North Carolina Basketball: Star Recruit Justin Jackson Will Fill The Gap In Tar Heels Lineup

By Gregory Philson
Roy Williams
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels‘ early exit in the 2014 NCAA tournament left a lot to be desired for fans, but the team had problems throughout the season and one of the main holes in the lineup could be filled when star recruit Justin Jackson makes his way from Spring, Texas to Chapel Hill next year.

The Tar Heels had the perimeter shooting of Marcus Paige and an inside game from James Michael McAdoo, but after losing P.J. Hairston, a real shooting guard never played into the lineup for coach Roy Williams‘ team.

J.P. Tokoto had a fine season, but his jumper was often flat and nowhere near consistent enough to be effective. Leslie McDonald had his moments, but he is graduating. If the team was going to play without any recruits coming in, Nate Britt would be at point guard and Paige would slide full-time to the two-guard. The problem there would be the same thing the Heels had to deal with this past season.

Eventually, teams focused all their attention on Paige and it occasionally wore him down. Jackson has good size at 6-foot-7 and scouts project him to be an athletic guard with a solid mid-range game. Both of those assets will help North Carolina in the open floor game and in the half-court offense.

Jackson also had a 3-point jumper that the Tar Heels desperately need. Scouts also suggest that Jackson plays within his limitations. This will benefit the Tar Heels because it opens up Paige to freelance more on the court. Assuming everyone who can return does next season, the addition of Jackson could help push North Carolina into a top-level team come the 2014-15 season.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC basketball writer at Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on GoogleRead more here.

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