With the exception of Reggie Bullock, the Tar Heels have brought back a lot of experience for this coming season. James Michael McAdoo decided to stay at Chapel Hill for another year to try and make a run at an NCAA Championship.
Along with McAdoo is Marcus Paige who has potential to stand out as one of the best point guards in the nation. With his speed he is able to control the fast paced UNC tempo that Roy Williams loves in his point guards. He developed a lot as a point guard last year during an up and down season as he gained confidence to knock down shots outside the perimeter. This gave the Heels another outside threat to an already impressive three point shooting team.
Whether PJ Hairston has cleared up his off-court issues or not yet with Roy Williams and the school, he will definitely be back this season. He is coming off of an outstanding year, becoming the best shooter on the team along with Bullock and one of the top shooters in the nation. He will definitely be heavily guarded this season, but that will open up some of the other guys on the floor.
Leslie McDonald is another player to watch out for this season. He hasn’t received the playing time that he has hoped for in the past, but look for him to earn some solid minutes this season as another three point threat.
Whether Joel James or Desmond Hubert gets the starting job, they can both be big threats at the center position. Desmond Hubert is a guy who can get up and down the floor at Roy Williams fast pace, and he can make big plays inside to open up the perimeter shooters. Joel James is a big guy who can dominate the boards for Heels. Rebounding has always been a key focus for Roy Williams as he will look to James to come up with some second chance points at the offensive end of the floor. Brice Johnson is another guy who has been putting on some weight this off-season and made some great plays last season when the Tar Heels needed him too; look for Johnson to earn some more minutes this season.
Along with these returning Heels, look for the freshman to have some impact on this year’s team. UNC grabbed some solid recruits coming in this season with 6’9” 280lbs Kennedy Meeks, 6’8” 210 lbs. Isaiah Hicks, and 6’1” 180 lbs. Nate Britt. These guys were some of the best high school players in the country who committed to UNC to set the stage for this program moving forward. As the basketball season is approaching, watch for the Tar Heels to break into the top 25 rankings as they look to have a successful year with many of their returning starters.