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With the departure of sharpshooter Reggie Bullock, many folks are beginning to question how effective the Tar Heels will be behind the arc. That's a pretty reasonable concern, especially during the time Hairston is out with his suspension.
In the previous slide, I mentioned how important rebounds, put-backs and fast breaks are in Roy Williams' system. The three-ball is right there, too. When defenses crash to the star bigs, he expects his shooters to be able to bury the open treys on the kick-outs.
That's what the Tar Heels did last season. They buried 37.3 percent of their three-point attempts, which was their best mark since the 2008-09 season (38.7).
However, Bullock shot 43.6 percent from downtown, which gave a big boost to that percentage. Now that he is gone, can anyone else reach the 40 percent mark?
Hairston was very close last season at 39.6 percent. The only concern with him is shot selection. If he has a mid-range game this season, he should be more selective with threes and, therefore, become more consistent.
McDonald should also be able to flirt with 40 percent in his fifth year with the Heels. As a sophomore in 2010-11, he drilled 38.1 percent of his attempts. He started his junior campaign hot, shooting 43.1 percent (25-of-58) before his suspension.
Unfortunately, McDonald was never the same when he came back. By the end of the season, his three-point percentage had been reduced to 35.9.
Marcus Paige's season went in the opposite direction. For most of the year, the freshman couldn't hit sand if he fell off a camel. But, boy, when it clicked, we saw the Paige that dominated the high school ranks in Iowa.
He was 20-of-46 in his final 13 games of the season. I have no doubt that is the Paige we will see as a sophomore. In fact, I have him winning the Hubert Davis Award at the end of the season.
If three out of five starters are capable of shooting 40 percent from downtown, which they are, three pointers shouldn't be too big of a concern this season.
There were a lot of new parts last season, and having only two returning starters led to a very frustrating season for everyone involved. Hopefully, with an extended practice schedule this year and all the returners, the Tar Heels will be off to a much smoother start in 2013-14.
And if they develop as they should, this will be a nasty team to deal with.