The Junior Varsity Basketball Team at the University of North Carolina is a two year program that gives non scholarship students the opportunity to play basketball for one of the most prestigious basketball programs in the history of Division I athletics. Tryouts for the J.V. team occur every year prior to the beginning of basketball season in October. With with a valid physical any student that attends the University can try out for the J.V. team. The Junior Varsity team is coached by assistant varsity coaches who are given the opportunity to gain head coaching experience while still fulfilling their assistant duties on the varsity levels. The experience that they gain is extremely valuable if they choose to pursue head coaching jobs in the future. Players are only allowed to play on the J.V. team for two years and then they are given a chance to try out for the varsity as a walk-on. During their two years on the Junior Varsity team, the coaches get extra time to evaluate the J.V. players to gain a better understanding of what they could possibly contribute to the varsity team if given the opportunity later in their careers.
History of the J.V. Program
The J.V. team originated as a Freshmen Team when scholarship Freshmen were not allowed to play their first year as a student per NCAA rules. Following the 1972 NCAA rule change that made freshmen eligible for varsity action, the University of North Carolina kept their Junior Varsity Team in place while a majority of other schools across the nation disbanded their Freshmen teams.
The Junior Varsity team plays all of their games in the Dean Smith Center three hours before the Varsity games take place. The J.V. team suits up against area Division II and Division III teams as well as junior colleges, prep schools, and Community Colleges.
Roy Williams, head coach of the Men's Varsity Basketball team at the University of North Carolina, coached the J.V. team for 8 years when he was serving as an assistant for Dean Smith. Phil Ford who was the leading scorer in North Carolina history before Tyler Hansbrough broke his record in the 2008-2009 season also served as a coach for the Junior Varsity team.