CHAPEL HILL — During his years playing at North Carolina, Jason Capel played for coaches Bill Guthridge and Matt Doherty. Capel also had the chance to spend a lot of time with Dean Smith, who retired the year before Capel arrived at UNC in 1998.
UNC coach Roy Williams, though, isn't so sure that Capel's Appalachian State team will play a familiar style when the Mountaineers and Tar Heels meet tonight at the Smith Center.
"Jason's going to be his own man," Williams said on Friday. "He's got the influence of his father, the NBA, the influence of his brother at Duke and the way they play - his own influence, the way he played here. It's in progress - it is a process but right now it's in progress. "
Capel's father Jeff Capel, and his brother, also named Jeff, are also coaches. Williams said he expects Appalachian to play at a fast pace, though, and to use a zone on defense.
"But you know, I don't think you see anybody in their first year, maybe even their second year in coaching, and really see what signature they're going to leave on style of play," Williams said.
McDonald released to shoot: Leslie McDonald, who suffered a torn ACL in July, is closer to being able to practice with the Tar Heels. But there is no date set for his return to practice, Williams said.
"He's been released to shoot," Williams said. "He's been released to do dummy offense. And I think the next step would be to be released to practice. But I just don't know when that's going to be."
It's possible that McDonald could sit out the season while recovering from his injury.
Williams reacts to new schedule: Asked on Friday whether he had any reaction to the ACC's announcement that it would expand its league schedule from 16 to 18 games next season, Williams said he didn't have much of one.
"I don't know," Williams said. "You know, by the time we start playing those, we may have 32 teams in our league. Who knows ... I'm not worried about that. When it comes, you've heard me say this before, all that stuff, I've got to worry about doubling-down on the post ... but I'm not worried about that.
"We'll play it and, again, they don't care what the ... coaches think anyway."