Athletic Director Dick Baddour opened things up with the obvious at the 2008-09 North Carolina Tar Heel Basketball Awards Ceremony in the Smith Center on Thursday.
It's a great day to be a Tar Heel"" Baddour said.
For the national champion North Carolina Tar Heels and their fans, it certainly was.
It was a night of celebration, made all the more complete as every speech was made against the backdrop of national championship trophies — one with the nets from Detroit draped across it.
And from the outset, it seemed as though senior Tyler Hansbrough had literally just walked off the court at Ford Field: He wore the same ear-to-ear grin that split his face as the final buzzer sounded in Detroit.
The trio of seniors Hansbrough, Danny Green and Bobby Frasor were named tri-captains, and redshirting senior Marcus Ginyard received the Foy Roberson Award for inspiration.
Hansbrough and Ty Lawson shared the Most Valuable Player award, and the Most Improved Player award was split between Ed Davis and Wayne Ellington.
The senior speeches were highlighted by Frasor's jokes and senior Mike Copeland's barrage of thank-yous"" which even included the maintenance crew.
After Copeland's speech, Green decided to save some time in his own address by saying, I just want to thank all the people that Mike thanked.""
But the elephant in the room — whether juniors Ellington and Lawson would leave for the NBA or return to UNC for their senior season — remained silent.
Neither Lawson nor Ellington talked to the media"" and Williams said that he was in the process of gathering information about their potential draft stock.
""They're going to do what they want to do" and that's what I want them to do" Williams said in a press conference following the ceremony.
But I want it to be an informed decision.""
While Lawson and Ellington will wait until the April 26 deadline is at least a little closer to announce" seniors Hansbrough and Green are already prepping for the draft.
Both are in the process of hiring agents while finishing up schoolwork so that they can graduate with their classmates this May.
Contact the Sports Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.