The North Carolina men’s basketball team’s smaller starting lineup, which features P.J. Hairston as a power forward, has both its advantages and its disadvantages.
In the 10 conference games North Carolina (19-8, 9-5 ACC) played before playing Duke, it was averaging 71 points per game. With the new lineup, the Tar Heels are averaging more than 76 points per game.
“The biggest thing is that now we’ve stuck with (this lineup) and been somewhat successful with it, the biggest thing is just trying to work at it and get better,” James Michael McAdoo said. “And it has given us confidence, especially on the offensive end, just to see, I feel like we have a lot more firepower.
“Just having P.J. out there as a great shooter has given our offense kind of a different aspect to it.”
In contrast to that offensive spike, the Tar Heels were averaging 38 rebounds in the 10 conference games before the switch — and less than 36 since. That dip is the result of replacing Desmond Hubert with the shorter Hairston.