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CHAPEL HILL– The Tar Heel women’s basketball team held their first fall practice in Carmichael Arena Monday. And Head Coach Sylvia Hatchell is off and running on her preparations for a season ripe with expectation and excitement for a couple reasons.

For one, the Tar Heels have the pleasure of welcoming the much-anticipated group of four freshmen that made up the top recruiting class in the country last year.

“They’re learning a lot right now which is expected, but once in a while you see them do something and you just say ‘wow,'” Hatchell says.

And with the veteran stable of returning players finally healthy for the first time, Hatchell says she is excited about the possibilities this season.

“I’m really excited for the potential this group has. They just need some time to grow,” Hatchell says.

The other off-season headline came in the form of the addition of former Tar Heel All-American Ivory Latta as an assistant coach for Carolina. The current Washington Mystic All-Star guard says she is thrilled to get her second job underway after finishing her WNBA season a few weeks ago.

“I loved the intensity of the first practice. Even though I’m an assistant coach I still have that point guard frame of mind. I was telling the guards today to be more vocal. Make your teammates understand and they will follow you,” Latta says.

And newly inducted Hall of Fame member Hatchell says she loves the winner’s mentality that Latta brings back to the UNC program.

The Tar Heel women’s basketball season gets underway Nov. 8 in a home encounter against Air Force.