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April 12, 2013
Hairston Returning for Junior Season
P.J. Hairston, announced that he will be returning to the Tar Heels for his junior season, putting a little fresh air on the situation of who might be leaving to test out the NBA.On Friday afternoon, sophomore guard
On Friday afternoon, Hairston's twitter page wrote "My junior year will be one to remember."
Well, it certainly may be a memorable season coming up, as the Tar Heels have quite a few talented players coming in and UNC will look to build off what was an up and down yet memorable season in 2012-2013.
In a prepared statement, Hairston said:
"I have spent a lot of time with my family over the past couple of days discussing school and my future and I have decided to return to the University of North Carolina for my junior year," Hairston said.
"I value the experiences I have had over the past two years in Chapel Hill, and hope to continue to grow under Coach Roy [Williams'] guidance.
"Coach always says, 'When you focus on the team during the season, I will support you in the offseason.' This is my way of supporting Coach, my teammates and the Tar Heel community. Go Heels!"
North Carolina went 25-11 last year (12-6 in the ACC), but when Hairston was inserted into the starting line up, the team gained an offensive power that it didn't have before.
Hairston averaged 5.7 points during his freshman year, but made a huge jump in his game last year, leading the team in points per game at 14.6.
His game grew when head coach Roy Williams announced Hairston as a starter when UNC took on Duke in Cameron, as Hairston averaged 18.2 points per game since becoming a starter.
With Dexter Strickland graduating, North Carolina will look for someone to replace him at the two guard position, a place where Hairston could shine.
Hairston shot 39.6 percent from behind the arc, making almost 2.6 attempts per game.
Furthermore, Hairston really helped out the Tar Heels when going to a smaller line up, as Williams looked for Hairston to be more aggressive on the boards, helping out the smaller Tar Heels.
For the year, he averaged 4.3 rebounds a game, but certainly provided the spark for the Tar Heels to make their run in the ACC Tournament (before losing to Miami) and making it to the round of 32, before losing to Kansas last March.
Hairston will look to continue his development throughout his junior season.
Hairston could certainly increase his draft status, as he will be looked upon to be a major contributor on the offensive side of the ball.
North Carolina is still waiting official word on what Reggie Bullock and James Michael McAdoo will be doing next year, but with Hairston coming back, this certainly gives the Tar Heels some attractive fire power coming into next season.
Furthermore, it gives the Tar Heels an experienced backcourt for the 2013-2014 season, with Marcus Paige coming back for his sophomore season.