UNC Basketball: Do We Need to Calm the P.J. Hairston Should Start Talk?

This concept isn’t new, P.J. Hairston is a dynamic player, Dexter Strickland is not, so start Hairston already Roy Williams.  North Carolina fans have been calling for this move for quite some time.  After all the team feeds off Hairston, he’s the only player that can shoot and take the ball to the rim, his defense is coming around and his energy is infectious.  So why hasn’t Roy made the move yet?

Jan 10, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard P.J. Hairston (15) dribbles in the first half. The Hurricanes defeated the Tar Heels 68-59 at the Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Roy recently made this quote when asked about the subject:

Right now, I think he’s more valuable coming off the bench’’

Hairston is averaging 27 minutes per game over his last four games which begs the question do we need to calm the P.J. Hairston should start talk?  The counter argument here is that Hairston is playing “starter minutes” and the concept that it doesn’t matter who starts the game it matters who’s on the floor during crunch time.

I don’t subscribe to either of those theories, I firmly believe the team would be better with Hairston in the starting lineup.  Look at James Harden, a fantastic sixth man for the Oklahoma City Thunder so good in fact that he was selected to represent the United States in the Olympics.  His minutes in his last season for the Thunder 16.8 points, 3.7 assists in 31.4 minutes.  After being traded to the Houston Rockets and becoming a starter he exploded his averages this season 26.5 points, 5.3 assists in 38.5 minutes.

Now more is at play in Hardens increased productivity, with the Thunder he played with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in Houston the offense runs through him.  Chapel Hill is not Oklahoma City and the offense is not running through two superstars.  The real reason this move has to happen in order for Carolina to reach their potential this season is the simple fact that the offense doesn’t run through anybody.  It was supposed to run trough James Michael McAdoo who hasn’t improved his game enough to be the catalyst of the offense and Reggie Bullock doesn’t have game versatile enough to take on that responsibility.  It has to be Hairston and it has to be soon.

The team is 11-5 and just 1-2 in the conference with 15 games remaining it’s may not take 20 wins to get into the tournament this year but it’s going to be close and if this team wants a decent seed they are going to have to win more than that.  Time is running out to find an identity, to find an offensive leader, especially when he’s sitting on the bench right beside the head coach.

Topics: North Carolina Tar Heels, P.j. Hairston

Want more from Keeping It Heel?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • http://twitter.com/DSteele_23 Dereck Steele

    This issue is just a dead subject. Roy is just unwilling to try anything else and its painfully obvious its needs to happen. This team is young and not overall as talented and deep to not put the absolute best overall 5 you have as starters and play the most minutes. I don’t get why Dex gets so many mins if you are easing him back after injury and admitting he is not 100% yet. No to mention he is sometimes invisible and starting to feel like the Drew situation but maybe not as severe. No team in the country right now would not start PJ at the 2 or 3! I mean a 6-6 SG? match up nightmare not to mention it gives the team a better balance. Paige, Bullock and PJ at the same time keeps the floor spread out b/c they can and will shoot! Hate to compare but Duke clearly has bought into this philosophy. I can even deal with Hubert starting at the 5 but with Strickland its basically only 3 guys starting that attempt to score! After 3 years Dex should be a better PG bec at his size he wont be a 2g in the NBA so y not play him as the backup to Paige? I just don’t get it at all. PJ actually appears to be the best overall player in someways b/c he score a number of ways and has been playing hard on both ends…amazing a talent like this at a school like this is an issue! If i were a top recruit this type of thing would turn me away that i wouldnt start or play more over someone just because of senority.

    • Keeping_It_Heel

      couldn’t agree more, this needs to happen. I think Roy is holding PJ and the team back by not making this move.

      • http://twitter.com/HorranCameron Horran Cameron

        I also think that someone is going to transfer, due to this foolishness. I have seen this before with Carolina, even when Dean was the coach. I hope that no one transfers because we have a nice collection of talent on this team. Next season, we would be poised to make a serious run w/the amount of veteran leadership we would have. I think that Roy is puzzled as to how to shape this team’s identity. He had it easy w/Tyler, Danny, Wayne, & Tywon. Also, Harrison, Zeller, and Henson. Keep in mind, that Roy was reluctant to start Kendall over Drew II, when Kendall had better numbers in less minutes compared to Drew II. Roy also did the same w/Bobby & Tywon; however, that was a different case because Bobby was actually a decent PG and superb leader. The problem was that Tywon was much better.