An impromptu party broke out in the North Carolina locker room following the Tar Heels' 102-62 exhibition win against UNC-Pembroke on Saturday night — loud music shouts and laughter filling even the next room over.
Apparently" nobody was happier to see the nation's top-ranked basketball team on the court than the team members themselves.
""It was fun just to have 20"000 people out there" senior guard Bobby Frasor said. It's been great to get back.""
And for Frasor"" getting back is especially sweet. The senior sat out most of the 2007-08 season with a knee injury and endured extensive rehabilitation to be able to return.
But he certainly made sure that his time on the court would be worth the wait.
Frasor wasn't in the game two minutes before he spotted up on the wing and buried a 3-pointer — one of his three on the game. Frasor's nine points were complemented by two steals.
""It's a security blanket to have him out there because he does make your entire defense better"" said Williams, who said Frasor worked harder to come back and do the rehab than anybody I've ever seen.
""I'm happy for him"" a youngster that has worked that hard.""
Danny Green and Wayne Ellington led the Tar Heels in scoring with 16 each. Green went 5-for-9 from the floor and 3-for-5 from beyond the arc.
Point guard Ty Lawson flashed his lightning-quick footspeed on offense for 14 points and five assists. But he also showed fire on the defensive side of the ball" with a game-high six steals.
But the elephant in the room was firmly planted at the end of the Tar Heel bench.
Tyler Hansbrough Marcus Ginyard and freshman Justin Watts did not see action" each nursing an injury. Watts was out after injuring his knee in practice Friday.
""We had a nice little suit crew on the sidelines" Green said.
Hopefully they'll be back soon" and we'll be even better because everybody else will be so much stronger for picking up the slack from when they're gone.""
Hansbrough's absence was the most notable as the forward hasn't missed a game — or exhibition — in the past three years.
Frasor and his teammates felt a little odd when the three-time All-America's name wasn't called as one of the five starters.
""That's something I've never seen when they call the starting lineups"" Frasor said. I don't think he knew where to go.""
Hansbrough and Ginyard's injuries meant that last year's sixth man" Green got the start taking the place of his traditional pregame sideline dance.
Even though he was on the court" Green still gave the smallest of shimmies just before tipoff.
""As soon as the music came on" coach looked at me waiting to see what I was going to do" Green said. He knows I can't dance on the floor.
""Somebody will take over"" hopefully.""
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