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Ken Medlin

Late Night proves: Heels need PJ

Posted October 26, 2013
Updated October 27, 2013

In a way, it was fitting. The first made bucket of Carolina's first public scrimmage was a three-point shot by PJ Hairston.

It's fitting because, let's face it -- UNC's season will go as Hairston's goes. And we still don't even know when he'll be cleared to play.

Hairston led the scoring in the Blue-White scrimmage, tallying 20 points in the conclusion of the Heels' Late Night with Roy event. At times, he seemed to be the only perimeter scoring threat on the court. That's why Carolina needs him so badly.

He received a thunderous ovation when introduced - an ovation that seemed to be the crowd's way of expressing relief that, at some point this season, Hairston will be back on the court for the guys in light blue. That same feeling of relief echoed as the crowd cheered Hairston's first 3-pointer of the scrimmage, then another, then another...

Hairston won't start the season n the lineup - and the length of time he'll have to sit out has yet to be determined - but after a tumultuous summer, it does appear he'll be contributing for Carolina this year.

There were times when that seemed in doubt. As Roy Williams pointed out, most of Hairston's problems were self-caused.

As for the rest of the Tar Heel team, Kennedy Meeks impressed in his de facto Smith Center debut. Meeks has already lost more than 30 pounds since joining the team, and he didn't seem to struggle with the fast pace of play - something that had been a concern when he checked in at 316 pounds.

Meeks' fellow freshman Nate Britt looked comfortable running the offense, but his scoring may be slow to develop. Britt looks the part of the classic Carolina "pass first-shoot second" point guard. Still, it would not surprise me to see Britt playing alongside Marcus Paige a lot this season, allowing Paige to play the 2-guard.

Roy Williams did announce that the NCAA is reviewing Leslie McDonald's status. McDonald appeared in an online ad for designer mouth guards, and he may have to serve a suspension as a result.

Meanwhile, JP Tokoto will have to sit out the Tar Heels' preseason game against UNC-Pembroke. Tokoto played in a sanctioned summer pro-am league in his home state of Wisconsin, but there was a paperwork error. Tokoto will not miss any regular-season time, but he did sit out the Tar Heels' closed scrimmage with Vanderbilt.

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  • Objective Scientist Oct 28, 2013

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    I know I am not the only Carolina person who "gets it". There are a few who feel the same way I do... I believe I may be more willing to be "vocal" and SAY what I feel about it. There are LOTS of Carolina folk who are absolutely "SICK" about all of this, they didn't and do not want to "win that way" - but for whatever reason(s) keep it to themselves and/or only talk about it "among friends".

    Regarding the "Carolina Way" thing... I absolutely understand why you and all NCSU and all Duke fans... and many others feel the way you do about that. There has always been some "hubris" about that whole thing that I've never personally liked... sort of a "snobbish" factor. That said... my association with the University spans several decades and I truly believe at one time the term "Carolina way" did - INDEED - mean something... and something very positive - in athletics as well - and that does not mean I claim 100% "squeaky cleanness" year in and year out. If one "backs off" and takes in the ENTIRE University, and sees athletics on only one small portion of all that is there... the Carolina Way still exists - ALBEIT that cannot be claimed in the football program... and the basketball program. Personally... I've never felt the Carolina Way meant that UNC was absolutely 100% better in every way than an other University... rather it meant that UNC did lots of things extremely well! For me... that was and is the "Carolina Way" - and it does NOT suggest that other Universities fail to do what they do at a very high level as well.

  • TruthBKnown Returns Once Again04 Oct 28, 2013

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    You're one of the few Carolina fans that think that way.

    The funny thing is that you guys want to cling to the "Carolina Way" thing. You're not supposed to be just like everybody else. You're supposed to be BETTER than the that, above the fray. So you can't claim a mythical "Carolina Way" in one breath, and then say "everybody's doing it!" the minute you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar.

    You're supposed to set the bar high and be the example for everyone else. Instead, your institution just continues to prove you're actually worse than everyone else.

    We know you get it, OS. It's your Carolina cohorts that do not.

  • Objective Scientist Oct 28, 2013

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    I don't know about all of "you folks" on this forum, but one of the first things I learned - and I learned it at a very young age from MY parents - was that I may as well not even think about saying "But... everyone else is doing it!" That carried NO WEIGHT with my parents when I wanted to do ANYTHING! We could either afford it... or not - if it involved money. In addition to that - or otherwise - what I wanted to do was either good or bad, acceptable behavior or not, right or wrong, etc., etc. I see intercollegiate athletics the same way... just because "everyone else is doing it" is neither justification nor any reason to do whatever "it" is! That said... any ONE school would be at a distinct disadvantage to "buck" the current system alone. To be fair to all...changes must be "global" within the intercollegiate athletic world. The athletic directors and coaches are not going to lead that change... they benefit far too much from the status quo. It will take one or more Chancellor/Presidents - with strong courage - to get all or most of the other Chancellor/Presidents on board with changes to bring what is now "out of control" - under control!

  • TruthBKnown Returns Once Again04 Oct 28, 2013

    View quoted thread



    I know, right? EVERYBODY IS DOING IT!!! So the Holes should not pay the price when THEY do it.

    You are absolutely right!!!

  • QC Oct 28, 2013

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    Yup, no one drives fast or smokes pot in college, except at UNC.

  • TruthBKnown Returns Once Again04 Oct 28, 2013

    Swoff, too. It goes without saying.

  • heelsforever Oct 28, 2013

    View quoted thread



    And don't forget the the Great and Powerful Soff.

  • Objective Scientist Oct 28, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Appreciate your thoughts "tarheelfan41" and as much as I don't like it and as much as I do not want to acknowledge that what you say is largely true... you are right! That said... I find it very difficult to simply "throw up my hands" and say "I give up". Occasionally it does not happen, but most "horses escaping the barn" are found and returned to the barn. I don't believe our universities and intercollegiate sports will ever rid themselves totally from the financial largess that is provided by football and basketball via TV and a multitude of other sources. However, that can be "reduced". Some quick observations and knowledge I offer... yes, FB and BB "make a LOT of money", but they SPEND a LOT of money! There is little, if any, pretense that FB/BB programs at major NCAA D-1 schools are limited in any way with regard to expenditures! NONE! And, contrary to what many poster on here seem to think - NONE of that money made does anything to support the "academic side" of the university - NONE! Athletic dept administrators and coaches "defend" the athletic programs and their income/expenditures vigorously... but keep in mind that those folks are also defending THEIR unbelievable salaries and THEIR lifestyles. Most would be SHOCKED at how many athletic dept administrators and staff travel with the FB and BB teams... chartered flights, great seats or skyboxes, great hotels and meals, etc. There is NO WAY all those folks are necessary to travel with the teams! Higher level "non-athletic" administrators often "get those same benefits" as well... so, of course, they are not likely to be critical of the practice. I could go on and on... but that is enough to make my point! Just as PJ Hairston was the past summer... intercollegiate FB and BB is "out of control" financially in a continually escalating "arms race"... and athletes are being admitted to our universities who have no business being there as students!

  • TruthBKnown Returns Once Again04 Oct 28, 2013

    View quoted thread



    What most people fail to realize is that Roy is doing exactly what the powers that be at UN*C WANT him to do.

  • TruthBKnown Returns Once Again04 Oct 28, 2013

    View quoted thread



    Ain't that the truth!

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