|Hansbrough, Heels lead field for Maui Invitational|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 23 November 2008 11:07|
The reigning national player of the year will play for No. 1 North Carolina in this week's 25th edition of the EA Sports Maui Invitational, no one, however, is sure just how much time he will see.
``The only person who knows how much pain there is is Tyler,'' Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said Sunday, the day before North Carolina faces Chaminade, the Division II host school in the eight-team tournament that means three games in as many days. ``I guess we'll all find out about going three straight days.''
Hansbrough missed three weeks of practice and the first two games of the season with a stress reaction in his right shin. The senior forward missed just one practice and played in all 108 games in his first three seasons. He was back Friday night in an 84-67 victory at Cal-Santa Barbara on the way to Hawaii.
s to put him back in,'' Williams said of Hansbrough's 13-point effort in 25 minutes against the Gauchos. ``He feels really, really good and we have been cautious with him coming back because I thought that would be best. We have been more concerned about him playing three straight days than we were about him coming back Friday night.''
Monday's other first-round matchups have No. 7 Texas against Saint Joseph's; No. 8 Notre Dame facing Indiana; and Oregon meeting Alabama.
The Tar Heels (3-0) have the second-most wins in the history of the tournament with a 10-2 record in three appearances, including titles in 1999 and 2004. Duke has won on Maui in all four of its trips.
Chaminade (0-0) has a 5-65 record in the tournament including a win over Princeton in last year's seventh-place game but the Silverswords lost all five starters from that team. That pretty much ended any talk about a second win over a top-ranked team for Chaminade to join the 77-72 victory over Virginia and Ralph Sampson on Dec. 23, 1982.
``We get to face the best in college basketball because of hosting this tournament and we will for sure by opening against North Carolina,'' Silverswords coach Matt Mahar said, referring to a team that returned the top six scorers from the team that set a school record with 36 wins on the way to the Final Four.
Notre Dame's Mike Brey has a recent reference point for his team.
``We went through this August in Ireland playing the national teams from Ireland, Poland and Iceland in three days and we were tired that last day,'' Brey said. ``I told them then that we were going to face the same situation here. I brought it up yesterday that we were going to face the same thing and that I would get them rest after the tournament.''
The Fighting Irish (2-0) and Indiana (2-0) could have met a lot closer to home since the schools are about a 4-hour drive apart.
Brey tried to turn the few days of bad weather on Maui into an advantage for his team.
``We got off the plane and it was rainy and cloudy and we felt like we right at home in South Bend,'' he said with a laugh.
Indiana coach Tom Crean should feel comfortable in the Lahaina Civic Center since he led Marquette to a championship game loss to Duke to last season.
``It is unique to be here two years in a row,'' said Crean, who took over the troubled Indiana program in April, ``but if this could be anything like last year we would be very pleased.''
Texas (2-0) allowed an average of 45 points in its two wins, a stat that scares Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli, whose Hawks split their first two games on the way to their first appearance in the tournament.
eing the first,'' he said. ``For anyone who doesn't believe me look at the stat that Texas has allowed a total of 11 assists so far this season. That is phenomenal.''
Oregon (1-2) and Alabama (1-1) are both making their first appearance on Maui and one is new to a lot more than this tournament.
``We have six freshmen and they will all play here at some point,'' Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. ``This is the way to get a great taste of what it is all about, with teams on this level.''