Fans return for Late Night, see perimeter show

By R.L. Bynum CHAPEL HILL — Energy, crowd noise and excitement returned to the Smith Center on Friday night for the first Late Night in two years. After a season of playing in virtually empty arenas, fans — some waiting outside for hours — eagerly took advantage of the first chance to see North Carolina’s …

Kelly back at her natural position, excited for ‘freshman year, part 2’

By R.L. Bynum CHARLOTTE — This season feels like a new beginning for sophomore guard Deja Kelly. There was nothing normal about her freshman season spent in a bubble with her Carolina teammates, taking classes virtually and playing in front of nearly empty arenas. “Basically, I feel like a freshman again, honestly,” Kelly said Wednesday …

Expect a healthy, improved Tshitenge this season but no finger wags like her uncle Dikembe

By R.L. Bynum CHARLOTTE — You can expect Carolina forward Malu Tshitenge to block a few shots this season but don’t expect her to celebrate like her Hall of Fame uncle. Dikembe Mutombo blocked 3,289 shots during his NBA career and liked to add a “no, no, no” finger wag in the direction of the …

Hoops hype begins this week with ACC Tipoff, Late Night

By R.L. Bynum With Carolina basketball season less than a month away, the anticipation ramps up this week with the ACC Tipoff media gathering in Charlotte Tuesday and Wednesday and Late Night at the Smith Center on Friday night at 7:30. It starts on Tuesday with the men’s basketball portion of ACC Tipoff. Sophomore guard …

Veteran leadership for young, talented UNC women already making a difference

By R.L. Bynum With the No. 2-ranked freshman class bolstering the No. 11-ranked sophomore class, UNC’s women’s basketball team won’t lack for talent this season. The team is so young, though, that only three players had walked to a Carolina class before this school year thanks to last year’s virtual classes and nine being underclassmen. …