USA TODAY Sports
A win is a win is a win.
Speaking for myself, the moment P.J. Hairston was injured I was less concerned about how UNC played and more concerned with them getting the win and getting out of Boston with the hopes Hairston would not miss too much time. Prior to the injury, Hairston was Wayne Ellington ridiculous. The Greensboro sophomore took full advantage of his 12 minutes on the floor to score 14 points on 4-4 shooting from three while also dishing out three assists. Clearly Hairston took the benching in the NC State game to heart and came out ready to prove himself. It also should be noted that when Hairston was in the game he was on the wing along with Reggie Bullock. Marcus Paige and Dexter Strickland ran point exclusively with Hairston on the floor. When it came time to sub Bullock out, J.P. Tokoto came into the game. Hairston doesn't have to start providing he gets plenty of run to do what he did tonight.
Of course the question is how serious is the concussion Hairston suffered when he collided with Strickland then fell on his back under the basket. Hairston was taken off with a stretcher after he was unable to walk under his own power. It was as scary a moment as I can recall during a UNC game. Hairston was diagnosed with a concussion and it would be reasonable to assume he is out for at least a week(like Bullock in December) maybe longer. If that ends up being the case it is a huge blow considering Hairston appeared to have found his stroke.
Hairston's first half was part of a 48 point first half where UNC was extremely efficient on the offensive end and built a 15 point half time lead. Even stranger was 46 of those 48 points came after the first TV timeout and with James Michael McAdoo struggling with his offense and not much coming from the other starters. Ultimately McAdoo led the team with 17 points and 10 rebounds. However McAdoo was blocked at least four times and went 7-20 from the floor. McAdoo continues to be a mystery on the offensive end missing an assortment of shots he could and should make. At this stage it is unclear what the solution for him is other than hoping those shots start falling.
Likewise Dexter Strickland does some good things as evidenced by 14 points and 4 assists however the 4-10 shooting and 3 turnovers are problematic. Strickland pushed the ball up court and got to the rim with regularity. He also hit two open shots in the FT line area. If he kept his offensive game limited to those areas, he would be fine. However there were also times where he took contested jumpers or tried to pull up off the dribble and shoot with a defender in his face. With both McAdoo and Strickland, it would be amazing to see what might happen if they were simply more efficient either by taking better shots or making the good shots they do take.
Speaking of efficient, Jackson Simmons continues to be a nice surprise as a player who is fundamentally sound and understands his role. Simmons rarely tries to do more than he is capable and when given opportunities he has played well. His eight points and four rebounds were a nice bit of work. It did come against a bad team but playing a sound game is nice regardless of the competition because you hope it ultimately translates against better teams. Marcus Paige also put together a nice stat line going for 8 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and only one turnover. Bullock continues what can best be called a slump of sorts with 8 points capping off a fairly average night for the starters. Brice Johnson scored six points as part of very productive bench.
On the game UNC shot 48%, committed only nine turnovers, outrebounded Boston College by 10 and had an offensive efficiency of 124.2. It certainly didn't feel that way but coming off a bad loss and playing on the road needing to safeguard RPI positioning this was a really nice win.