And so the drama year begins. The North Carolina basketball season is about to tip off the season and there is no word yet from the NCAA about either P.J. Hairston or Leslie McDonald. The only thing that is certain is that neither of the players will play tomorrow night at the Dean Dome when UNC starts its season against Oakland.
You can check out the press conference here.
I have to say that I found pretty hilarious when head coach Roy Williams, who looked a lot more tired than in the years past before the beginning of the season, said this about the starting line up… Nate Britt, Marcus Paige, J.P. Tokoto, James Michael McAdoo and “whoever brings me the best dessert after practice.” Not sure if that means he is not sure who is going to be the big man in the middle or if the centers need to lay off the sugars! Kidding aside, this means that while the starting line up is shaky because of the two missing on the perimeter, there is still a fight on who will be the one starting in the middle this season. And if the coach was not kidding … Meeks is down to 280 and has gotten better in many areas.
Paige, who last year ran the point, right now will be looking at a lot more time at the off guard. Coach Williams said that sometimes the sophomore has to remember that he is playing the two guard, and while switching mentality between the spots in the back court is a long process the coach said that Paige is continuing to improve.
Coach Williams also said that both Hairston and McDonald have been practicing with the team regularly on the Blue Team, since it was pretty evident to all that they would not dress for this one no matter what. And while this is not what either the coaching staff, players and fan base wanted, this can help the team in the long run as the younger players will have to step up from the get go, which can help when conference play begins.
James McAdoo also spoke to the media, you can check it out here, and said that what was going on with the NCAA had not been a distraction to the squad. Or maybe, better said, it has been a lot less of one to the team than it has been for all the forums, be it Carolina ones or the ABC’ers/haters/rivals.
While it is annoying that the NCAA has not yet resolved this, the reality is that both of the young men would definitely be missing this game no matter what. The good thing is that is that after this game North Carolina will have another week until they play again, hopefully by then something substantial will have arrived from the offices in Indianapolis.
And while this is all frustrating, cause the more time goes by, the more rumors and what nots are bound to come out, as long as the NCAA gives a decision without making the duo lose more games than the ones they should miss no harm will be done.
In the end it is what it is. And while the fans, as well as coach Williams and the team, might be annoyed at how things have played out with the NCAA, the fact is that if neither of the players had done these things we would not be dealing with the after math. Now what all can do is wait and see what happens.