At least the basketball was better than the dance moves.
North Carolina’s basketball team kicked off its 2018-19 basketball season with its annual “Late Night with Roy” event. It was the first opportunity for fans to get a look at the current team. The players danced, participated in a 3-point shootout, skills competition and other wacky games.
But the scrimmage is what most people came for. It’s hard to draw many conclusions from a scrimmage that didn’t mean much and with no plays drawn.
But for what it’s worth, here are a few observations:
- Freshman wing Nassir Little, who was a five-star recruit coming out of high school, showed why he was highly touted. He was hands down the most athletic player on the floor. He stole passes and got into passing lanes. He chased a player and nearly blocked his shot, but he was slightly late and it was called a goaltending. The one negative about Little was his outside shot. He did not shoot the ball well from behind the 3-point line. Otherwise, he’ll be an impact player.
- Junior guard Seventh Woods was quick and athletic. The 6-2, 185-pound guard got to the basket with ease. He outplayed freshman point guard Coby White in the scrimmage. He looks much improved from last year. On Tuesday, UNC coach Roy Williams said Woods is healthy for the first time since high school. And he looked that way.
- Sophomore forward Garrison Brooks took it to senior forward Luke Maye on a few possessions early in the game. He backed Maye down in the post and scored on him twice.
- If there was an MVP in this game, it was probably senior guard Kenny Williams. Williams was more than a just a shooter. He attacked the basket and hit the outside shot. He came up with two big blocks: one on senior wing Cam Johnson and the other on sophomore guard K.J. Smith. His biggest play came at the end of the scrimmage when he knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer with 6 seconds left to put his team up by two points.
- Maye did not make many shots Friday, but that does not mean much. He’ll still be a factor for UNC and will likely be its leading scoring. Maye can score from inside and outside.
- White, the freshman, showed he could push the ball up the floor and run Williams’ offense. The leading scorer in North Carolina high school history was also off on Friday. He did not make any shots.
- White attempted a one-handed dunk on Johnson, but Johnson seemed to get a piece of his arm and the ball. No foul was called.
- Sophomore forward Sterling Manley also hit a few nice jump hooks.
- Roy Williams, his wife Wanda and the university donated $23,400 to hurricane relief efforts.