The last time the North Carolina men's basketball team addressed media as a group, the Tar Heels had just lost to Syracuse in the second round of the ACC Tournament. That game on March 11 turned out to be the last college athletics event completed until Aug. 29, "Week Zero" of the college football season, pandemic edition.
Seven months after yet another disappointing, head-scratching loss in a season filled with disappointing, head-scratching losses, the Tar Heels were yet again in front of reporters for the first press conference of the year Wednesday, this time under much stranger circumstances.
Garrison Brooks, Andrew Platek, Leaky Black and Roy Williams all wore masks as they entered the press room in the basement of the Dean E. Smith Center, before taking them off to address a camera linked to a Zoom press conference and an empty room. Brooks made it clear the team was still adjusting to the world of practice during COVID-19.
"I was talking to one of our managers from our freshmen year just last night actually. I was just telling him how everything could change in two days," Brooks said. "It's been tough for us, just tryna plan everything, stay safe, keep everyone in a tight bubble. That's really hard for us, that's a challenge and we've been doing it pretty well."
Despite the less-than-ideal circumstances, North Carolina men's basketball is back. Gone is the disappointing outing of the 2019-20 season, complete with its missed box outs, ill-fitted roster and more losses than Chapel Hill has seen in decades.