CHAPEL HILL– It’s hard to believe it’s almost time for another Carolina basketball season. And Head Coach Roy Williams had a lot to say at Media Day.
Not surprisingly, the majority of early questions centered on the situation with suspended junior P.J. Hairston. Coach Williams says Hairston has earned the right to practice with the team by the way he has handled everything and by running more than any player he has ever coached.
“P.J. has done more conditioning this preseason than any player I have ever had. He’s done three times more than any player I have ever had. He has not asked me the question yet, but I know it’s on his mind, he’s wondering if he is on a track scholarship,” Coach Williams says.
In fact, Coach Williams says Hairston has run eighteen more days than any other player, and that he will not share in any of the leadership responsibilities of the squad. Coach Williams says Hairston has currently lost the right for his voice to be heard.
“I’ve told him that he cannot be a leader. If we have any questions on when we’re going to eat, what movie we’re going to see, what time we’d rather have practice, I will not ask him. I will ask other members on the team,” Coach Williams says.
As far as the length of Hairston’s suspension, Coach Williams says he has still yet to make up his mind. But he says he will announce his final decision on the matter before the season commences Nov. 8 against Oakland.
Coach Williams says he has been reading through some preseason media guides in the off-season, and he was puzzled by some of the conjectures concerning the Tar Heels.
Although Marcus Paige was not ranked in the top 25 point guards in the country or the front court and back court being ranked outside the top ten in the NCAA, the Tar Heels were ranked fifth overall nationally. This news drew laughter from the media members in attendance.
One thing Coach Williams says he recognizes the difficulty of Carolina’s schedule. He says his team better be ready to step up with games against preseason top ten teams like Kentucky, Duke, Louisville and Michigan State all on tap.
The annual tradition of Late Night with Roy Williams will be held a little later than normal this year on Oct. 25.