Q&A with P.J. Hairston

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina signee P.J. Hairston talked following his 21-point performance against the UNC JV team on Tuesday at the Smith Center.

Two games in the last four days playing in your future arena ...

"Yeah, it's getting me more ready for next year, playing with college rules. It's benefiting me."

You've now played a number of games and made a lot of visits here over the last few years. Is playing here no longer a big deal?

"Yeah, not really. I just come in and play my normal game. Just because of where I'm playing, I try to do better."

Is it hard to get in the flow or get a lot out of these games when your team is winning by huge margins and you're sitting long stretches?

"You execute plays, so it's not hard to get into the game. I play my game and my shots will come."

So is the bigger benefit of going to Hargrave the rest of the experience - the practices, the training, and the discipline?

"We're practicing all the time against great competition. We compete hard in practice, take it onto the court and take it out on other teams."

Now that the Hargrave season is nearing an end, can you reflect on your decision to leave Greensboro and spend this year at Hargrave?

"I don't regret it. They really helped me out a lot, such as body-wise, my jumpshot, my mid-range game and my ball handling. Everything has improved a whole lot since I went to Hargrave."

Where do you feel your game developed the most at Hargrave?

"Ball handling is the main thing. My ball handling wasn't as strong as it is and now I'm real confident about putting the ball on the floor."

Last summer you talked to us about your goal for your senior season of improving your ranking and making the big national all-star games. You've accomplished all of that ...

"Yeah, that was one of my goals, to move up in the rankings and make both the Jordan and McDonald's game. Knowing that I made them both really motivates me more to play harder. ... It's really a blessing (to make the McDonald's Game and the Jordan Classic). You can't really ask for more. Any kid in the world would want to do this and I got my chance so I have to shine."

What are your thoughts about UNC's season?

"They're doing real good - way better than people thought and they're proving people wrong. Beating teams, and that first half against Duke; they just have to learn how to keep the same tempo into the second half and keep leads."

Have you thought at all about where you might fit into this team next year and what your role as a freshman might be?

"Come in and shoot the ball. Basically come in, shoot the ball, get teammates involved and play as a team player."

I know you're close with Reggie Bullock - has he talked to you at all about what his freshman season has been like?

"He said he loves it. Same thing with Kendall and Harrison - they both love it. They said 'We can't wait for you to get here.'"

Has Reggie talked about the challenges he's faced as a freshman?

"He told me about the summer workouts and everything, but he's like, 'Once you get past the summer workouts everything is basketball related.' They just do that to see where you are at conditioning wise and how you run. I'm really going to try and work out this summer doing a lot of running to be ready before I get here for summer school."

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