DURHAM — Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock did their talking on the court, made a quick exit and left a lasting impression Tuesday night.
The incoming freshmen stars are expected to lead the North Carolina basketball team back to its usual place among the ACC's best this season.
They showed why the hype is heavy during an S.J.G. Greater NC Pro-Am summer league game at N.C. Central's McDougald-McLendon Gym, combining for 55 points as Team Stackhouse won 82-72.
The atmosphere Tuesday night was pure ACC as UNC-heavy Team Stackhouse topped a Team McGladrey team stacked with N.C. State players before a capacity crowd of 3,100. League organizers turned away another 600 as the gym was filled long before the teams began play at 8:30 p.m.
Bullock, the former Kinston High standout, scored 30 points, but declined an interview request after the game. He cited a directive from UNC barring incoming freshmen from conducting media interviews. Barnes scored 25 points before scooting out of the gym without speaking to the media.
The raucous crowd, laden with Tar Heel blue and Wolfpack red, saw plenty to form their own opinions about not only Bullock and Barnes, but N.C. State's incoming freshmen.
Wolfpack newcomers C.J. Leslie (21 points), Lorenzo Brown (15 points) and Ryan Harrow (12 points) provided plenty of highlights of their own.
"It was crazy," said Harrow, a 5-foot-11 point guard from Marietta, Ga. "I've played in big arenas, but I've never had this much hype for a game like this one."
Leslie, Brown and Harrow were joined by N.C. State rising senior Tracy Smith and rising junior C.J. Williams.
"We showed we could play with UNC," Williams said. "A lot of people didn't think we could do it. They thought it was going to be a blowout. But we came out and played our best, even though it was for fun."
The fun began from the opening tip, although it was the Wolfpack fans who cheered the loudest at first.
Barnes, a 6-8 small forward rated as the No. 1 senior last season by recruiting services, missed his first two 3-point attempts and was rejected under the basket by Leslie.
But Team Stackhouse finally got going. John Henson, a UNC sophomore, flew through the lane to grab a Barnes miss and slam it home in the first quarter. Henson pointed and smiled at a group of UNC fans in the stands in celebration.
Later in the quarter, Bullock scored inside and then turned up the heat on defense. He stood up to Brown in the open court, forced a turnover and fed Barnes for a transition slam dunk that gave Team Stackhouse an 18-13 lead and brought screaming UNC fans to their feet.
Trailing 41-32 at halftime, Team McGladrey clawed back. Leslie's breakaway dunk off a Team Stackhouse turnover sliced the deficit to 54-51.
Williams said that's the kind of play he expects to see plenty of this season.
"We're going to be better this year," he said. "We've got guys that can penetrate. That's what was missing last year. Our penetration was missing."
Minutes after Leslie's dunk, Barnes drove the lane to score with his left hand on a bank shot putting Team Stackhouse up 61-51.
Bullock and Barnes hit back-to-back 3-pointers to start the fourth quarter, giving their team a 67-51 lead to the delight of those fans in light blue.
Still, the N.C. State players left the court feeling good about what lies ahead when the games count this winter.
"It was competitive like I thought it would be," Harrow said. "Next time, we've got to come out and just know that everyone is out here to compete."