After a down season last year by UNC basketball standards, the Tar Heels are relatively deep heading into the 2013-2014 season. With that depth comes some difficult decisions that will have to be made when it comes to determining who the starters will be next season. There are a bunch of position battles going on as we speak, especially in the frontcourt.
Point Guard: Marcus Paige
Marcus Paige is all but a lock to start the season at the point guard position. While four-star freshman Nate Britt is a great prospect, Paige started every game for the Tar Heels last season, and showed great improvement as the season wore on. Look to see a stronger and more confident Paige take the reigns for UNC next season.
Shooting Guard: Leslie McDonald
Currently, Hairston is suspended indefinitely so there are a ton of ways this decision could go. Coach Roy Williams could slide J.P. Tokoto to the shooting guard spot, but this would put him slightly out of position. Paige could also definitely see some time at the two-guard spot this season. In the end though, it is most likely that McDonald will start the season playing the shooting guard for UNC then slide back to a sixth-man role when Hairston returns.
Small Forward: Isaiah Hicks
It may be a bit of a stretch to project Hicks as a starter from day one considering Williams’ reluctance in the past to start freshman. However, Hicks brings a ton of skill to the table and it will be hard to keep him out of a starting lineup even if it means him play him at small forward. Hicks is traditionally seen as a power forward, but James Michael McAdoo will have the position locked down. So look to see Hicks either playing the small forward or spelling McAdoo next season.
Power Forward: James Michael McAdoo
McAdoo surprised many when he decided to return to UNC for his junior season. McAdoo was a top scorer for the Tar Heels last season, and if his game has improved at all in the past season he could be an ACC player of the year candidate.
Center: Joel James
The battle for the center position is probably the most intense position battle UNC has going right now. Both Brice Johnson and Joel James have a legitimate shot to get the starting nod, and you really can’t go wrong either way. As of now I think James is winning the battle and he has returned to the team in incredible shape. Either way both Johnson and James will receive a lot of minutes in the upcoming season.