Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/7/13
The Preview: Oakland at North Carolina Tomorrow night at the Dean Dome, tip off at 9:00 p.m. EST, #11/#12 North Carolina will begin their basketball season as they host Oakland. And while there is still uncertainty, both from the NCAA and their ruling on P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald and on the line up with who will be the starting center, many believe this will be a better season than last. This is the first game for both the Tar Heels and the Golden Grizzlies, and as it is a lot of times with the first games of the season, it’s a lot less about the opposition and a lot more about what head coach Roy Williams’ squad can do. The back court is a lot more shakier for Carolina than the front court at this point. With the absence of the two above mentioned players, it’s going to be freshman Nate Britt at the point and Marcus Paige moving from the floor general slot to the off guard. It is going to be very interesting how the duo will do in real game situation. Their overall chemistry will be key for this team to do well this campaign. Many have said that the first year player can contribute from the get go. If that is the case it’s one less problem for UNC this season, if not, with the shortage of perimeter players, it’s going to be another headache to deal with until the NCAA allows Hairston and McDonald back on the court. In the front court things are a bit easier for the coaching staff, or at least they should be, as there is plenty of bodies to go around, as well as plenty of talent, not to mention plenty of height. But when it’s all said and done the one player that all will be focusing on this year when it comes to the bigs is James McAdoo. This year the questions for the junior are two… can he be the presence on the floor most believe he can be, and where will he play on this squad. With the squad being thin at the wing you will see the 6’9″ at the three plenty of times, and while this is something not many are used to, the reality is that if McAdoo is going to make it at the next level, he need to be able to play that position. The key will be how coach Williams will mix and match him between the perimeter and inside at the four. For those fans that hate to see many different line ups, I would not be watching the first games of the season, cause you will see tons of them, especially in the front court. Coach Williams If the forward can hit enough outside shots, play decent defense, the big line up that North Carolina could have this season would probably give problems to most everyone in the Atlantic Coast Conference and many in the out of conference schedule. In the end, when it comes to McAdoo, the one thing that is key is this… whatever spot he is at he needs to be a factor when on the court, especially until the duo come off the sanctions. North Carolina’s out of conference schedule Coach Williams has said the only two players right now that have a starting position are Paige and McAdoo. How interesting/ironic that they are both entering the year having to play in new spots than last year. For these two leaders, being able to fill their role while helping the rest of the team develop is going to be what is needed if this squad wants to achieve the goals that they have. The development of the three freshmen will be something that I will focus on as the season moves along, as this squad will need them in order to fill their goals. The competition in the middle will be the other thing the coaching staff will probably focus on. You would have to figure that with Oakland, Holy Cross, Belmont and Richmond before the Heels might have to face Louisville, the coaching staff will have four games to mix and match until they find who is going to fit best in the middle. Or maybe better said, who will work best with McAdoo when he is at the four. With programs like Louisville, Kentucky, Texas and Michigan State in the out of conference part of the season North Carolina has its work cut out for them. But if this squad can weather that part of the slate it is going to be battle tested when the ACC games come along. Of course much might depend on how all ends up with the two guards and when they come back, but as far as I am concerned, this should be a heck of a season. Sure, with some bumps, but definitely with a lot of satisfaction as well.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Miguel Cabrera headed to disabled list for 1st time in career

Report: San Antonio Spurs to sign LaMarcus Aldridge

WATCH: Serena Williams wags finger at Wimbledon crowd, says, 'Don’t try me'

Report: Rajon Rondo headed to Sacramento Kings

Dez Bryant deal with Cowboys could be announced Monday

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Saad, Ryan O’Reilly sign long-term contracts with Columbus, Buffalo

Mavs solidify future, sign Wesley Matthews, DeAndre Jordan

A-Rod, Yankees settle dispute over home run milestone bonus

Report: Robin Lopez, Knicks finalizing four-year deal

Becky Hammon will coach Spurs' Summer League team

Jimmy Butler on Derrick Rose: ‘I don’t think we have any issues’

All hope isn't completely lost for this year's Milwaukee Brewers

Report: Pacers, Lakers Discussing Roy Hibbert Trade

Watch: Pablo Sandoval falls over railing during catch

Report: Green Bay Packers’ player charged with firing a gun in Miami

Kawhi, LaMarcus, the mid-range and the Spurs' next epoch

Tennis: How can Rafael Nadal regain his dominance?

NBA Rumors: Cavs and Spurs vying for David West

Damian Lillard is the Blazers’ new franchise player

Bryce Harper flaunts patriotic bat, hits home run

Report: Magic will sign Tobias Harris to 4-year deal

The top American sports moments since the last Fourth of July

Nine former college football rivalries that need to come back

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.