banner
North Carolina

Carolina pulls curtain up on 2008-2009 season

Posted October 25, 2008

— Though neither has a “Y” chromosome, Nikki Jones and Elizabeth Edmonds took the floor with North Carolina’s men’s basketball team Friday night at the Dean E. Smith Center.

That’s because Jones and Edmonds co-captain UNC’s dance team. The lone seniors on the squad, they played a major role in putting on this year’s Late Night with Roy events – where the women’s and men’s basketball teams make their first appearance of the season in front of fans.

Late Night always features scrimmages, skits, videos, and – in Jones and Edmonds’ domain – dances. “We make up all the dances for the whole thing,” Jones said. “And we don’t have a life.”

The dance team began preparing for the evening with the men’s team more than three weeks ago. “We put a lot of time into it – a lot more than people think,” Jones said. “Other than that, it’s so fun just dancing and getting the boys to show their crazy sides.”

Both Jones and Edmonds appeared regularly on the court during the Late Night shenanigans, dancing with the players and amusing the fans.

By far, the highlights of the night were the men’s team’s skits and videos featuring Bobby Frasor role-playing Coach Roy Williams. The hobbled Marcus Ginyard rolled around in a wheelchair during the performances, making him this year’s comical gimp (last year it was Frasor).

And the men’s scrimmage gave the fans their first glimpse of the 2008-2009 Tar Heels, the preseason No. 1 team in the nation and the bookies’ overwhelming favorite to win the NCAA National Championship. UNC’s heralded freshman class, including big-time recruits Tyler Zeller, Ed Davis and Larry Drew, impressed.

Zeller did “the worm” during one skit. And Williams, with dark sunglasses on his face and a Hawaiian lei around his neck, danced amidst a circle of players. (Also not typos).

Before the festivities, the UNC volleyball team defeated Clemson in the Smith Center, sweeping the best-of-five match in three games: 25-22, 25-19, 25-21.

Before the women’s team came out, a video aired where Hansbrough, expecting an interview from someone working with Carolina Athletics, was surprised when Bobby Frasor sat down in the interviewer’s chair. Frasor asked Hansbrough to compare himself to Florida’s Tim Tebow, then brought up the issue of he and Hansbrough jumping off the SAE balcony and into a swimming pool in the spring.

Then, Frasor layed down a beat while Hansbrough freestyle rapped. (That is not a typo.)

At 7 p.m., ESPN’s Stuart Scott, who once again returned as Master of Ceremonies, officially kicked off Late Night. He introduced the women’s team to raucous cheers from the crowd. The girls exited the tunnel one-by-one, each performing an obviously rehearsed entrance as small fireworks shot out from behind both baskets.

The women’s team put on one dance skit: “America’s Next Top Hatchel.” Parodying the hit show “America’s Next Top Model,” the players all donned blonde wigs and mono-colored blazers, a la their coach, Sylvia Hatchel, and strutted down an imaginary catwalk onto the court and then dancing to “Brick House” with the male cheerleaders.

Afterward, the women’s team Blue/White scrimmage became a low-scoring affair, with Cetera DeGraffenreid and Italee Lucas leading the Blue team to a 15-4 victory. And Alex Miller, who suffered a season-ending injury early last year, returned to the court for the Tar Heels.

Then, next year’s men’s recruiting class strolled out, and Carolina Fever members presented them with makeshift Tar Heel jerseys bearing their last names.

At 7:45, Scott introduced the men’s team by class. When he said Hansbrough’s name, the Smith Center shook from the fans’ decibel level.

The first men’s skit of the night featured Ginyard on crutches and sporting a blue wig and a hula skirt. Then Tar Heel alumnus David Noel reprised his role as “Divine Noel” – in a pink wig – and brought Ginyard his wheelchair.

For much of the show, Edmonds, Jones and the rest of the dance team led the players in choreographed routines to such songs as The Beach Boys’ “Be True to Your School” and Kanye West’s “The New Workout Plan.”

As Sammy Davis, Jr.’s “Hello Detroit” played, the Tar Heels – clad in Carolina blue suits – slow-danced with the dance team. The song alluded to the Heels’ mission: winning the title in Detroit, MI.

For that number, and a couple others, Edmonds danced with Danny Green. “Danny is awesome,” Edmonds said. “I picked him last year, just because he’s such a good dancer … He’s a very, very helpful person. He wants everything to go along so smoothly, and he’s just a sweetheart. You can’t help but love him.” Jones reiterated, “And he’s a great dancer.”

For her part, Jones paired up with Hansbrough, who, to say the least, falls short of Green’s dancing prowess – even though Hansbrough brings his game-time work ethic to the Late Night practices, Jones said: “The best part about him is that he tries so hard. He really wants to get it, he’s really focused, like ‘Do it again, show me again,’ but he’s so awkward, so awkward. Socially and dance-move-wise, the whole thing.”

When Hansbrough entered a dancing circle toward the end of the show and shimmied, fans saw that awkwardness on full display.
One of the funniest dances involved Edmonds and Jones leading the seniors (san Ginyard) to Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days” – the players were jean shorts (a.k.a. “jorts”), white tank tops and American flag bandanas. Someday, the pictures from this skit might make them laugh about their glory days.

But Frasor stole the show – his portrayal of Williams centered around comments the coach made about the dangers presented by the slippery NCAA logo which appears on many colleges’ courts. In the video segments, Frasor (as Williams) did things the coach normally would, then slipped on an NCAA logo that mysteriously appeared under him.

“Late Night’s always fun. You get to put on a show for the fans. You get to be something you don’t normally do – you get to step out of that stereotypical ‘athlete’ role and be an actor, be a dancer, put on skits,” Frasor said.

After the show, UNC scrimmaged for 20 minutes. The Blue team started Frasor, Drew, Green, Thompson and Davis, while the White team started Ty Lawson, Will Graves, Wayne Ellington, Zeller and Hansbrough. The play started out sloppy and physical but improved, and the White squad rallied from an early deficit to win, 48-45. Hansbrough led the White group with 22 points, while Green led all scorers with 23 for the Blue unit.

As for the young guys, both Zeller and Davis looked solid. Frasor said of the pair: “Once they get a grasp of what Coach Williams wants defensively, and all of our principles, I think they’re going to be a big asset to our team.”

Frasor called Davis a “mini- B. Wright,” comparing his length and style of play to Frasor’s former teammate and current NBA player Brandan Wright. And Frasor said that Zeller – who scored a number of nice buckets on offense – runs the court extremely well. “In practice, he gets out, and he can beat some of the guards down the floor. And that’s an amazing quality for a seven-footer to have.”
Both Frasor and Green discussed the advantages of practicing against top competition. “We won’t face guys much better than (those) who we face every day in practice,” Green said.

And Green put things into perspective as his senior class prepares for a season in which his team has little to prove before March, when it has everything to prove. “I think guys are a lot more focused this year than they were last year. Not that we weren’t focused last year, but this is our last time doing this,” he said. “Hopefully we can be the best team that we can potentially be at the end of the year in March.”

7 Comments

Please to add a comment.

Oldest First
View all
  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 25, 2008

    I went to Late Night with Roy last year. A lot of fun. Wish I could have gone this year. Its tough when everyone expects you to basically roll through the season, and then come to play in March. The fear is that you get lazy and just do enough to win. Then come March, it takes a full effort from everyone. Hard to turn it back on. They need to ignore the press and beat everyone as bad as possible all year. They need to be used to going hard from start to finish. If that means embarrassing some schools with 50+ point victories, so be it. They need to play selfish and crush everyone possible and ignore the critics that say they are running up the score. Because it is that mental state that will win the Championship for them.

  • NCSU 1982 Oct 25, 2008

    Roy's sunglassess look like the one's Amato used to wear! LOL
    Wolfpack fan and alum but also a great admirer of Roy. First class all the way. Had a chance to spend 5-10 mins with him in ATL airport one day. Great guy. Good luck to the Heel's, don't think you'll need it tho.

  • OriginalBlueDevil Oct 25, 2008

    THVic - I think talking sports with you this fall is going to be a blast!

  • Tar Heels Victory-Show No Mercer Oct 25, 2008

    I agree dukegroup.golo.com.

    GO HEELS!!!

  • OriginalBlueDevil Oct 25, 2008

    OK, so now that Roy has gotten his jig out of the way, let's get down to business.

  • OriginalTarHeel Oct 25, 2008

    The event was a lot of fun and to see everyone play. This should be another great season.

  • heels4life05 Oct 25, 2008

    The Dean Dome was rockin! Cant wait for basketball! Go Heels!

  • CBB: Georgetown at St. John's

    Today at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: UNC at Miami

    Today at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Kentucky

    Today at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASCAR: Folds of Honor 500 in Atlanta

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NHL: Hurricanes at NY Islanders

    Tonight at 5:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Boston College

    Tonight at 6:00 on WRAL-FM

  • ACC: Syracuse at Duke

    Tonight at 7:00 on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 3
WAS 0
Final
BOS 106
CHA 98
12:00pm Today
UCF
ECU
 
12:00pm Today
BC
NCSU
 
2:00pm Today
MIAMI
UNC
 
4:00pm Today
NCCU
COOK
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
DUKE
SYR
 
Final
IND 93
CLE 86
Final
PHI 89
WAS 81
Final
BOS 106
CHA 98
Final
TOR 89
GSW 113
Final
DET 115
NYK 121
Final
ATL 95
ORL 88
Final
HOU 102
BRK 98
Final
MEM 79
LAC 97
Final
NOP 104
MIA 102
Final
CHI 96
MIN 89
Final
DEN 82
UTA 104
Final
SAC 96
SAN 107
Final
LAL 101
MIL 93
Final
POR 115
OKC 112
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
DET
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
ATL
 
7:30pm Tonight
NYK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MEM
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
BRK
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
MIL
 
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
SAN
 
Final
QUIN 73
SIENA 63
 
Final
CORN 57
HARV 49
 
Final
CAN 72
FAIR 65
 
Final
IONA 79
MAN 75
 
Final
BRO 75
PENN 69
 
Final
YALE 81
PRIN 60
 
Final
MAR 69
PETE 67
 
Final
CLMB 71
DART 84
 
Final
AKR 70
OHIO 58
 
Final
CLST 53
VALPO 56
 
11:00am Today
LIP
KNST
 
11:00am Today
GHND
NAVY
 
12:00pm Today
LAF
ARMY
 
12:00pm Today
AMER
BUCK
 
12:00pm Today
UCF
ECU
 
12:00pm Today
STJ
GEOR
 
12:00pm Today
CLEM
GT
 
12:00pm Today
COL
LEH
 
12:00pm Today
FSU
LOU
 
12:00pm Today
MD
MICH
 
12:00pm Today
UGA
MIZZ
 
12:00pm Today
BC
NCSU
 
12:30pm Today
LAS
RIU
 
1:00pm Today
UNH
MAINE
 
1:00pm Today
IUPUI
NEOM
 
1:00pm Today
WINT
PBY
 
1:00pm Today
VMI
SAMF
 
1:00pm Today
CITA
WCU
 
2:00pm Today
DEP
BUT
 
2:00pm Today
LONG
CAMP
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
CIN
 
2:00pm Today
VCU
DAY
 
2:00pm Today
TOWS
DEL
 
2:00pm Today
WMARY
DREX
 
2:00pm Today
JVU
FLGC
 
2:00pm Today
EVAN
ILLST
 
2:00pm Today
BRAD
INDST
 
2:00pm Today
MIAMI
UNC
 
2:00pm Today
WICHS
NIOWA
 
2:00pm Today
UWGB
OU
 
2:00pm Today
LSU
MISS
 
2:00pm Today
OKLA
TCU
 
2:00pm Today
BING
UMBC
 
2:00pm Today
AFA
UTST
 
2:00pm Today
GTDNS
VERM
 
2:00pm Today
XAV
VILL
 
2:00pm Today
MNTER
WAGN
 
2:00pm Today
ILLCH
WRST
 
2:30pm Today
YALE
SARAHLAW
 
3:00pm Today
UAB
MTST
 
3:00pm Today
NDAK
SUTAH
 
3:00pm Today
LIB
UNCA
 
3:05pm Today
CHIST
WLVRN
 
3:30pm Today
UMO
BGU
 
3:30pm Today
SHU
LIU
 
3:30pm Today
APP
LAMON
 
4:00pm Today
VANDY
ALA
 
4:00pm Today
KENT
ARK
 
4:00pm Today
NCCU
COOK
 
4:00pm Today
MRGST
COPST
 
4:00pm Today
SHU
CREI
 
4:00pm Today
BONA
DUQ
 
4:00pm Today
MERC
ETST
 
4:00pm Today
UMASS
FORD
 
4:00pm Today
RAD
GWEBB
 
4:00pm Today
JMU
HOF
 
4:00pm Today
BU
HC
 
4:00pm Today
KYST
ISU
 
4:00pm Today
DELST
MDES
 
4:00pm Today
LOYC
MIZST
 
4:00pm Today
IDAHO
MNTST
 
4:00pm Today
MCNST
NICST
 
4:00pm Today
TTU
OKST
 
4:00pm Today
PORT
SDU
 
4:00pm Today
BRY
Terriers
 
4:00pm Today
RMU
RFLSH
 
4:00pm Today
UVA
VT
 
4:00pm Today
BAY
WVU
 
4:00pm Today
FUR
WOFF
 
4:05pm Today
SILL
DRAK
 
4:30pm Today
FD
CCST
 
4:30pm Today
WMICH
EMICH
 
4:30pm Today
CSOU
HIGH
 
5:00pm Tonight
UNCG
CHAT
 
5:00pm Tonight
SD
SDKST
 
5:00pm Tonight
CARK
SELA
 
5:00pm Tonight
KU
TEX
 
5:05pm Tonight
EWASH
MONT
 
5:15pm Tonight
TROY
UGST
 
5:30pm Tonight
TXST
ARKST
 
5:30pm Tonight
UNT
ODU
 
6:00pm Tonight
CORN
DART
 
6:00pm Tonight
NCAT
FAM
 
6:00pm Tonight
PSU
IOWA
 
6:00pm Tonight
MORE
JVST
 
6:00pm Tonight
PEPP
LMU
 
6:00pm Tonight
SCAR
MSST
 
6:00pm Tonight
BRO
PRIN
 
6:00pm Tonight
NEV
SJST
 
6:00pm Tonight
SCST
SAV
 
6:00pm Tonight
BEL
TENST
 
6:00pm Tonight
UF
TENN
 
6:00pm Tonight
ALAST
TXSOU
 
6:30pm Tonight
SOUTH
ALCOR
 
6:30pm Tonight
JST
MVSU
 
7:00pm Tonight
SEMIZ
PEAY
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BST
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
BUF
 
7:00pm Tonight
LBSU
CSFU
 
7:00pm Tonight
MARS
FATL
 
7:00pm Tonight
STLU
GMAS
 
7:00pm Tonight
DAVID
GWU
 
7:00pm Tonight
HOW
HAMP
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLMB
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
LAM
INCWORD
 
7:00pm Tonight
YOUNG
UWMIL
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENNM
MURST
 
7:00pm Tonight
ELON
UNCW
 
7:00pm Tonight
ILL
NW
 
7:00pm Tonight
YALE
PENN
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALAAM
PVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJOE
RICH
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNF
STET
 
7:00pm Tonight
HART
USB
 
7:00pm Tonight
DUKE
SYR
 
7:00pm Tonight
EKENT
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
LATU
TXSA
 
7:00pm Tonight
NKENTUCKY
USCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAST
WILL
 
7:05pm Tonight
UMKC
GRCN
 
7:15pm Tonight
NO
ABCHRIST
 
8:00pm Tonight
SDST
BSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
NILL
CMICH
 
8:00pm Tonight
RICE
CHAR
 
8:00pm Tonight
ORU
DEN
 
8:00pm Tonight
WKENT
FIU
 
8:00pm Tonight
TXPA
NMST
 
8:00pm Tonight
COC
NE
 
8:00pm Tonight
TAMCC
SHSU
 
8:00pm Tonight
SCU
GAELS
 
8:00pm Tonight
HOUB
STEPH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMISS
UTEP
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
TULSA
 
8:00pm Tonight
UNLV
WYO
 
8:15pm Tonight
TXARL
ARKLR
 
8:15pm Tonight
LALAF
GSOUT
 
8:30pm Tonight
TEXAM
AUB
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARKPB
GRAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTAH
ARZ
 
9:00pm Tonight
NCOL
NARZ
 
10:00pm Tonight
GONZ
BYU
 
10:00pm Tonight
WEBER
IDST
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
NMU
 
10:00pm Tonight
USF
PAC
 
10:00pm Tonight
CPSL
UCD
 
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SACST
 
10:30pm Tonight
SEAT
CALST
 
10:30pm Tonight
CSNO
UCR
 
10:30pm Tonight
USC
WASH
 
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
UCI
 
Final
NJD 2
BOS 3
Final
NYI 2
CAL 1
Final
CAR 3
WAS 0
Final
TAM 4
CHI 0
Final
DAL 4
COL 5
Final
ANA 4
LOS 2
3:00pm Today
FLA
BUF
 
3:00pm Today
NAS
DET
 
5:00pm Tonight
NYI
CAR
 
5:00pm Tonight
CLB
NJD
 
5:30pm Tonight
BOS
ARI
 
7:00pm Tonight
MON
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
PHI
NYR
 
10:00pm Tonight
COL
MIN
 
10:00pm Tonight
SJS
OTT
 
10:00pm Tonight
EDM
STL