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North Carolina lost gobs of production when Reggie Bullock decided to jet to the NBA. The junior averaged 13.9 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game. He also buried 88 treys in 2012-13.
That's a serious hit on both sides of the floor for Roy Williams and the Tar Heels.
Whether Leslie McDonald plays the 2 or the 3, he will be considered Bullock's replacement. And he will have to put up some solid numbers for UNC to have a shot at the ACC title in 2014.
For his first two seasons in Chapel Hill, McDonald appeared to just be a shooter. During the summer before his junior season, he was showing off improved dribbles, passing and a willingness to take it to the hole at the NC Pro-Am.
A lot of people started expecting big things from the rising junior. Then he tore his ACL during the Pro-Am, keeping him off the court for the entire season. Then Dexter Strickland tore his ACL just 19 games into the 2011-12 season.
That gave Bullock the opportunity to step up his game. Perhaps this is McDonald's grand opportunity, and he has just been waiting for his time to strike.
Now is that time, L-Mac.
Much like Bullock, McDonald isn't a superstar that will just dominate an offense. But he can shoot lights out from the perimeter, rebound, pass and is a better dribbler than Bullock. He is also stronger, and will post up smaller defenders.
McDonald only saw the hardwood for 17.7 minutes per game last season. But if you average out his numbers to match Bullock's 31.4 minutes, McDonald would have 12.8 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 0.9 steals per contest.
Factor in his poor second half of the season and having to produce off the bench, those numbers should increase as a starter in his senior year.
But he will need to focus on his mid-range game, refine his handles and step up his game on the defensive end during the offseason. This is McDonald's moment, and he can't let it pass him by.