Without P.J. Hairston, UNC Will Struggle to Contend in the ACC

By Anthony Lenahan
P.J. Hairston
Peter Casey-USA Today Sports

Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame will all join the ACC this season and make it the toughest conference in America, hands down. That means that if you want to compete for a conference championship, you are going to need your best players to perform at the highest level possible.

North Carolina, Duke and North Carolina State will be the main competition for the three newcomers for the conference championship, but UNC might no longer be in the race. With the recent news about the suspension of UNC star guard, P.J. Hairston, Carolina is going to have another season where they are just getting their young players some experience. Last season was the same way with only one upperclassman and this year will look to be the same exact way with only one key player being a junior.

Marcus Paige is going to be a sophomore and he showed how much he improved last season and will need this year to develop into the best player he can be.

Leslie McDonald will be a senior guard for Carolina who should be in the starting five, but he isn’t the type of player who can take a team to the next level. He is a great role player who plays tough defense and can knock down the outside shot when open, but he isn’t anywhere near Hairston.

Carolina, once again, will have a ton of depth, especially at the four and five spots. They have seven different players who will see action as a big man, but the only one of those who has made a name for themselves is James Michael McAdoo.

With depth and talent, they can possibly be a contender, but if Hairston is done for the season, all the talent and depth they have will be more for them to be a legit contender the following year.

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