A Late Night Start to the Roy Williams Era

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The amusing skits, the goofy dances and the high-paced scrimmage provided the entertainment, but the overflowing crowd at the Smith Center Friday night was there to welcome Roy Williams back to Carolina. His first entrance received a lengthy standing ovation but it was his brief dance at center court later in the evening that nearly brought the house down.

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"One of these days they're going to become convinced that I'm too old, but right now I can stand in the same spot and move my body a little bit for about 20 seconds," Williams said. "When [the standing ovation] kept going I almost lost it a little bit – I'm pretty emotional about some things."

The event was a far cry from anything Tar Heel fans had ever seen, but judging by the capacity attendance and the crowd response, "Late Night with Roy Williams" was an instant-success.

"We're going to do some things that Coach Smith wouldn't do … but that's okay," Williams announced to the crowd at the beginning of the evening.

Here's a rundown of the evening's highlights, with perhaps the only similarity to previous midnight events being that Stuart Scott was again the emcee …

  • After Stuart Scott introduced the men's and women's teams, and Williams received his lengthy standing ovation, the whole team took the court for an opening dance number.
  • With David Noel sporting a pink wig and a tight outfit, and going by "Divine Noel," he was the subject of UNC's version of the Dating Game. After a few creative jabs at N.C. State, Duke and Dick Vitale, Rashad McCants took home the "Divine" prize.
  • Newcomers Reyshawn Terry, Justin Bohlander and Wes Miller danced to the old New Kids on the Block tune "Hangin' Tough."
  • Then it was the upperclassmen's turn, as they donned afros and old school (short) Carolina uniforms.
  • Sean May and Melvin Scott read the Top 10 Reasons UNC Will Be No. 1 in the ACC This Year.
  • A dance to "Cotton-Eye Joe" in country get-ups.
  • Rendition of "Be Like Mike."
  • The women's team's version of MTV's TRL.
  • Mock of the Under Armour television ad, with Damion Grant leading the chant of "Will you protect this house?!"
  • Video highlights of Carolina history and last season.
  • The shorter Heels lip-synch to "I Wish I Was a Little Bit Taller" as Grant struts around them.
  • A final dance session, with each player getting spotlighted – ending with the team pulling Roy Williams into the middle for his moment to shine.

The 20-minute scrimmage shortly after midnight marked the official start of the season, and while some players impressed, this was admittedly nothing more than a brief exhibition.

"We had too much energy out there," Jawad Williams said. "We showed flashes--a possession or two--but not much."

The team will hold it's first real practice Saturday at 6 p.m. – and that's not soon enough for Raymond Felton.

"I was excited when I came back to campus for my summer break," Felton said. "Just knowing that it's a few weeks away makes me feel even more pumped. I'm ready to start practice tomorrow and am going to come in here early at 5:00, get in some shots, get stretched out and get ready to start."

Scrimmage Box Score

WHITE 39 … Terry – 4, W. Miller – 2, Bohlander – 9, McCants – 10, Noel – 0, May – 14.

BLUE 27 … Scott – 6, Felton – 5, Manuel – 9, Williams – 4, McLamb – 3, J. Miller – 0, Sanders – 0.

Note: Damion Grant and Damien Price did not participate in the scrimmage.

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