North Carolina’s junior guard, Leslie McDonald got his first ever start at the college level last night when the NO. 14 ranked Tar Heels took on the University of Alabama Birmingham.
McDonald, the normal first or second man off the bench for Roy Williams, got the start when freshman point guard, Marcus Paige was unable to play due to an injury.
A question mark coming into the season after having to sit out all of last season with a torn ACL, McDonald was able to answer all questions with his performance last night.
Last night, McDonald scored 24 points to lead the Tar Heels on 7 of 11 shooting and 5 of 8 from 3-point range. With his 24 points, McDonald also was able to contribute 3 rebounds and 5 assists in Carolina’s 102-84 victory.
McDonald’s 24 points was enough to break his previous career high of 21 points, which he had set earlier in the season against Mississippi State in the Maui Invitational.
McDonald proving he can score at this high of a rate and shoot from the outside as well as has been this season, will be strongly beneficial for Coach William’s squad.
As a team that is going to have to rely on the 3-ball a lot this season, McDonald has shown that he can help out the Tar Heels in this area. Also with McDonald being able to shoot this well, it will open up the paint a little more for Dexter Strickland to drive and for James Michael McAdoo on the post.
Not only was McDonald’s performance a huge accomplishment for himself last night, but also a huge step for UNC as they look to improve throughout the season.