Wednesday, February 6, 2008

LAWSON DOUBTFUL

Roy Williams went to the training room Tuesday morning to see how point guard Ty Lawson was recovering from a sprained left ankle. The answer was enough to give the North Carolina coach reason for concern.

"He walked in the trainer's room on crutches," Williams said, "and I think it's awfully difficult to go from crutches one day to playing against Duke the next day."

Lawson's status has become the biggest variable in the latest matchup of college basketball's most intense rivalry. With a healthy Lawson, the third-ranked Tar Heels can run with their typical zeal and better handle the second-ranked Blue Devils' perimeter pressure. If the speedy sophomore is limited or can't play at all, North Carolina Tar Heels will be a different team.

Lawson missed practice Monday and was unavailable for comment before Tuesday's practice because he was receiving treatment. Afterward, team spokesman Steve Kirschner said Lawson was unable to participate in team drills and managed only some light shooting on his own while wearing an air cast, though he has not been ruled out.

That leaves the Tar Heels with senior Quentin “Q” Thomas, the only active player remaining from the 2005 NCAA championship team, with the job of running the show. He would likely inherit the starting role if Lawson is out with junior swingman Marcus Ginyard also to see time at point against the Blue Devils (19-1, 7-0).

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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