The North Carolina Tar Heels kicked off another season of basketball with Late Night with Roy. The event was fun, entertaining but most of all, it was special. Stuart Scott was the “MC” of the event and did a terrific job as he always does. The kids were fun to watch dance and have fun, the scrimmage was great, but it was those special moments that made the night for me personally.
Stuart Scott made reference to himself being someone who has been kicking cancers ass for many years when introducing head coach Roy Williams. I’m not much of a sentimentalist, but that almost brought a tear to my eye thinking of how lucky Roy is. The ovation was thunderous in the Dean Dome as you would expect for the Hall of Fame coach. Stuart also announced that his daughter whom he told coach he wanted to stay alive long enough to see her married, he shared that Roy told him, you will be there and so will I. He added that his daughter just sent in her enrollment papers to UNC, a special moment indeed.
The freshman hazing, I mean ballet dance thing to an Adele song was funny, especially the look on Joel James’ face when it was over. The dancing and all that is fun, but I personally could do without it, the one thing it does that I like, gives the kids a fun night before a season full of pressure filled moments.
The scrimmage was great in that it should give Carolina fans a lot to look forward to this season. Freshman Marcus Paige looked the part and showed he knows how to play the point and is ready for the role. This team will be a much better shooting team than last years version and if tonight was any indication of what’s to come, PJ Hairston will have a lot to do with that. Hairston hit several jumpers and took the ball to the basket with authority, a very promising sign. Reggie Bullock shot the ball well, James Michael McAdoo didn’t shoot a high percentage but asserted himself as the leader on this team taking charge in the half court.
The freshman play impressed me, Brice Johnson showed his bounce and athleticism several times with put backs and a big alley-op dunk in transition. Joel James looked smooth inside the post and with his mid-range jumper and JP Tokoto is one heck of an athlete. Most of all these guys showed they can play at this level.
It was one night, and a scrimmage at that so you want to pause the enthusiasm as much as possible. But it’s hard not to get excited about the team we saw on the floor today. Keeping It Heel will have much more coverage of this event including our insights from our staff members who were in the stands and more in depth analysis of the scrimmage.