Four Corners: Hairston Stops Leslie and Paige Turns Superhero in Win Over Pack


I am back fresh off a Tar Heel win over NC State 76-65 Saturday in front of a electric crowd in a game North Carolina needed.  Local media were saying that they would not be surprised if UNC  won because of how important this game was to the Tar Heels.  First I do not understand how any game in February that is the difference between third and fifth place in the ACC is not big for either team. NC State had so much hype going into the season that we now need to make excuses for why they won’t win?  This is why the Wolfpack are not a top program because if Duke or North Carolina were in a game on the road similar to NC State yesterday their best players would try to crush the life out of their opponent reminding them who the top dogs are in the ACC.

Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY SPORTS

Now that my soap box is complete here are the four random thoughts from yesterday in college basketball.

One: Perhaps Mark Gottfried should take a cue from John Calipari and play dodgeball with his team except change the format a little to spice it up.  Allow Calvin and CJ to play on one side and the rest of the team on the other including Bobby Lutz who looks like he could be a mean bantam weight in MMA. CJ Leslie may be the most over hyped player in college basketball who disappears in big games that I can remember.  Leslie was awful in Chapel Hill yesterday and PJ Hairston showed his strength keeping Leslie from doing virtually anything all day.  The one dunk he had came after what appeared to be a travel as well as forearm push off.  If the NBA looks at CJ Leslie in round one after this season then my eleven year old should run a franchise.

Two: The Hurricanes are going to make an early exit from the Tournament. Sure they are the top tea in the ACC, but the Hurricanes remind me of the Josh Howard led Wake Forest team that was great in the regular season, but was not a spectacular team that you felt confident heading into the NCAA tournament. The Hurricanes will need help from the selection committee and even that may not be enough to help them advance far in the tournament. This is nota knee jerk reaction to Wake Forest, but a collective lookat how they are playing the past week and half flirting with disaster against Clemson and now Wake Forest.

Three: We are giving PJ Hairston the big competitor award this week.  Playing defensively out of position he dominated Calvin CJ Leslie, yes he is one in the same person, all afternoon.  Calvin must have been visiting nightmares of John Henson returned as the pre-season all everything player was absent in Chapel Hill.  Hairston did not have the offensive night he has displayed recently however he competed where Roy needs him to: on the glass and the defensive end of the floor. Hairston did more for his NBA future showing at 6-6 he can guard a top power forward in the county.

Four: After scoring zero points in the first half Marcus “Clark Kent” Paige must have stopped in a phone booth instead of joining the Tar Heels in the locker room.  The rookie was sensational in the second half converting on two huge baskets with the shot clock running down and handing out eight assists while committing zero turnovers.  John Swafford immediately has asked for performance enhancing test and the State of North Carolina is screening PNC Arena for Kryptonite.  Paige’s maturation is coming along nicely as he has a 4/1 assist to turnover ratio over his last five games.