When looking ahead and projecting a lineup for the following season, there are a number of mitigating factors at play. Besides projecting who will play best together, who will make strides in their games and which players make up the optimal lineup, it is also of paramount importance to determine who will actually be in school.
The seniors on the current team who will be gone for the 2014-15 season are as follows:
Of those guys, only McDonald was any kind of major contributor. Other than the seniors, there also remains the possibility that any draft-eligible players will leave school early and enter the NBA draft.
That seems unlikely for nearly everyone on the Tar Heels' roster at this point, with the possible exception of James Michael McAdoo. McAdoo has been on draft radars for three years now, with his stock taking a hit in the past year. However, he still remains one of the most talented power forwards in the conference with his ability to work out of the post, handle the ball and shoot. He has also picked up his defense this season, blocking shots at a much higher rate than any other year of his career.
If McAdoo does decide to leave school after his junior year and enter the NBA, he will be a borderline first-round pick. However, with the crop of incoming forwards and the talent remaining on this roster, he would also not be guaranteed a starting spot if he were to return.
In a Herald Sun article from last season when McAdoo made his decision to return, he cited his enjoyment of college life and how he wanted to do that for another season. Purely speculative, his junior year may not be going as smoothly as he would have hoped, and who knows if that joy still remains.
I'm guessing he will finally decide to leave after years of will-he-won't-he. Along with McDonald, the departure of McAdoo would make up at least two starting spots to fill for next season. However, other changes will be necessary as well.