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Graves Speaks

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No one has heard from Will Graves since before that strange night last February when Roy Williams dropped the bombshell that Marcus Ginyard would be redshirting and Graves was suspended for the remainder of the season. That silence was broken on Media Day when Graves was probably asked 122 times what happened:

Graves, making his first public remarks since his suspension, declined to say what rules he broke: "I just did some things that a Carolina basketball player is not supposed to do."

But after only being able to practice with the team, he reiterated that he's sorry and that's he's learned from his actions.

"It was a humbling experience ... but now, I'm just eager to get back into games and do whatever the team needs me to do," he said.

The test of any good player is what their game is like when they return from an extended period off whether that be injury or a suspension. If it is a suspension that makes it easier because the physical aspects of the player's game are not affected and he can continue to improve by working hard even if he cannot play during games. As for the rest of it, we will see. In some ways Graves and Ginyard are in the same boat. They both missed being a part of a national title team by contributing on the court. They both would like to accomplish some great things on the court instead of watching teammates do it. For Graves it stings a little deeper because he was the one that screwed up. Ginyard could not help his foot injury but Graves most certainly could have made better decisions for himself instead of doing whatever it is that he did.

Now it becomes a question of motivation and focus for Graves. There is no doubt the Heels need an experienced perimeter shooter and Graves can fill that role as long as he learns how to play defense which he seems to understand. Graves is easily the biggest X factor on this team along with Ginyard's offense. If both of them show up, the ceiling for this team could be fairly high.