I want to elaborate on something I touched on earlier today, something that most Tar Heel fans have been clamoring for all season long, something that seems obvious to me at this point in the season. UNC sophomore guard/forward P.J. Hairston needs to be unleashed.
Hairston is more than just a sharpshooter with scoring ability, more than just the best player off Roy Williams‘ bench, he’s the only player on this roster that has oh what do the kids call it today? Swagger? Hairston has the mindset of a superstar, the guy who isn’t afraid to take the team on his back, to lead.
Yet he plays less than half the game on average (19.1 mins per game) take away the UNLV game in which starter Reggie Bullock sat out and Hairston played a career high 32 minutes his average drops to just 16.1 mins per contest. Hairston is the only player on this roster who attacks the basket with purpose, the only player versatile enough to do everything this team needs in the half court offense. Yet for some reason he’s on the bench 53% of the game.
It’s time to unleash Hairston. When he’s on the court he plays hard, he plays with toughness and the entire team responds. I wrote earlier this week that this team needs a leader, before the season it was assumed that leader would be James Michael McAdoo but assumptions have been proven wrong. It’s certainly not senior Dexter Strickland and although Reggie Bullock has played some terrific basketball this season, he doesn’t have the same qualities that a leader needs to have, qualities that P.J. Hairston has.
This seems so simple it’s mind boggling that it hasn’t happened yet. Maybe it’s loyalty to the senior Strickland or the notion that he has to develop and play all of his talented wing players, whatever it is it’s meaningless if the season continues to go the way it has so far this season. So Roy Williams please, unleash P.J. Hairston he could very well be the key to the Tar Heels season.