Monday, November 24, 2008

Hansbrough, Frasor ready to take another leap

LAHAINA, Hawaii — Just down the beach from North Carolina's team hotel rises "Black Rock," a 40-foot ledge of hardened ebony lava that draws plenty of recreational cliff divers, particularly at sunset.

Considering Tyler Hansbrough and Bobby Frasor's history of taking plunges — remember those internet pictures last summer, showing them diving from the second floor of a frat house into an above ground pool? — of course they won't be able to resist.

"Actually, me and Bob were just talking about it – we're going to go do it,'' Hansbrough said Sunday. "Hopefully, someone will get some pictures of it. It will give us a little buzz."

They'll take the leap with coach Roy Williams' blessing.

"It should be easier for them; they're more experienced than the rest of the team,'' he quipped.

This marks Williams' fourth trip to the Maui Invitational, and he said at least half of his players (including his son, Scott, and a couple team parents) from Kansas and UNC have taken the leap on Kaanapaali Beach over the years. Other visiting teams have done it, too.

Williams' only rules: do it after the tournament is over, and don't even considering asking him to participate in the freefall.

"If I go off, it's because one of my players pushed my rear end, because I didn't jump,'' he insisted.

At least one Tar Heel, senior Marcus Ginyard, said he didn't plan to jump either — but only because he was worried about the impact on his still-healing broken foot.

But even though his team has been injury-plagued of late (including Hansbrough, who was out three weeks with a stress reaction in his right shin), Williams said he's not worried about additional bruises, twists, breaks or strains.

" They can step off the bus today and step on something and roll an ankle … people don't jump off the cliff unless they think they can make it,'' he said."

Hansbrough and Frasor certainly think they'll make a splash — even if it is a little higher than their starting point last summer.

" I think we'll be good,'' Hansbrough said. " I think it will be a little deeper down there than a four-foot pool."

— Robbi Pickeral