North Carolina basketball will once again be without sophomore center Sterling Manley. The Heels open up ACC play on Saturday at Pittsburgh, but UNC will miss Manley — who continues to deal with knee issues. Manley missed the team’s midweek win over Harvard, too.
Sterling Manley (knee) will miss his second consecutive game on Saturday vs. Pitt, according to Roy Williams.
— InsideCarolina (@InsideCarolina) January 4, 2019
After a solid freshman season — 5.4 points per game (21.7 points per 40 minutes, 56.6 FG%), 14.4 percent offensive rebound rate — Manley returned ready for a strong sophomore campaign. However, Manley’s rebound and block rates have both dipped — perhaps a sign of an injury.
After averaging 2.28 dunks / 40 as a FR (21 in 369 minutes), Sterling Manley has just 0.29 / 40 (1 in 140) so far this year. He's clearly been less explosive, so a lingering lower-body injury isn't surprising to hear about.
— Adrian Atkinson (@FreeportKid) January 2, 2019
KenPom currently gives UNC an 80 percent win probability against the Panthers; however, things will get tougher next week: North Carolina at NC State on Tuesday night.