Bacot, Nance progressing but playing at Louisville unlikely, Hubert Davis said

By R.L. Bynum

CHAPEL HILL — Coach Hubert Davis suggested Friday that it is doubtful that either Armando Bacot or Pete Nance will play Saturday at Louisville.

Davis said that Bacot, who rolled his left ankle in the first two minutes of Thursday’s loss at Virginia, is further along in his recovery than Nance and that Bacot was “still very questionable, at best” to play against the Cardinals.

Nance strained his back in the Dec. 30 game at Pittsburgh, played two minutes against Wake Forest on Jan. 4 and didn’t play against Notre Dame last Saturday or against the Cavaliers on Tuesday.

While Davis is skeptical about Bacot’s chances of playing Saturday, he’s pleased with his progress.

“He didn’t practice [Thursday], but I was surprised by the way that he was moving [Thursday]. He’s improving a lot. I don’t know if he’ll play [Saturday]. But I was really encouraged by the way that he moved yesterday,” Davis said at a press conference Friday before the team practiced. “I haven’t seen them yet. And so I’ll look, and we’ll talk. But the most important thing that I’ve always said is I want Armando and I want Pete healthy.”

Without both players, UNC played plenty of unconventional lineups and was forced to make plenty of adjustments for an offense built around going inside to Bacot in recent games. That led to plenty of playing time for freshman center Jalen Washington, who collected 13 points and six rebounds in 27 minutes.


That helped in Bacot’s absence, but there was so much else missing without him in addition to his average of 17.6 points and 10.6 rebounds per game.

Davis can relate to what Nance, averaging 10.9 points and 6.1 rebounds, is going through.

“For somebody that, at times, has struggled with back issues, it’s all about flexibility. It’s about strength, and it’s improving every day,” Davis said. “He could be ready [Saturday] as well. But if I would guess, I would say Armando is further along. And Armando was still very questionable at best to play tomorrow against Louisville.”

Davis said he’s determined to do what’s right for Bacot and Nance and won’t rush them back.

“When all the muscles are loose, and there’s strength there and stability there, whether it takes one day or 21 days, I just want to make sure that  Pete health-wise is in a great spot,” Davis said. “It could be tomorrow, it could be today, it could be next week. But I don’t ever put a time frame on it. I just want the guys healthy to be able to play.”

UNC statistics

No. 8 Virginia9–317–4
No. 19 Miami10–419–5
No. 22 N.C. State9–419–5
North Carolina7–515–8
Wake Forest7–615–9
Florida State6–78–16
Boston College5–811–13
Virginia Tech4–814–9
Notre Dame2–1010–13
Georgia Tech1–128–15

Monday’s result
No. 19 Miami 81, Duke 59
Tuesday’s games
North Carolina at Wake Forest, 7 p.m., ESPN
Louisville at Pittsburgh, 7 p.m., ACCN
No. 22 N.C. State at No. 8 Virginia, 9 p.m., ACCN
Wednesday’s games
Notre Dame at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m., RSNs
Boston College at Virginia Tech, 7 p.m., ACCN
Syracuse at Florida State, 7 p.m., ESPNU
Saturday’s games
Pittsburgh at Florida State, noon, ESPN2 or ESPNU
No. 22 N.C. State at Boston College, noon, RSNs
Clemson at North Carolina, 2 p.m., ESPN2
Virginia Tech at Notre Dame, 2 p.m., RSNs
Duke at No. 8 Virginia, 4 p.m., ESPN
Georgia Tech at Wake Forest, 5 p.m., ACCN
Louisville at No. 19 Miami, 7 p.m., ACCN

(current ranking)
28FridayW, 101–40Johnson C. Smith HomeExhibition
7MondayW, 69–56UNCWHome1–0
11FridayW, 102–86College of CharlestonHome2–0
15TuesdayW, 72–66Gardner-WebbHome3–0
20SundayW, 80–64James MadisonHome4–0
Phil Knight Invitational
24ThursdayW, 89–81First round: PortlandPortland5–0
25FridayL, 70–65Semifinals:
No. 11
Iowa State
27SundayL, 103–101,
4 OTs
No. 3 Alabama
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
30WednesdayL, 77–65 No. 18 IndianaBloomington, Ind.5–3
4SundayL, 80–72 Virginia TechBlacksburg, Va.5–4,
0–1 ACC
10SaturdayW, 75–59Georgia TechHome6–4,
1–1 ACC
13TuesdayW, 100–67The CitadelHome7–4
CBS Sports Classic
17SaturdayW, 89–84, OTOhio StateNew York8–4
Jumpman Invitational
21WednesdayW, 80–76MichiganCharlotte9–4
30 Friday L, 76–74PittsburghPittsburgh9–5,
1–2 ACC
4WednesdayW, 88–79Wake ForestHome10–5,
2–2 ACC
7SaturdayW, 81–64Notre DameHome11–5,
3–2 ACC
10TuesdayL, 65–58No. 8 VirginiaCharlottesville11–6,
3–3 ACC
14SaturdayW, 80–59LouisvilleLouisville, Ky.12–6,
4–3 ACC
17TuesdayW, 72–64Boston CollegeHome13–6,
5–3 ACC
21SaturdayW, 80–69No. 22 N.C. StateHome14–6,
6–3 ACC
24TuesdayW, 72–68SyracuseSyracuse, N.Y.15–6,
7–3 ACC
1WednesdayL, 65–64PittsburghHome15–7,
7–4 ACC
4SaturdayL, 63–57 DukeDurham15–8,
7–5 ACC
7Tuesday7 p.m.Wake ForestWinston-SalemESPN
11Saturday2 p.m.ClemsonHome ESPN2
13Monday7 p.m.No. 19 MiamiHomeESPN
19Sunday1 p.m.No. 22 N.C. StateRaleighESPN
22Wednesday9 p.m.Notre DameSouth Bend, Ind.ESPN or ESPN2
25Saturday6 or 8No. 8 VirginiaHomeESPN
27Monday7 p.m.Florida StateTallahassee, Fla.ESPN
ACC Tournament
If tickets for home games are available, you can purchase them here.
ACCN means the game airs on ACC Network.

Photo via @UNC_Basketball

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