Williams, two ailing as NC State looms

Updated: February 2, 2005, 10:39 PM ET
Associated Press

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- Roy Williams didn't have to say he felt sick Wednesday. The weary look on the North Carolina coach's face said enough.

Williams is the third member of the second-ranked Tar Heels to fall ill in the last week. Senior Jackie Manuel battled a bug over the weekend, while freshman Marvin Williams missed practice Monday because he felt sick.

The coach said he was battling a 102-degree fever as North Carolina prepared for Thursday's game against North Carolina State.

"Today I'm coaching the team from a distance," Williams said.

A team spokesman said Williams apparently has a viral illness. Williams said he began feeling sick late Monday, but made a recruiting trip the next day.

The coach is just the latest victim of a bug that has turned Carolina blue to green.

On Saturday, Manuel vomited in a trash can at halftime at Virginia and missed the second half of the 110-76 victory. Then, Marvin Williams began feeling ill, although he is recovering and appears set to play against the Wolfpack.

Now Roy Williams is battling what he called "The Williams Strain," saying he thinks he might have picked it up from his 6-foot-9 freshman.

The illness has yet to befall senior Jawad Williams, who leads the team in scoring with a 16-point average. But the team's third Williams is taking no chances, staying away from his sick mates.

North Carolina (17-2, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) has won 17 of 18 games, and swept last season's series against the Wolfpack (13-7, 3-4).


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press