Jared Fialko

"Medium 3" playing big for UNC

Posted March 5, 2013

UNC junior Reggie Bullock (35) looks to pass during the North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Miami Hurricanes NCAA basketball game, Thursday, January 10, 2013 in Chapel Hill, NC.

They're the self-described "three-barrel gun," according to P.J. Hairston. I'll choose to refer to he, Reggie Bullock, and James Michael McAdoo by a less explosive moniker: the "Medium 3." It's not meant as an insult, or even a backhanded compliment, however, I can't quite group them in the "Big 3" like the ghosts of Tar Heels' past. Felton/May/McCants? Hansbrough/Ellington/Lawson? Those trios contained National Player of the Year candidates.

The current crop won't crack the first-team All-ACC squad. Those threesomes all were selected in the first round of their respective NBA drafts, heck the Class of 2005 were all lottery picks. Of course, it remains to be seen where today's triple threat will call their pro home, but according to nbadraft.net, they'll be waiting awhile before their names are called. Only McAdoo is predicted as a late first-rounder should he make the call to leave early, no draft dice for Bullock and Hairston according to the latest projections. Hence, labeling them as Carolina's Version 3.0 of the "Big 3" doesn't seem appropriate...yet. Besides, the whole "Big 3" concept is so passé since these guys deemed it fit to dub themselves as such:

Seriously, the satire is just too much for me. Check that, as of today, this is my new favorite YouTube video involving the Miami Heat:

However, there's no denying the impact when McAdoo, Hairston, and Bullock all get their minutes. Since Roy Williams' well-documented switch to a smaller lineup, the Heels have gone 5-and-1, with that one loss being a very strong effort against then #2 Duke. On Sunday, the three combined for 57 points against Florida State. Since the swap, they've been responsible for 63 percent of the scoring. Hairston may be benefiting most in terms of PT, but McAdoo may be the big winner in the deal.

"Their presence on the outside takes pressure away from me in the middle," McAdoo said on Sunday following the 21 point pummeling of the Noles.

It showed, specifically during a three minute stretch late in the first half. In a matter of six possessions, JMM connected on a midrange jumper sandwiched in between a menagerie of massive dunks: a one-handed throwdown where he was fouled, an alley-oop from Hairston, and a two-fisted putback off a Marcus Paige miss. I was disappointed that he didn't follow it up with a windmill from the foul line while someone screamed "Boom Shakalaka" on commentary:

Off topic, but on the topic of crazy dunks, the biggest free agent on the prep market will be in Chapel Hill this weekend. Huntington Prep's Andrew Wiggins makes his official visit to UNC. It's down to Carolina, FSU (where both of his parents went to school), Kansas, and Kentucky. For those who haven't seen him ball, safe to say, Heels fans will want to add him to their amazon.com Wish List:

Getting back on point, while they might not have to make space on their mantles for a truckload of postseason awards and honors, what McAdoo, Bullock, and Hairston may win is an extra day's rest. Carolina's gone from bubble team, potential play-in gamers/First Four in Dayton, to a potential first round bye in next week's ACC Tournament. Sitting at 11-and-5, the Tar Heels are still in contention for second place in the league should the chips fall their way this week against Duke.

UNC is winning and winning handily because of the Not-Quite-Big-3. Two weeks ago they torched Virginia, the best defensive team I've seen in a long time, the same school that stormed the floor after stifling Duke. With tournament time looming, I cannot envision many programs who would want to match up with a squad that can drop 93 (roughly 39 more than they surrender on average) on Virginia.

"Medium 3," maybe. But medium-well, indeed.

Currently listening to: Tom Waits "Hold On"...and no, not just because it closed last week's episode of "The Walking Dead."


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  • StunGunn Mar 8, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Well UVA helped both our causes by losing @ FSU last night. And Miami losing to GT in Coral Gables???? Nuts!

  • PanthersFan45 Mar 8, 2013

    UNC has played very well of late and they are getting decent minutes out of the bench too. Roy gets the credit in my opinion ..... he is using the talent he has in the best way possible for success.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Mar 6, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Yep, and Maryland's "jumbo" played more like a shrimp, too! You guys should have lost so you could help the Pack secure a top-four finish and first round ACCT bye! :)

  • StunGunn Mar 6, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I think they must be "JUMBO shrimp", TBK. They sure played well at the Comcast Center tonight!

  • TarheelStateNative Mar 6, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Dont you have some cars to sell.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Mar 6, 2013

    View quoted thread

    "By the way, it would be an impossiblity for the 2011-2012 Lehigh team to play this year's UNC team."Wow, where did we dig up THIS genius???

  • VT1994Hokie Mar 6, 2013

    These 3 guys have certainly done the job in the last 6 games.

  • trueblue0100 Mar 6, 2013

    View quoted thread

    What's pathetic is when someone is really stoopid and doesn't have a clue. Case in point......or in this case 30 points. By the way, it would be an impossiblity for the 2011-2012 Lehigh team to play this year's UNC team.

    What's more pathetic is for a loser NCSU fan to try and get on the dook bandwagon because it doesn't have a reliable team of it's own to pull for anymore now that the preseason is over.

    If UNC goes deeper in the NCAAT than either NCSU and dook, what will this clown say then? Trust me people, it will be another conspiracy of some type.

  • trueblue0100 Mar 6, 2013

    View quoted thread

    TBK is a true clown. He makes the dumbest statements without any foundation. It's pretty obvious that he wants to appear to be one of the intellectuals, but that's not possible because he's made a fool of himself too many times in the past. He's the type of guy who would show up for a baseball game with 18 other guys and he would always be the odd man out. His life has followed that same pattern and it shows. The truth about him is that he is a loser and will never be accepted. He was wrong about football and basketball this past year and he tries to clean that up by pulling down Carolina. This is what losers do.

    Considering last year's personnel loses and all of the new and inexperienced faces, UNC and Roy have done a good job and have comw a long way from where they started. While they may not be blowing people away, they are definitely holding their own. TBK needs to worry about NCSU and their underachieving season. The clown needs to rtemember that UNC HAS been relevant over the past 30 years and some other teams haven't. Regardless as to what happens from this point on, UNC's season will be considered a good one considering all the facts. How will NCSU be viewed after all of the preseason big talk? TBK, you need to find a hole to stick your head in and if you can't come up with any good ideas, I have a suggestion.....stick it back where it stays most of the time, althought i understand that that can be a little rough on the back and neck.

  • StunGunn Mar 6, 2013

    View quoted thread

    That's the head scratcher about the Duke/Miami game, duane. I get that Miami prepared for Kelly, but not "that" Kelly. You'd think after they had the first 20 minutes of "that" Kelly, they would have changed their D and defended Kelly better, but they never did. Live by the 3, die by the 3; I'm hoping Carolina wins by the 3 on Saturday.




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