7:30 PM ET, December 30, 2007
Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Bobby Frasor hasn't made much of an impact on the stat sheet, but North Carolina's reaction to losing him for the season proved how important he is to the team.The top-ranked Tar Heels begin adjusting to life without the junior point guard on Sunday when they host Valparaiso.Frasor tore his left anterior cruciate ligament in the second half of Thursday's 106-70 win over Nevada. Tests showed no additional damage to the knee, but he will need surgery and will miss the rest of the season.Frasor was also limited much of last season with a nagging right foot problem."He's like a coach over there. I don't know what he wants to do, but if he decides that he wants to be a coach, he's going to be a great coach, because he has tremendous savvy," coach Roy Williams said."He can handle this. It's not going to be easy. It's not easy for any of us right now. I told the team it should put things in perspective that every day you don't take things for granted."Frasor was averaging just 3.2 points but is a team leader who plays strong defense and can play either guard position. His injury will likely mean more time for sophomore starter Ty Lawson and senior reserve Quentin Thomas."Bobby has been here three years now and he's been through it all," Thomas said. "You can't replace that as an individual. The only thing that can replace that is the team picking up its intensity."Lawson, who missed nearly two games earlier this season with a sprained ankle, had 16 points and career highs of 10 assists and five steals on Thursday. Tyler Hansbrough scored 26 points and Wayne Ellington added a career-high 23 for the Tar Heels (12-0), who rank second in the nation with 92.6 points per game.North Carolina is off to its best start since winning 17 straight to open the 1997-98 season, when it reached the Final Four."On the court, it was a really good night for us," Williams said.The Tar Heels are beating their opponents by an average of 22.5 points, but Valparaiso could present more of a challenge. The Crusaders (10-2) were off to their best start since 1944-45 before falling 68-58 to Wisconsin in their last game on Dec. 22.Valparaiso led most of the second half as Wisconsin committed 20 turnovers and shot just 47 percent from the foul line. Samuel Haanpaa scored 16 points and Brandon McPherson added 14 for Valparaiso, while leading scorer Shawn Huff, who averages 11.8 points, chipped in eight."I thought we got off to a good start, because our defensive intensity was superb," coach Homer Drew told Valpo's official team Web site. "We got some steals and some easy baskets, and Sam really started well from the floor offensively."Valparaiso is traveling to face the No. 1 team in the country for the third time in four seasons. The Crusaders lost at Illinois in 2004-05, and at Duke the following season. Last season, Valparaiso lost at then-No. 3 Ohio State.
|Avg Points Allowed||67.1||72.7|
|» Dec 30, 2007||@UNC 90, VALP 58||Recap|