→ There Are No Easy Answers for Carolina Basketball

T.H. responding to the arguments for Hairston over Strickland:

UNC’s defense is considerably worse when P.J. Hairston is on the floor.

The first point has been internalized by everyone, and there’s no shortage of people suggesting how the starting lineup should change to solve that problem. But the second point is going overlooked; I don’t think people grasp the defensive differences. In ACC play before the Miami game, UNC’s defensive efficiency was 89.4 with Hairston on the bench, and 117.8 when he’s on the floor. Now that might be overstating things, as +/- type statistics can be pretty noisy, but the coaches see the team much more in practice. If Hairston had the defensive chops, he’d be playing more than 19.2 minutes a game.

I disagree with the point T.H. is trying to make, though I give him credit for acknowledging that his use of +/- statistics to bolster his argument is particularly flimsy. Since Carolina has been getting run out of the gym with their alleged “best” defensive team starting, I think it is worth giving Hairston a chance to prove himself as a competent defenders. We have seen the ceiling for Carolina this year with Strickland starting, now it is time to see if they can raise that ceiling with Hairston in the starting rotation.