Hairston, McDonald to Sit Out Opener

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- North Carolina announced on Thursday that P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald will not play in Friday's season opener against Oakland, as their NCAA issues are not yet resolved.

The head of UNC's athletic communications department, Steve Kirschner, opened Roy Williams's Thursday afternoon press conference by announcing the news, citing an "ongoing compliance issue with the University and the NCAA."

Hairston, a junior, led UNC in scoring last season with 14.6 points per game and shot 39.6 percent from 3-point range. McDonald, a fifth-year senior, averaged 7.2 points a year ago and shot 35.9 percent on threes.

"They've been practicing and they've been practicing really well," Williams said. "The last week I haven't had them on the first team at any point. I've had them on the blue team."

Roy Williams said Marcus Paige will start at shooting guard and J.P. Tokoto will get the nod at small forward.

"It does change your team when your best shooters aren't playing," Williams said.

UNC and Oakland tip-off at 9 p.m. on Friday night at the Smith Center.

Stay tuned for more on this developing story ...

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