Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas  |  Last updated 4/17/13
By Lauren Brownlow Almost immediately after North Carolinas season ended in Kansas City, there was speculation about which of UNCs Big Three would go pro. Roy Williams and the Tar Heels were able to keep two of them: sophomores P.J. Hairston and James Michael McAdoo will return next season, while Reggie Bullock (a junior) will enter the NBA Draft. Hairston was UNCs leading scorer with 14.6 points per game, and he shot 39.6 percent from 3-point range. McAdoo averaged 14.4 points and a team-high 7.3 rebounds, struggling at times with his shooting but showing flashes of the player who caught the attention of NBA scouts as a freshman. How good does this make UNC next season? Well, that depends largely on the development of players currently on the roster who arent in that Big Three. McAdoo is a natural forward, not a center. In UNCs small lineup, he was playing out of position at center. It seems unlikely that he would have returned to school if Williams planned on playing him at center again. So who will play center for UNC? Incoming freshman center Kennedy Meeks (listed on Scout.com at 6-8, 290) is a possibility. But the Tar Heels will need more from Joel James, Brice Johnson and Desmond Hubert. Williams started all three at the five-spot multiple times last season, but none were consistent enough. Often, they were non-factors offensively (in Huberts case) or a liability defensively (like Johnson). Or both. Hairstons return certainly makes it seem like the Tar Heels will have the whole 3-point shooting thing covered. But part of what made Hairston such a lethal threat from 3-point range was other teams having to pay attention to Bullock as well. Point guard Marcus Paige was a good, but not great, 3-point shooter. Leslie McDonald will have to step up as a redshirt senior and fill that void, and it remains to be seen if he can. He was wildly inconsistent last season, and even served a three-game suspension in the middle of the season after sitting out three games with a knee injury. He finished theseason shooting 36 percent (35.9 percent from 3-point range but just 26.7 percent in ACC play). He didnt score in double digits in any of UNCs final 10 games. McDonald is going to have to be as valuable a defensive presence as the now-graduated Dexter Strickland was last season, and hes going to have to knock down the occasional 3-pointer too. UNCs other shooting guard options at this point are very limited, unless Hairston moves from the three-spot. At the moment, North Carolinas incoming class isnt great by UNC standards, but its pretty solid, featuring 6-8 forward Isaiah Hicks (the AP Player of the Year in North Carolina), Meeks and point guard Nate Britt. But it could get better if the No. 1 recruit in the nation, Andrew Wiggins, picks UNC. That seemed like a remote possibility at best not long ago, and is now a distinct one. Wiggins is said to have narrowed down his choices to North Carolina, Florida State, Kentucky and Kansas. Its certainly a possibility that Wiggins was waiting on the three North Carolina players -- Bullock, McAdoo and Hairston -- to make their decisions before he made his. Its difficult to know if Bullocks decision to leave will have much impact on Wiggins, but it cant hurt. Its one less wing scorer to compete with for playing time and shots. Even if Wiggins doesnt choose UNC, though, the Tar Heels certainly put themselves in much better shape for a successful 2013-14 season. Theyll bring back experienced talent, and teams that do that under Roy Williams tend to do well. UNC has returned 67 percent of its scoring or more under Williams five times -- those teams all reached the Elite 8, three got to the Final Four and two won the national title. It doesnt necessarily mean anything, of course, but UNC will return about 72 percent of its scoring from last season. And stats are always fun. After all, this past season, UNC returned its lowest percentage of returning scoring since 2009-10, when the Tar Heels missed the NCAA tournament for the first and only time under Williams. But this season turned out just fine as the Tar Heels were 9-3 in their final 12 games after starting 16-8. Could a guy like Wiggins be the real difference between UNC being a top 10-15 team and a national title contender? Perhaps. If Bullock had stayed, would that have done it? Maybe. The point remains, though, that UNC still has a lot of the same issues that caused it to struggle at the beginning of the season from a personnel perspective. And if those individuals dont get better, the Tar Heels will be just a good team. But not great.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Amar'e Stoudemire announces retirement after signing one-day contract with Knicks

Report: Gregory failed multiple drug tests since suspension

Olympian Abby Johnston: Worst thing about Olympic village is no Pokemon

Reggie Bush reportedly closing in on contract with Bills

Report: Eric Berry planning to no-show training camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Eagles could have interest in Gordon if Browns trade him

Report: Fitzpatrick, Jets not likely to have deal before camp

Report: Anquan Boldin signs one-year deal with Detroit Lions

Formula One CEO's mother-in-law kidnapped in Brazil

Mike McCarthy ends weight talk, declares Eddie Lacy ‘ready’

Report: Redskins have discussed possibly signing Hardy

Padres reportedly making progress on Cashner trade

NFL Network to stream on PlayStation Vue

Report: Eagles’ Nigel Bradham charged for assaulting cabana boy

Rudy Gay underwent minor Achilles procedure this summer

Bashaud Breeland brought puppies to Washington camp

Tyler Johnson 'threw up a couple of times' over $50M deal

Should the Yankees hold a fire sale?

Five young soccer players to keep an eye on at Rio Olympics

Conor McGregor's coach predicts result of Nate Diaz rematch

Jordy Nelson starts camp on PUP list, no reason for panic?

Mark Dantonio denies MSU negatively recruits against PSU

Brett Favre selects wife Deanna as his Hall of Fame presenter

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

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker