North Carolina was able to overcome their sloppy play to beat Maryland on the road in large part due to the play of Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston. Bullock and Hairston have been the Tar Heels two most productive players all season and against the Terrapins they continued that trend.
With Hairston inserted into the starting lineup, it allows him to be even more productive than he was when he was coming off the bench. That extra little bit of production he brings as a starter seems to be the difference in Carolina’s season this year as they have played great with him in the starting five.
Since Hairston is starting, but playing the four and having to match-up against the opponents big man, other players have needed to step up and rebound for Carolina.
Even though he is under-sized for a big man, Hairston is able to use his strength to be an effective rebounder down low for the Tar Heels. Bullock has also taken into consideration that as a tall wing player he can rebound as well.
Since Hairston has been starting, Bullock’s rebounding numbers have increased dramatically including his 12 rebounds in his double-double performance against Maryland.
With Bullock rebounding effectively, it allows the Tar Heels to play more minutes with their four guard lineup which has been a lot more effective than their old starting five.
Against Maryland, Hairston had eight rebounds and Bullock had 12, no other player had more than three for the Tar Heels.
Bullock and Hairston also combined for 41 points, more than half of their team’s total.
If Hairston and Bullock can keep up their strong play and continue to carry this Carolina team, they will be one team no one wants to matched up against.