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Walker Kessler and Puff Johnson Getting Caught Up at Practice

Roy Williams updates the progression of freshmen Walker Kessler and Puff Johnson.

The absence of Walker Kessler and Puff Johnson from Wednesday's season open left fans perplexed. Without any previous information regarding the pair, fans were left to speculate their nonattendance and wonder if anything significant happened.

After the game, Coach Roy Williams stated that Kessler and Johnson were absent because of COVID protocol. Both players saw the court in under five minutes. Kessler finished the game with 6 points and four rebounds, and Johnson completed the game with a smooth three with his first and only possession of the night.

"They've just finished going through the COVID protocols and missed several practices down the last couple of weeks. They're back with us. They're good and gave them a few minutes to hopefully help us down the road."

The night before the Maui Invitational, Williams updated the two and their progression with the team.

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"Their statistics on the offensive end were good," Williams said, "but both of them had big-time defensive errors. Getting them out there, getting their sea legs back underneath them, is the biggest thing. They've missed several practices. We did add things during the period they were out. So getting them caught up with the rest of the team is important."

Starting Monday, North Carolina will enter the Maui Invitational meeting UNLV for round one at 7:00 pm on ESPN2. Tar Heels will be playing three games in three days. 

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