The North Carolina offense has exploded since head coach Roy Williams finally decided to go with his five best players in the starting lineup and unleash P.J. Hairston. Despite the success, Roy has stated on numerous occasions that he is still nervous about the move and is in now way comfortable with the small lineup. Given the pursuit of the top player in the 2013 class Andrew Wiggins, is Roy ready to do this next year also?
Let’s make the assumption that both Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston decide to return next year rather than go pro. Starting those two with Wiggins and point guard Marcus Paige would be the best five players without a doubt. The more traditional lineup, the one Roy is comfortable with running wouldn’t allow for them to be on the floor together however.
The hope is that current freshman Joel James and Brice Johnson take a huge step forward next season and that incoming freshman Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks are able to make an impact (especially Hicks). Complicating matters is the status of James Michael McAdoo. McAdoo was a projected lottery pick heading into the season as a preseason All-American, now that’s not the case. McAdoo would almost certainly be a first round pick but it’s obvious he could really benefit from returning to school for another year.
With Roy being so uncomfortable with the small lineup it’s a safe assumption that if McAdoo goes he’ll be even less comfortable if his only big man in the lineup isn’t as skilled or experienced as James Michael. Given the most recent Wiggins rumors, speculation is swirling anywhere from FSU and KU being out of it and UK essentially taking themselves out with the commitment of Julius Randle which points to Wiggins heading to Chapel Hill.
Something that could really complicate things is where Wiggins would play in the lineup and if Roy has the stomach to commit to the small ball long term if this scenario plays itself out or conversely if he has the stomach to sit one of them and go back to a traditional lineup next season.
Something tells me Wiggins and his people are smart enough to have asked this exact question already and it’s entirely possible that the reason Andrew hasn’t announced yet or why he won’t at either the McDonald’s or Jordan game is because he’s simply waiting to see how rosters play out and how he would fit in each situation before making a final decision.