2011 Intro: P.J. Hairston

P.J. Hairston's sophomore campaign has been a good one thus far. Five games into his season he's averaging 27 points, seven rebounds and five assists – and North Carolina has taken notice.

Hairston, a 6-5, 215-pound standout at Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley, got his biggest win of the year against Raleigh (N.C.) Word of God.

"It was real big," he said about beating the high profile squad, a game in which he had 28 points. "Since we beat them we shouldn't lose against anybody this year. We should definitely be in the running for a championship."

"I think it's going real well right now," Hairston continued. "Everything is going our way and we are winning the games we are supposed to win and we won the biggest game of our season against Word of God. I thought that was a key win for us."

Despite averaging nearly 30 points a game, Hairston, who cited an improvement in his jump shot, hasn't necessarily been fully pleased with his effort so far.

"I'd give myself a B or a high C," he said. "I'm doing good, but there are still some things that I need to work on. I'm not perfect. There are some things I need to get better at as far as being smart."

Hairston recently tallied 39 points with North Carolina head coach Roy Williams in the building to see it. Hairston has taken a pair of visits to Chapel Hill. His most recent was Thursday night for the Tar Heel game against Evansville.

"I went to Late Night at Chapel Hill," Hairston said. "It was fun. It was real fun and exciting. I liked the environment. I had a real good time and they gave me a tour."

"I've met all the coaches, so when I go down there I already know the coaches' names and they already know me," he said. "They've really opened up to me."

The Tar Heels have made it clear that they are going to seriously recruit Hairston and he said there is mutual interest.

"I just like their environment and the fan support that they have," Hairston said. "It doesn't matter who they are playing, their games are always packed and I love playing in front of a crowd."

But there are a number of other schools vying for Hairston's services. Florida, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Arizona are the other schools heavily involved in his recruitment. Billy Donovan was in to see him recently and he's planning a trip to Gainesville (Fla.) in January.

"It's going real good," he said of his recruitment. "It's actually exciting. Sometimes when I see letters it's a school that I've seen on TV and a school that I want to play at. So I get really excited about it. I'm just going to keep my options right now. I'm not looking to decide or anything."

As it is with most 2011 prospects, Hairston isn't rushing his decision. At this point he's enjoying the process and examining the schools involved.

"It's kind of early right now," he said. "All of my options are open right now. I could pick anybody. There aren't any leaders. I'm just playing ball right now."

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Expert Take:
"A prominent member in what is quickly becoming a loaded Class of 2011 in North Carolina, Hairston is a noted shooter. He's got a strong body and range on his jumper. He's got the added advantage of playing at a winning machine of a high school. I think P.J.'s made a concerted effort to defend and get to the hoop instead of relying on his jumper all the time this season. So far so good in what has and will be a well-documented high school career." – Dave Telep, ScoutHoops.com

Video Highlights:
2008 Carolina Challenge -

P.J. Hairston Profile


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