NBPA: Hairston's Summer

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Inside Carolina caught up with the 2011 UNC wing recruit, P.J. Hairston, who suffered an injury on the first day of the NBPA Camp and a more severe injury on the second day that will now sideline him for two to three weeks.

I want to first talk about your performances since Tournament of Champions. I read a lot of really good stuff about you from the Pangos Camp and the Hoop Jamboree. How did that go?

The Pangos Camp went really well. There was a lot of great competition. I think I played really well. I made some big baskets and made it to the Top 25 Cream of The Crop game so it showed that I played pretty well, and I played pretty well in The Cream of the Crop game.

I just got back from St. Louis, the Hoop Jamboree, on Sunday and I was one of the top two in the camp -- me and Quincy Miller -- so I played really well in that game. I averaged about 28 points per game down there. I found out about the NBA Camp on short notice. I found out on Monday and the camp started Wednesday so I wasn't prepared. I had to pack on Wednesday and get ready for this too.

In saying that you had good camps, what is it about your game that you did so well? You impressed a lot of people, so what did you do that was earning such praise?

I shot the ball very well, and I put it on the floor when I had to. I have been working on mixing my game up more this summer because people know me as a shooter, but I want them to know me as a slasher who can put the ball on the floor too.

How is this camp compared to Pangos and the Hoop Jamboree in terms of talent and how you fit into a team camp?

I think this is probably the best camp I've been to because it is upperclassmen and I am a rising junior myself. These are rising seniors so it is good for me to come out and play with these guys, the top-ranked rising seniors because I will be in this position next year playing against rising juniors with me as a rising senior. This is a good experience for me, having fun out here with these guys and having great competition.

In terms of the skill work, you guys go to different stations. Who are some of the toughest guys you've played against and some of the best players you have had to match up with?

Harrison Barnes and Mike Gilchrist.

What about them makes them such tough match-ups?

They are really great players. They put the ball on the floor well and they shoot it well. It is really tough to guard both of them.

Where does your recruitment stand right now?

I still am the same. I'm not trying to make any quick decisions. I just want to take my time with it and just make a smart decision wisely and narrow my choices down by the end of my junior year or the end of my senior year.

How many will you be narrowing down from? Where do things stand now and what do you need to narrow it down to?

[There are] about nine or 10 now, and I will probably narrow it down to five, probably by the end of my junior year or the beginning of my senior year.

So for someone who has received a lot of attention for your recruitment and for your play, you still have a ways to go in your recruitment. Do you feel like maybe people feel like you are supposed to hurry it up because you have been out there so long. Is there any pressure to move your recruitment along?

I don't feel rushed at all. I am just playing ball. As I play ball, the more colleges get to see me. As I am playing, there are more college coaches calling me.

What schools have you been in touch with the most recently?

Memphis, Wake, UNC, Florida, Duke, Maryland, Indiana, and Boston College, and Arizona.

Have you visited any schools recently, and do you have any visits planned?

I visited Duke a few weeks back. I haven't really been anywhere else yet, but I plan to go to Georgetown -- and Georgetown is a part of that list too -- I plan to go to Georgetown sometime this summer. While I'm up at Georgetown, I will probably go up and visit Maryland too.

Tell me about the Duke visit. Have they been recruiting you hard for awhile or is that a newer development?

It is a new recruitment; they just started recruiting me. Actually, it was that day because my coach ... I was getting off the plane from California and they said Duke wanted me to come and visit up there. So I went up there and sat down and talked to Coach K for a minute. He just wanted to tell me how he wanted to keep a great relationship between us.

As a local kid, is Duke a school you followed growing up?

Actually, I was big fan of Duke when I was growing up.

How does that work with your Mom -- didn't you tell me she is a Carolina fan?

My Mom is a big Carolina fan.

So did that make some of those head to head games a little interesting -- the two of you watching those games together?

Yeah, kind of. She heckles me about it all the time, but it is very funny.

What kind of stuff does she say to give you a hard time about it?

All she says is 'True Blue.' That's all she says the whole game because Duke, they lost to Carolina twice this season. She was just picking on me.

With her interest in Carolina and you growing up being interested in Duke, how does that play into your recruitment?

I mean, I could see myself at either one of the schools. Both of the schools are great schools. If I don't play basketball -- if I get hurt or something -- I at least have a great job and a great education when I graduate from Duke or Carolina. Both of them are great schools. I won't have a problem going to either one of them.

When you go to one, it's a rivalry where you are supposed to strongly dislike the other ...

Yeah, I mean, it is going to be kind of hard because I have a great relationship with both coaches.

You talked about what you did at Duke. Can you tell me where your recruitment stands with North Carolina?

They are very interested in me, and I am very interested in them. We have a mutual interest in each other. I talk to the coaches.

They could call you on the 15th right?

I actually talked to Roy on the 15th, Monday night.

And what did he tell you on the 15th?

He said how he wants me to get down for another visit so we can sit down and have a talk, and he said, 'You know what I'm talking about,' so I was like, 'Okay.'

So do you know what he's talking about?

I mean, yeah, then he just tells me -- he told me he was not going to make any movements until the end of July sometime.

When the coaches are allowed to go to events and evaluate?

When they get to evaluate so he said he is going to wait until the end of July to sit down and have a meeting.

So when he says, 'You know what I'm talking about,' what is he talking about, like a scholarship offer?

Yes, I think so. That's what I'm assuming. ... I know because he laughed after he said it. It was kind of funny because we both knew what he was talking about.

Did you expect to get an offer from them on the 15th?

I was looking forward to it, but wouldn't be a problem. I like them a lot. I was waiting on the offer, but whatever time it comes, it comes.

You talked a lot about Carolina and Duke. Are there any other schools that stand out as schools that are coming at you hard and you are really interested in?

Memphis, Georgetown, and Wake.

What about those three schools has stood out to you a lot?

I actually like Memphis a lot because Josh Paster, the head coach, he was the one who offered me at Arizona.

When you went out to the Cactus Classic as an 8th grader, that's right.

So he is the head coach at Memphis now and he offered me when he got to Memphis. We actually keep a great relationship because one of my friends Will [Barton] just committed. Will is wanting me to come to Memphis with him. It is crazy, the recruiting. It is getting kind of crazy.

So are there players here pushing you different ways?

Melvin Tabb, who committed to Wake, he played AAU with me. He and J.T. [Terrell] and Travis [McKie], they all are trying to get me to come to Wake so it is really crazy. And Reggie Bullock, he is going to Carolina ... we are like best friends.

What would happen if you chose Duke, with your Mom liking Carolina?

I mean, she told me if I went to Duke, she would split her shirt down the middle and have one side Duke blue and one side Carolina blue ... she said she would still be a Carolina fan, but she would just cheer for me.

What about Reggie, what's his take?

Reggie would probably like it -- he would like it either way. ... Either we would go head-to-head, or we would be on the same team -- that's what he said. Either one of them would be great because we would still keep a good relationship off the court.

P.J. Hairston Profile

Transcription by J.B. Cissell

Inside Carolina Top Stories