reserve forward Dennis Horner has missed the last two games with a high ankle sprain and could miss several more games.

Facing fast-breaking North Carolina without two starting guards would be a tall task. The Tar Heels will pressure N.C. State’s guards and force the Wolfpack to get back quickly in transition.

“That’s a concern with the injuries we have right now,” said coach Sidney Lowe.

North Carolina has lost backup guard Bobby Frasor to a season-ending injury. But the Tar Heels aren’t nearly as battered as N.C. State entering Saturday’s meeting, and they almost certainly are the better team even when both teams are at full strength. – Ken Tysiac