North Carolina Tar Heels (29-8, 14-2)
Projected starting five:
So. G Kendall Marshall
Jr. G Dexter Strickland
So. F Harrison Barnes
Jr. F John Henson
Sr. C Tyler Zeller
Justin Knox: 4.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 0.4 apg
Percent returning scoring and rebounding:
Scoring: 90.9 percent
Rebounding: 89.4 percent
James McAdoo, No. 8 Rivals.com and ESPNU five-star power forward from Norfolk, Va.
P.J. Hairston, No. 13 Rivals.com and ESPNU five-star small forward from Greensboro, N.C.
Desmond Hubert, No. 140 Rivals.com power forward from Cream Ridge, N.J.
Best non-conference game: at Kentucky
Toughest conference stretch: Feb. 8-15 (vs. Duke, vs. Virginia, at Miami)
The Tar Heels came just short of reaching the Final Four last season, and coach Roy Williams brings back 90 percent of both the team’s scoring and rebounding. Oh, and North Carolina adds two of the top recruits in this year’s class: James McAdoo and P.J. Hairston.
However, don’t hand the Tar Heels any hardware yet. North Carolina went through prolonged offensive struggles last season. Even when Kendall Marshall relieved Larry Drew II of the point guard duties, the offense was inconsistent. For North Carolina to fulfill its promise, Marshall must follow in the footsteps of Raymond Felton and Ty Lawson and be more than a supreme setup man. Marshall needs to boost his 42 percent shooting closer to 46 or 47 percent, especially with Leslie McDonald out indefinitely with a torn ACL.