Roy Williams has been here before. He has an NCAA Tournament championship ring on his right hand from the previous season. Another national championship banner hangs in the Smith Center. And Williams is rebuilding his North Carolina team, after severe graduation losses and defections from the title team.
Tar Heels will open season tonight at home
The Winston-Salem Journal
Four-time All-American Tyler Hansbrough is gone, as are Ty Lawson, last season's ACC Player of the Year, and Wayne Ellington, the Final Four Most Outstanding Player last spring.
And yet, North Carolina forwards Deon Thompson and Ed Davis can't help thinking the party's not over for this follow-up season to the Tar Heels' national basketball championship.
Familiar goal confronts UNC
The News and Observer
If it's not the predominant emotion North Carolina coach Roy Williams is feeling heading into tonight's season opener against Florida International, then it's certainly part of the daily routine.
Heels begin quest into unknown
The Fayetteville Observer
North Carolina coach Roy Williams said he wishes his young team could get in a few more practices before their first game of the 2009-10 season.
But ready or not, the Tar Heels will start a new season tonight at 7 p.m. (ESPNU) when they host Florida International 217 days after they won the program's fifth NCAA championship. It's the first of two home games for the 2K Sports Coaches vs. Cancer Classic before UNC travels to New York City for the Championship Rounds.
Ready or not, it's hoops time
The Durham Herald-Sun
The buzz around the Dean Smith Center is all about the talented stable of freshmen recruited to win and win now.
But make no mistake: This is Deon Thompson's North Carolina team; these are Marcus Ginyard's Tar Heels.
A season after winning a national championship then saying goodbye to five of its top seven scorers, North Carolina opens the college basketball season at home tonight against Florida International (7 p.m., ESPNU).
RELOADED & READY
The Greensboro News-Record
Former Knicks coach/team president Isiah Thomas initially thought his new Florida International team would open its season against Ohio State in a 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches' vs. Cancer at Columbus.
When the matchup was changed to defending national champion North Carolina, a game to be played Monday at 7 (ESPN), Thomas balked and temporarily threatened to bail on the game.
Isiah Thomas' new Florida International to open season against top-ranked North Carolina
The New York Daily News
Marlon Bright was surprised. He shouldn't have been. Sure, Isiah Thomas is 48 years old, old enough that contemporary hip-hop might seem an unlikely source for his motivational messages. But it makes sense that Bright's new coach would quote Lose Yourself in advance of FIU basketball's daunting opener in Chapel Hill, N.C., against the mighty Tar Heels. It speaks to how Thomas sees the world, and himself.
FIU coach Isiah Thomas finds himself in challenging times
FIU basketball got a lot more interesting April 15 when new coach Isiah Thomas was hired.
On Monday night, the Golden Panthers will open their 2009-10 season against defending national champion North Carolina (7 p.m. ESPNU) at the Dean Dome.
Thomas' debut as FIU coach comes against Tar Heels
The Miami Herald
Junior Shaun Draughn, UNC's leading rusher, fractured his left shoulder blade on the first play of the game and will miss the rest of the season. Ryan Houston replaced Draughn in Saturday's 19-6 win over Duke and ran for a career-high 164 yards on 37 carries. The rushing attempts were the most by a UNC player in a single game since 1990 (Natrone Means, 37 vs. Duke).
With Houston, there's no problem
The News and Observer