UNC Basketball: Predicting the Next Wave of Tar Heel Stars

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UNC Basketball: Predicting the Next Wave of Tar Heel Stars
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

With NC State back in the ACC mix, more pressure will be put on Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels to produce stars that can compete with the rapidly growing competitors of the ACC.

Four Carolina greats just left for the NBA, but at least they were replaced with four freshman that found a home on the 2012 ESPN 100—including the top point guard in the country, Marcus Paige.

But can Paige, Brice Johnson, J.P. Tokoto and Joel James all become stars in Chapel Hill?

Don't count on it this year. But this group has the potential to become just as lethal as the Kendall Marshall, John Henson, Harrison Barnes and Tyler Zeller combo.

Chances are, the freshman class won't spend that much time on the floor together. Paige and James will likely start, but Johnson and Tokoto will be a little further down the depth chart in 2012-13.

Losing the big four also means a bigger role for the returners on this squad. Though I don't agree, James Michael McAdoo seems to be the consensus choice for the next Star Heel. So predicting him to be one of the next stars would be like predicting a tornado after the sirens go off.

On top of that, I'm sure he'll head to the NBA after this season. This is why he won't be on this list.

But there are a couple other players that will step in to fill the shoes of the recently departed, while we wait for the youngsters to grow. I'll even take it a step further and add 2013 recruits to the list, including one that hasn't committed.

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