By R.L. Bynum
Carolina’s women’s basketball team is facing adversity even before the season begins.
Highly touted freshman Teonni Key and redshirt junior Ariel Young have both suffered knee injuries that have been diagnosed as ACL tears and will miss the entire season. Both will redshirt this season.
Young hurt her left knee during preseason practice and Key injured her right knee during a closed scrimmage at South Carolina last month.
The Tar Heels open Coach Courtney Banghart’s third season at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against North Carolina A&T (ACC Network Extra).
“I’m absolutely heartbroken for both Ariel and Teonni, two very important pieces of our team’s puzzle,” Banghart said. “Both of these athletes have such a genuine love for the game and this program, and both have become huge parts of this team. They have put so much work into their development and training and to be forced to the sideline for the duration of the season is a tough pill to swallow for us all.
“It’s also undoubtedly a huge hit for our team,” Banghart said. “Our collective group is hard at work to fill their void on both sides of the ball. Both AY and Teonni will redshirt and they will attack their rehab in much the same way they have attacked their development plan. We look forward to having them back better than ever.”
Key, a wing from Cary, is a huge part of UNC’s No. 2-ranked freshman class. She is a McDonald’s All-America who was the nation’s No. 9-ranked recruit in the class and was expected to start at the four spot.
Young, a guard from Tallahassee, Fla., averaged 2.4 points in 24 games last season after transferring from Michigan.
|Date||Day, time, TV||Location||Opponent|
|9||Tuesday, 4:30, ACCNX||Home||N.C. A&T|
|14||Sunday, 3:30, ESPN+||Road||Charlotte|
|17||Wednesday, 6, ACCNX||Home||Appalachian State|
|21||X-Sunday, 4:30, ESPN+||Road||TCU|
|26||Y-Friday, TBA||Bimini, Bahamas||VCU or Washington|
|27||Y-Saturday, TBA||Bimini, Bahamas||VCU or Washington|
|1||X-Wednesday, 9, BTN||Road||Minnesota|
|5||Sunday, 2, ACCNX||Home||James Madison|
|12||Sunday, 2, ACCNX||Home||UNC Asheville|
|15||Wednesday, 6, ACCNX||Home||Jacksonville|
|19||Sunday, 2, ACCNX||Road||Boston College|
|21||Tuesday, 1, ACCNX||Home||Alabama State|
|30||Thursday, 6, ACCNX||Home||Syracuse|
|2||Sunday, 6, ACCN||Home||Clemson|
|6||Thursday, 8, ACCN||Road||N.C. State|
|9||Sunday, 6, ACCN||Home||Virginia Tech|
|16||Sunday, 1, RSN||Road||Notre Dame|
|20||Thursday, 6, ACCNX||Home||Virginia|
|23||Sunday, noon, ACCN||Road||Georgia Tech|
|27||Thursday, 7, ACCNX||Road||Duke|
|30||Sunday, TBA, ESPN or ACCN||Home||N.C. State|
|3||Thursday, 8, RSN||Road||Wake Forest|
|6||Sunday, noon, ACCN||Home||Miami|
|10||Thursday, 6, ACCNX||Home||Pittsburgh|
|13||Sunday, 1, ACCNX||Road||Virginia Tech|
|17||Thursday, 6, RSN||Home||Louisville|
|20||Sunday, noon, RSN||Road||Florida State|
|24||Thursday, 7, ACCNX||Road||Virginia|
|27||Sunday, TBA, ESPN2 or ACCN||Home||Duke|
ACCN — ACC Network; RSN — regional sports networks;
X — ACC/Big Ten Challenge; Y —Goombay Splash; Z — Maggie Dixon Classic