North Carolina Basketball: Probability Tar Heel Underclassmen Return Next Season

Bill DiFilippoContributor IIIMarch 26, 2012

North Carolina Basketball: Probability Tar Heel Underclassmen Return Next Season

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    Despite being bitten by the injury bug, the North Carolina Tar Heels managed to make it to the Elite 8 before eventually falling to the Kansas Jayhawks. 

    The Tar Heels will graduate five seniors, including ACC Player of the Year Tyler Zeller.

    Of the remaining 11 players, it is entirely conceivable to believe that at least four could declare for the upcoming NBA draft.

    Here are the probabilities of all of those 11 players declaring for the draft.

Desmond Hubert, Jackson Simmons, Stilman White

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    (Note: White will be leaving next season to go on his two-year Mormon mission.)

    I'll save you the hassle of having to click through three slides: These guys aren't declaring.

    Odds they declare for the draft: 0%

P.J. Hairston

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    P.J. Hairston was heralded as one of the best shooters to ever pass through Chapel Hill.

    However, the 6'5" sharpshooter struggled this year, shooting 27.7 percent from downtown. 

    Hairston could use another year to get comfortable playing at the college level, and it would be hard to imagine a scorer of Hairston's caliber shooting as poorly as he did this season.

    Odds he declares for the draft: 5%

Leslie McDonald

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    McDonald missed the entire season after tearing his ACL over the summer.

    During the 2010-11 campaign, McDonald was a pleasant surprise as a defender and three-point shooter, knocking down 38.6 percent of his attempts.

    Still, it's extremely hard to imagine anyone declaring after missing an entire season. Look for him to play a key role for the 2012-13 Tar Heels.

    Odds he declares for the draft: 5%

Dexter Strickland

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    Like McDonald, Strickland tore his ACL, and it's tough to see him declaring for that reason.

    Strickland was fantastic this year as a defender, backup point guard and chemistry guy. 

    "The Dex Factor" could be a late second-round pick if he were to declare, but he could definitely improve his stock by returning for one more year.

    Odds he declares for the draft: 10%

Reggie Bullock

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    With his play in the tournament against Creighton and Ohio, Bullock improved his draft stock considerably.

    Hyped as a very good shooter, Bullock came into his own in those two games, going eight for 15 from behind the arc.

    Mix those numbers with his size as a shooting guard, his quietly spectacular defense and his rebounding ability, and you have a potential first-rounder on your hands.

    If there is one knock on Bullock, it's that there were plenty of games where he just disappeared, like his subpar performance against Kansas.

    By returning and being one of the main cogs in UNC's offense next year, Bullock can only improve his stock.

    Odds he declares for the draft: 25%

James Michael McAdoo

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    McAdoo was probably the only Tar Heel to improve his draft stock against Kansas, as he showed why he was a 5-star recruit last year.

    McAdoo is an extremely gifted basketball player but struggled at times this season putting his considerable talent to use.

    Playing behind Tyler Zeller and John Henson, McAdoo didn't get as much attention as other top recruits. However, he showed flashes of a very good skill set.

    McAdoo's best asset is his jump shot. Yes, it took him a while to find it, but once he started feeling comfortable he was knocking down 12-footers like it was his job. He also showed freakish athleticism, the ability to run the floor as a big man and great potential as a rebounder.

    If he were to declare, McAdoo could be like Marvin Williams and get drafted high just based on potential. It's also possible that his production would hurt him and he would not be drafted until the middle of the first round. 

    If he were to return next season, he would most likely be North Carolina's best post player and a top-five draft pick in 2013.

    Odds he declares for the draft: 50%

John Henson

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    John Henson is an extremely interesting prospect. His offensive game continues to develop and could absolutely use another year in Chapel Hill.

    On the other hand, Henson's defense is NBA-caliber right now. Henson has been the ACC Defensive Player of the Year for the past two years. His 7'4" wingspan would make any NBA scout (and Jay Bilas) drool, and his ability to alter shots is second to only Anthony Davis among this year's draft prospects.

    With one more year in college to work on his offensive game, Henson can become one of college basketball's most dangerous players. His offense now consists of alley-oops, jumpers set up by penetration from Kendall Marshall and put backs. His back-to-the-basket game leaves a lot to be desired.

    The other knocks on Henson are his bulk and his free-throw shooting. Henson is listed at 220 lbs, although he could easily weigh less. Putting on 15 to 20 lbs in the offseason would certainly be beneficial.

    In terms of his free-throw shooting, there's good news and bad news. The good news is he shot a career high in free-throw percentage in 2011-12. The bad news is he shot 51 percent. It goes without saying, but he really needs to improve from the stripe.

    Odds he declares for the draft: 65%

Kendall Marshall

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    Kendall Marshall was the best point guard in America this season.

    While he may not ooze potential, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better passer than Marshall. The fact that he developed a really good jumper and became a devastating penetrator towards the end of the season makes him a serious contender to be the first point guard drafted in next year's draft.

    With his size, ball handling, leadership and off-the-charts basketball IQ, Marshall can absolutely develop into a potential star at the next level.

    The big question is this: Will he want to go out after not playing in his final two games? Marshall has loved every second of being a Tar Heel, and having to sit and watch his team struggle against Ohio and lose to Kansas must have killed him.

    It doesn't matter if you're a Tar Heel or not, these past two games proved that Marshall makes college basketball much more entertaining. However, the idea of the pro game may be too much for "Butter" to pass up.

    Odds  he declares for the draft: 70%

Harrison Barnes

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    No Tar Heel's stock fell farther these past few games than Harrison Barnes'. 

    At one time, Barnes was the No. 2 prospect in the draft behind only Anthony Davis. After this weekend, ESPN's Chad Ford has him ranked eighth on his big board, behind players like Bradley Beal, Cody Zeller and even James Michael McAdoo.

    Barnes has been compared to NBA players like Luol Deng, Grant Hill and even Paul Pierce. However, his subpar performance in the tournament has led people to question whether he can ever live up to his considerable potential. 

    At 6'8" and 215 lbs with a 7'0" wingspan, Barnes has the size of an NBA player. His ability to rebound and his jumper are both very good.

    The knock on Barnes is his consistency. There are times when Barnes seems to coast through games, look thoroughly disinterested and force really bad shots. Conversely, there are times when he becomes The Black Falcon and completely dominates games.

    Last year, Barnes toyed with the option to join the draft before ultimately deciding to return to UNC for his sophomore year, and after his debacles against Ohio and Kansas he very well could do that again with the intent of improving his stock and possibly going No. 1 overall.

    However, it is more likely that Barnes decides to declare, especially if Carolina were to lose Marshall and Henson. Don't be surprised to see the enigmatic star declare.

    Odds he declares for the draft: 90%

     

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