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Projecting the Lineup for Next Season

As for expectations, slow your roll a little bit.

Now that UNC's personnel is largely settled for next season let us now engage in the age old tradition of guessing the Tar Heel lineup.

[table id=230 /]

The strength of this team will be James Michael McAdoo and Reggie Bullock probably in that order. UNC will also need to get significant scoring contributions from at least two other players If Dexter Strickland bounces back from his torn ACL his speed largely intact plus the 10-15 foot jumper he showed in 2012 he will be a nice offensive option. Leslie McDonald and P.J. Hairston should provide some a nice offensive punch off the bench. In fact the trio of Bullock, McDonald and Hairston could give the Heels three legitimate three point shooters if they can hit 35% of better.

With McAdoo coming back there is a lot to like about this team. They are experienced, loaded on the wings and should continue to be very good on the defensive end. There quality of perimeter defense should be high enough to mitigate the loss of John Henson and Tyler Zeller blocking shots and UNC still has size on the interior. There are plenty of questions such as point guard play and post depth. You have two players returning from major knee surgery and a definitive learning curve though November/December while this group gels as a unit. There will be growing pains and enough questions that I am hesitant to jump onto any bandwagons proclaiming this is a Final Four team. Preseason top ten? Possibly and if Alex Oriakhi transfers in that becomes more likely.

The nice thing about this team is the expectations are wide open. Having a bona fide national title contender is nice but also ratchets up the anxiety level to the point enjoying the season can be difficult. This team will not ride with those types of expectations or at least it shouldn't outside of  potentially being a pick to win the ACC regular season. More importantly, this season should not be a repeat of 2010 and will be a nice bridge to the elite class coming to Chapel Hill for the 2013-14 season.