North Carolina Takes Floor For Open Practice

By Josh Herwitt - April 04, 2008

SAN ANTONIO -- North Carolina has taken the floor for its open practice here at the Alamodome, and the Tar Heel faithful that have shown up for the session are on their feet and applauding their team.

Stretching, of course, is the first order of business for Roy Williams' players, and after Kansas' Rodrick Stewart fractured his kneecap earlier this afternoon on a dunk attempt late in the Jayhawks' open practice session, you can't undermine the importance of getting those ligaments and tendons all worked out before putting any other stress on the body.

After about five minutes of stretching, UNC has opened things up with a shoot around. Danny Green has been working on that three-point shot, putting it up from all different spots around the arc, and Tyler Hansbrough is practicing that stroke from the free-throw line, where he's made a constant living since coming to Chapel Hill three years ago.

Meanwhile, our RPI guru Jerry Palm, who is sitting next to me and following the Kansas Jayhawks, is shmoozing with the Denver Post's John Henderson and discussing their Final Four picks.

Back to the court, where the Tar Heels have huddled up at the center of the floor, and have started running their fast-break drill as Williams looks on at one end of the court.

Sophomore shooting guard Wayne Ellington just threw down a big one-handed jam and the Tar Heels have gotten into their dunk contest session. Senior Quentin Thomas just took a beautiful lob from point guard Ty Lawson and stuffed it home, and that really got a roar from the crowd.


After some more shooting at both baskets and 50 minutes of court time, North Carolina is leaving the floor and heading back to the locker room to finish up things for the day. I imagine Williams' team won't be doing much else today besides resting up for tomorrow's huge tilt against Big 12 champ Kansas, who had a good practice session that you can read about from Mr. Palm.

You can also check out Memphis' practice session along with the team's coach and player interviews from Professor David Scott, who will be following around the Tigers for the weekend. Our college baseball guru here at, Eric Sorenson, will also be joining us later in the day after catching some stitchball in the Lone Star State earlier this week, so make sure to check back here for more news and notes over the rest of the entire weekend.

So with the practice sessions over, we'll wrap things up from the Alamodome and look forward to being back with you tomorrow for two enticing national semifinal games.

Posted by Josh Herwitt at 04:21 PM on April 04, 2008

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