The first of two such trips in the next four months for the Tar Heels. I have no idea how they will endure.
Adam Lucas at GoHeels.com has the details here. The players have returned to campus and will go through four practice sessions before heading off the the island paradise.
The Tar Heels have a 5 p.m. date on Friday with the Providence Storm (not the Providence Friars). The Storm was waxed by Ohio State over the weekend and was defeated more narrowly by Ole Miss. Carolina will be back at the Kendal Isaacs Gymnasium--the exhibition games will not be played at Atlantis, the site of November's return trip to the island for the Battle 4 Atlantis--on Saturday for a 5 p.m. game against the Bahamas All-Stars.
The games will not be televised or streamed online. I will endeavor to offer some information here at THB as it becomes available.
As Lucas notes, the biggest benefit of these kinds of trips is team bonding. UNC will be incorporating three new players into the mix and getting a few days of practice plus two games should help the learning curve some. Unlike the class of 2010 which needed to come in and "save the program" UNC basketball isn't coming off a disastrous losing season. Yes, the program has been operating below normal UNC standards for two years thanks to attrition both expected and otherwise. This season constitutes an opportunity to restore order with the freshmen obviously being a vital part of that.
In fact Marcus Paige spoke highly of the freshman, lauding their competitive edge in this wide-ranging interview with Sherrell McMillian of Inside Carolina. Among the team related items covered in the Q&A, this blurb about three point shooting stands out.
Do you think a second 3-point threat has developed? Has one of the freshmen been consistent during summer practices from deep?
Not yet. Justin (Jackson) can shoot it, but he’s more of a mid-range player. Theo (Pinson) is streaky, but I think they can develop into one. They’re at least respectable. It’s not going to be one of those things like how they played Nate (Britt) last year, where they would sag all the way off of him. I think one of those four, between Joel (Berry), Nate, Justin and Theo, definitely should step up and replace what Leslie (McDonald) did, if not more.
It should be noted that Paige is asked specifically about freshmen helping the three point shooting and throws Nate Britt's name in there as well. No mention on J.P. Tokoto and whether his perimeter shot has improved to bolster the beyond the arc production.
And for your viewing pleasure here is Paige showing off some decent hops along with freshman Theo Pinson(via Pinson's Instagram)