NCAA Tournament 2017: Roy Williams 'scared to death' over Joel Berry's ailing ankles

By Brandon Schlager 28 March 2017
NCAA Tournament 2017: Roy Williams 'scared to death' over Joel Berry's ailing ankles

North Carolina coach Roy Williams admits he's "scared to death" over the outlook for star point guard Joel Berry II leading up to Saturday's Final Four game against Oregon.

Berry rolled his left ankle on a drive to the basket about five minutes into Sunday's 75-73 win over Kentucky and limped to the locker room. He returned before the end of the first half, but was clearly hobbled, shooting 4 of 12 to finish with 11 points in 33 minutes.

The junior was already playing with a right ankle that was less than 100 percent after tweaking it in UNC's first-round win over Texas Southern nine days earlier.

In a news conference Monday, Williams preached caution as Berry undergoes a "pretty full schedule of rehab" with the team's doctors this week. The Tar Heels plan to leave for Glendale, Ariz., site of the Final Four, on Tuesday night instead of Wednesday, allowing Berry more time to settle in and manage his recovery.

“Some people’s feet do swell when they get on an airplane,” Williams said. “If that’s going to happen to Joel, I’d rather it happen on Tuesday night than Wednesday night.

"Hopefully by the time we get to Thursday or Friday, he'll be able to do some things in practice. But I'm scared to death right now because I just don't know."

Berry is UNC's second-leading scorer, averaging 14.6 points, and tops the team with 3.6 assists per game.

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Brandon Schlager

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