Mar 15, 2012; Greensboro, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard P.J. Hairston (15) shoots during practice before the second round of the 2012 NCAA men

UNC Basketball: Lineup Against Shaw Likely Won’t be the Last


The lineup that North Carolina coach Roy Williams will employ when the Tar Heels take the court against Shaw on the 26th still has plenty of mystery.  Williams has gone on record with his support for freshman Marcus Paige as the starting point guard this season over Dexter StricklandJames Michael McAdoo is being counted on to be the teams star this season in his sophomore season and with the departures of John Henson and Tyler Zeller his starting spot is cemented.

Jan, 29, 2012; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard P.J. Hairston (15) dribbles in the first half at the Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Reggie Bullock is also pretty certain to start and play substantial minutes on the perimeter after doing a nice job replacing Strickland in the lineup last season when he suffered a season ending ACL injury midway through the year.  The two remaining spots in the lineup and the rest of the rotation remain a mystery.

Roy will have to decide between PJ Hairston, Leslie McDonald and Strickland for the open perimeter spot and freshman Brice Johnson, Joel James and sophomore Desmond Hubert for the spot inside next to McAdoo.

Whatever lineup Roy chooses to go with in the exhibition game against Shaw and the next few games to start the regular season for that matter should not be looked at as the lineup he will necessarily use for the remainder of the season.  With the depth on the perimeter and the inexperience inside, Roy is likely to experiment with both his starting lineup and the rotation he uses until he finds the right combination.

Based on the fact that he’s the most physically ready, I expect to see Joel James at the center spot over Brice Johnson and the offensively limited Desmond Hubert.  It’s tough to call whether or not Leslie McDonald has shaken off the rust enough to truly compete at this point for the SG spot, so for now, I’ll place my bet on PJ Hairston for the start of the season.

Tags: North Carolina Tar Heels