Should UNCs Leslie McDonald Play Or Redshirt?


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UNC Junior forward Leslie McDonald who has been practicing on a limited basis with the Heels will make his decision soon. McDonald has a tough decision, does he play and try to help his team win a national title?  Or Should he red shirt this year, continue rehab, practice with the team and comeback 100% next year?

McDonald, who averaged 7 points per game last year off the bench for UNC would add depth to an already deep team. This isn’t the first time a Tar Heel has been faced with the exact same decision.  Tyler Zeller, then a freshman chose to return to play during the last 13 games and helped the 09 team to a national title.

Of course, each situation is unique, what should Leslie McDonald do?  Find out after the jump.

Coming into the season McDonald, in my view had a great chance to be the top shooter off the bench.  Nobody knew what the team would have in sophomore Reggie Bullock, injured after struggling with his shot as a freshman.  PJ Hairston, although highly touted coming into Chapel Hill, you’ve got to prove it on the court first.

Times have changed.

In the Heels young, 16 game season thus far, one thing is obvious.  UNC doesn’t need Leslie McDonald this season. Not that another, athletic shooter

wouldn’t be nice, it would. It’s just not necessary to the Heels’ success this year and would hinder McDonald long term. I hate to say anything negative about any young man or woman playing for the Tar Heels. I’m just being real here, this kid is not an NBA prospect. He may end up in Europe or Puerto Rico or something playing pro ball, not the NBA. Playing the remainder of the schedule, rusty, without the benefit of training camp, or playing these cup cakes teams the rest of the Heels have played is a waste. What’s best for this young man is he needs to continue his rehab, hit the books, practice with the team and get better for next season.

Listen to Zeller explain his reasoning behind his return in 2009.:

"“My thought was, because I was a freshman — and this is kind of bold, which I don’t usually do — but I’d always said, ‘If I’m not out of here in four years, then there’s something wrong. I should be going into business, or I should be doing something else anyway.’ That was kind of my mindset. I knew that I could gain experience, I could get better. But I also didn’t want to go to grad school, so I figured that four years was enough for me.”"

And here’s what Roy has to say on the subject:

"“I think I said this early: Human nature, you want to say, ‘Why would you give up a whole year, just to play half a year?’ So that’s been in the back of my mind since the start,’’ UNC coach Roy Williams said Friday. “So that’s something we want to see. And to me … [a decision] is not going to be very long from now. In my opinion, why would you wait until February to bring a guy back? In my opinion, that wouldn’t be very wise.”"

"“First day, he didn’t miss a shot,’’ Williams said. “He was off the charts. And today, he didn’t make a shot. He said they fouled him all the time. So mentally, he’s there.”"

Why bring him back so he can sit behind Harrison Barnes, Dexter Strickland, Reggie Bullock and PJ Hairston?  It doesn’t make much sense at all.

Keep It Heel!

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