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Tar Heel Blog Mailbag

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The UNC basketball team’s best lineup, Elijah Hood’s status, and should the Tar Heels always schedule Illinois in football. We answer questions about these topics and others in this week’s Tar Heel mailbag.

North Carolina State v North Carolina Photo By Grant Halverson/Getty Images

It has been said before that there is no such thing as a dumb question, just dumb answers. Hopefully this will not be the case as we open up our first ever Tar Heel Blog Mailbag. Feel free to disagree or offer your take in the comment section below.

@Clemons012: What’s gonna be the most effective lineup for the basketball team?

I am going to give two answers to this question. The most effective lineup for this year’s basketball team will probably end up being their eventual starting lineup of

1 - Joel Berry, 2 - Theo Pinson, 3 - Justin Jackson, 4 - Isaiah Hicks, 5 - Kennedy Meeks

This should be an extremely effective lineup for the Tar Heels.

Berry does everything for the team at the point guard position. He can get to the basket, hit the 3, defend, and set up his teammates. He is everything you want at that position, and he will probably be one of the best point guards in the country.

Pinson might struggle to hit the outside shot at times, but he does so many things for the Heels that doesn’t always show up in the box score.

Jackson came back his Junior year to prove to NBA scouts that he can be a more consistent scorer and can hit 3-point shots. With Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson gone, the Heels will need Jackson to be a big time scorer in order for them to be successful.

Hicks will be filling the big shoes left by Brice Johnson. He has shown he is capable of being able to score in the post with his athleticism, but can he knock down the 10-15 footer? Also, can he stay on the floor for long stretches without getting in foul trouble?

Meeks will also have some things to prove to scouts if he wants to make it at the next level. We know that he rebounds and scores down low effectively, but can he stay healthy?

Now, let me preface the next answer by saying that I am a big fan of the smaller lineup and wish Roy would play it more with the way the college game is being played nowadays. However, there is a reason I am just a blogger and not a college basketball coach.

1 - Joel Berry, 2 - Kenny Williams, 3 - Justin Jackson, 4 - Theo Pinson, 5 - Isaiah Hicks

I love this lineup for some reason and think it could be effective with Roy’s style of wanting to get up and down the court. Any of these players (other than Hicks) can take the ball and get up the floor quickly, as well as being able to get to the basket. Plus, Berry, Williams, and Jackson have shown the ability to knock down threes. I don’t think the Heels would be hurt defensively by this lineup, as Williams has shown he can defend on the outside, along with Pinson being able to defend taller players. However, this lineup may struggle to rebound against bigger teams.

@TCR_Podcast: For the 2nd straight season, you’ve been undefeated in regular season play after facing the Illini. Coincidence?

No.

Let’s start a campaign to have the Tar Heels and Illini continue their football series for future years, if the results remain the same.

I do enjoy the Tar Heels playing a team from the Big Ten, and I think that Lovie Smith is eventually going to turn things around up there. I don’t follow the program closely and am not sure how good of a recruiter he is going to be, but he is just a winner and I always liked him as a coach in the NFL.

@kmshires: How’s our man Elijah Hood doing after that grueling hit on Saturday?

Coach Fedora provides little information on injuries, so it is hard to really tell. However, he has said that Hood is expected to play on Saturday. Here are some tweets stating such...

@unc_tarheelfan: CFP or NY6 paths?

Win the rest of the games on the schedule, including the ACC Championship and they are in the College Football Playoff.

Going into the ACC Championship last year, the criticisms of UNC were that they had a really bad loss to South Carolina, played two FCS teams, and only beat one ranked team.

-Georgia doesn’t look like they are going to completely fall off the map like the Gamecocks did, so it should not be seen as a terrible loss.

-They are once again playing two FCS teams, so they will have to deal with that criticism again.

-There is no way that the committee could keep the Heels out of the College Football Playoff assuming that they would have beaten the following teams (with current rankings):

#12 - FSU (on road), #25 - Virginia Tech, #10 - Miami (on road), #3 - Clemson or #7 - Louisville (in Orlando)

Lose another game and there is certainly no way that they get into the College Football Playoff, and it will be difficult to get a spot in one of the New Year’s Six Bowls.

It is still early and there is a lot of football to be played, but hopefully UNC can go on another run like they did the previous year because it would sure be a lot of fun speculating about the Heels being in the conversation for a spot in one of the premiere bowls or playoffs.

Thanks to everyone who sent in questions this week. Don’t forget to send your questions to @tarheelblog or @danielbayer05 and we might include them in next week’s mailbag.