P.J. Hairston has been arguably the best player for the North Carolina Tar Heels since head coach Roy Williams bucked tradition and went with a four guard lineup inserting Hairston into the starting lineup at the unfamiliar power forward position. Hairston has shined and has become the player this UNC team feeds off of.
Hairston already with tape around his left wrist suffered one of the strangest injuries I’ve ever seen in the ACC Tournament championship against Florida State. Going for a loose ball, P.J.’s non shooting left hand was cut in the webbing, quite badly I might add requiring several stitches.
Tar Heel fans have the pain of critical injuries in March all to fresh in their minds after both John Henson and Kendall Marshall suffered injuries late last season. Henson was able to come back but Marshall had to sit out a critical tournament game which ended their championship run.
Hairston has been very tough playing through the injury with almost no reminder of it other than the gigantic bandage he has on his left hand. When interviewed after UNC survived a closer than it should have been contest with Villanova, Hairston revealed that the injury wasn’t hindering him at all (proven by his 23 points on 7-11 shooting, five rebounds and three steals) and that he would have his stitches taken out Monday.
The Tar Heels are set for a match up with Kansas on Sunday and if the Tar Heels are fortunate enough to advance, hand gate will be behind them.