Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

UNC Basketball: Did PJ Hairston Actually Think About Going Pro?

I have to admit I thought I had a drunk Twitter follower yesterday morning when I received this tweet:

No way I thought!  But then I remembered Brian and he hasn’t steered me wrong yet so I set out to try and find anything I could.  I came up with nothing, okay let me ask where this is coming from.


For those of you who don’t subscribe to ESPN Insider, basically Hairston was listed in a column of potential early entrants, to which all the rest seemed like legitimate players on the list.  And then I came across another column that mentions Hairston as a possible early entree.

I still haven’t accepted anything as fact.  Nothing from the University or any other coverage I’ve heard, read or investigated even hinted that PJ Hairston was actually considering going pro, not once.  It would be easy for something like this to become a false rumor.  A joke overheard by a reporter, some faulty “inside information” passed on from one “source” to another.  Half of the trade and free agent rumors I read about professional sports, what 10% come true?  No reason this couldn’t be along the same lines.

But something in me says this may not have been bogus.  I can’t even begin to explain how ridiculous and stupid of a decision it would be for PJ Hairston to try and go to the NBA after the struggles he went through his freshman season.  Hairston didn’t just struggle with his shot, his game shut down with it.  PJ Hairston has the athleticism, body and skills to play in the NBA right now and he knows it.  The problem is, he played very poorly last season.

Right now I have him competing with incoming freshman JP Tokoto to be the #4 perimeter player in Carolinas rotation next season behind Dexter Strickland, Reggie Bullock and Leslie McDonald.  A pure shooter who shot less than 30% from three and 33% from the field thinking about the pro’s is puzzling.  Not only did Hairston struggle with his shot, he stopped doing anything but standing still and launching contested jump shots whenever he got the ball with enough room to get off a shot.  He was not very active defensively or on the boards.  He did not look to utilize his athleticism much in the half court and rarely attacked the basket.  Hairston has a ton of talent but he’s got a long ways to go before he establishes himself as a player worthy of big time minutes for Carolina.  I just hope for his sake he wasn’t really thinking about going to the NBA.  One would hope a year at the University of North Carolina, one of our nations finest Universities, he would make smarter decisions than that.

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Tags: FanSided NBA NBA Draft PJ Hairston

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