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The Daily Tar Heel

The ACC Network's 'All-Access' show portrays the fun side of UNC basketball

The 2019-2020 UNC Men's basketball team posed during the UNC Men's Basketball Media Day in the Dean Smith Center on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2019.

The debut of "All Access: A Season with Carolina Basketball" on the new ACC Network Monday night gave fans an early behind-the-scenes peek of the 2019-20 Tar Heels. 

It also gave them a few instances of Roy Williams fully in his coaching element.

"You have no idea how hard you'll have to run (in conditioning workouts)," Williams told his fresh-faced first-years. "You have no idea, you have no idea..." Then, gesturing toward rookie center Armando Bacot: "You really have no idea."

This episode, the first of six to be released this season, spent a fair amount of time showing the Tar Heels battling through summer workouts and the team conditioning program. But the rest of the episode's 40-ish minute run time revealed the thesis of the show – or at least, of its first episode – clearly: Williams and the Tar Heels are a fun group.

"What's a 'Boosie fade'?" Williams asks, after graduate guard Christian Keeling said that Williams' haircut resembled that of Baton Rouge, Louisiana rapper Boosie BadAzz. He then goes on to tell his fellow coaches the news: "Christian said I had a 'Boosie fade'... Armando knew what he was talking about, too."

For every moment of Williams getting after his players – he admonishes Cole Anthony at one point for a bad turnover, saying "That's a play somebody would make on the playground at 75 years old" – there's twice as many members of the team laughing it up and enjoying each other's company, asking pressing questions, such as "How many holes does a straw have?" (Senior guard Brandon Robinson was an adamant "two holes" guy.)

The most endearing moment came near the midway point of the episode, when junior guard K.J. Smith, son of Tar Heel legend Kenny "The Jet" Smith, was put on scholarship. We then see "Baby Jet" FaceTime his dad and mom to tell them the good news.

(The second most endearing moment was K.J. supporting local journalism.)

Another important debate that makes its way into "All Access": Would you eat a meal alone? Garrison Brooks says yes – and he'd go to the movies alone, too.

"I went to go see 'Toy Story (4)' by myself," the junior forward said. Noted.

"I'm not gonna lie, I might see 'Joker' by myself," he said. "I'm going to a movie to focus on this movie."

One point where this all-fun-and-little-play approach falls flat, is the sprawling conversation between Brooks and his roommates, Sterling Manley, Robinson and Keeling, that touches on everything from the stairs of their house to Keeling's peculiar phrasing choices to "Madden." It's just too long.

The episode closes on Late Night with Roy, the team's annual preseason scrimmage made open to the public. Here, we get ample shots of Tar Heels, old and new, making their entrances, dancing to country music and draining half-court shots in a shooting contest.

Most notable of all, of course, is Williams, decked out in a pink blazer and Air Jordans, doing the Electric Slide with his players and the UNC dance team. It was a microcosm of the entire first episode of "All Access": Williams and his team are here to win, but they're here to have fun, too.

"Halfway through (the dance), he was talking about, 'Yeah, I got em now,'" Keeling recalled, laughing. "I was weak."


@DTHSports |

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