CHAPEL HILL -- Several North Carolina basketball players said it will take the entire team to replace what it will be missing from Marcus Ginyard (above) for the next couple of months — defense, rebounding, leadership.
But it will begin with senior Danny Green (right).
Coach Roy Williams said during Friday’s practice-opening media day that Green is the leading contender to replace Ginyard, who had foot surgery earlier this month. Ginyard was on crutches and in a cast Friday, hopes to be in a walking boot Monday, and should return in December.
“If we had to play a game today, I’d start Danny,’’ Williams said.
In Ginyard, he said, "you’re losing your best defender, a guy who gets more little cheap baskets, offensive rebounds, steals than anyone else on your club. You guys as writers, and us as coaches, always like to talk about somebody that does all the little things, all the dirty work and that kind of thing, so you’re missing somebody to do that early.
"But hopefully over the course of this time where he’s rehabbing and getting healthy, he might be able to sit back and look and maybe even gain something out of it.”
Green, one of the top sixth men in the country last season, has started only one game in his career. But he said he’s ready to fill the starting role, if he’s called upon. UNC opens the regular season Nov. 15 vs. Penn.
“It might be a little different; it’s something I’ve never really done before,’’ Green said. “It’s just making an adjustment. I’ve been coming off the bench and giving a spark, and now I just have to, if I do start, adjust to playing right off the bat … and be ready to play right away.”
LOOKING FOR ANOTHER YEAR: Senior guard Bobby Frasor said he is “still in the process” of applying for a fifth year of eligibility. He tore his ACL during the 12th game of last season, and was sidelined for the rest of the season.
“I just recently submitted my letter again, with my parents’ letter, to the NCAA,’’ he said. “I’m sure if I went to a D-II, D-III school, I would have another year in college. But since I’m at such a prime school, in the spotlight, I’m sure they’re going to take special consideration with my case.”
Under NCAA rules, a player who has participated in less than 30 percent of a team’s regular season games is eligible for a medical redshirt. UNC played 31 regular-season games in 2007-08, so another season of eligibility may be a long shot.
THE NUMBERS GAME: Freshmen are not allowed to talk to the media before they play in a regular-season game, so UNC’s new quartet shot baskets and watched the interviews Friday.
Forward Ed Davis will wear jersey No. 32; point guard Larry Drew II — who has “Drew II” on the back of his jersey — is No. 11; guard Justin Watts is No. 24; and forward Tyler Zeller is No. 44.
-- Robbi Pickeral
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