Preseason Player Profile: P.J. Hairston

Most of the freshmen hype has focused on James Michael McAdoo, who won MVP of the McDonald’s All-American game, but let’s not forget that Hairston was a major factor in leading that East team to victory and his role will be much different than McAdoo’s this year.

Sam: While the general consensus is that McAdoo is the better prospect and potential NBA pick next year, I think Hairston might actually be more important to this year’s team’s success. In losing Leslie McDonald to an ACL tear, UNC doesn’t have a consistent threat from beyond the arc, though Marshall did hit some pretty clutch 3’s last year. Hairston or Reggie Bullock will need to step into that role in order to stretch defenses and allow the bigs to get their work done. Although I don’t think Roy would demote Strickland just because he finds a 3-point threat, if Hairston shoots like he did in the exhibition against Pembroke, then he could certainly start to earn some of Dex’s minutes.

Benn: I don’t see the Strickland demotion either. The thought of having a true shooter coming off the bench is too good. I will say the two turnovers against UNC-P though is a little worrisome. Can’t say I know much about his potential on the defensive side, but with him being such on offensive threat I wasn’t too worried about it. The turnovers though. UNC needs ball handlers, especially off the bench.