UNC's Armando Bacot Sprains Ankle, 'Likely Out For a While'

Brant Wilkerson-New

North Carolina isn't expecting to have Armando Bacot back any time soon, adding to a laundry-list of injuries the Tar Heels have suffered this season.

After tipping in a shot on an offensive rebound at the 12:48 mark of the first half of Carolina's loss to Ohio State, Bacot's left foot landed on top of that of a Buckeye defender and the freshman big man immediately went to the ground in obvious pain.

At the time of the injury, Bacot had two points and four rebounds in seven minutes, hitting 1 of his 2 field goal attempts. He also managed a block and steal before being helped off the floor, unable to put any weight on his left leg.

Following the game, Carolina coach Roy Williams confirmed the injury was a sprain.

"It's a sprained ankle," he said. "It was swollen by the time they got to the locker room so my guess is he will be out for a while."

Without Bacot, the Carolina offense struggled to its worst shooting day in the history of the Smith Center, making just 27.4 percent of its attempts. 

WARNING: Video of the Bacot injury is at the bottom of this story. It's not pretty.

"That's huge," junior Garrison Brooks said. "That's the guy that averages 12-and-10, so you are missing a double-double on the court. I believe we missed a big part of us today with Armando out."

The loss of Bacot looms large for the Tar Heels, who lose their best rim protector and an offensive threat who had come into his own lately, averaging 13.6 points, 11 rebounds and 2.6 blocks over three games in the Bahamas as Carolina went 2-1.

Looking ahead, Brooks was at a loss at how the Tar Heels might replace Bacot.

"I don’t know,' he said. "I couldn’t tell you; I don’t know."

In his absence on Wednesday, Brandon Huffman played eight minutes while Walker Miller got in for six.

Carolina is already without big man Sterling Manley, who has been sidelined since the preseason with a knee injury.

Anthony Harris and Jeremiah Francis, who both suffered serious knee injuries in high school and have yet to play at Carolina, both dressed and went through warmups for the first time on Wednesday night.