Roy Williams's thoughts on P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald

Nov. 07, 2013 @ 03:24 PM

After UNC announced that leading scorer P.J. Hairston and senior Leslie McDonald will sit out the season opener against Oakland because of “an ongoing compliance issue,” coach Roy Williams spoke with the media. I’ll have more later on about the new starting lineup and a look at the first opponent. But first, here’s Williams on Hairston and McDonald:

How frustrated are you?
It is frustrating but it’s also a long process. We’re trying to do what we can do, the NCAA is trying to do what they can do. That’s what it is. I’m sure the NCAA would like to settle all their cases in five minutes too, but we just have to try to continue to work with them and work with our student-athletes, and we’ll see what happens.

Are you optimistic P.J. Hairston will play at all this season?
I’m optimistic that we’re going to 75-0. I’m an optimistic person. I’d like to go 75-0 and I wouldn’t give a darn who’s playing.

Have they been practicing?
They’ve been practicing really, really well. The last week I haven’t had them on the first team at any point, I’ve had them on the blue team the whole time. But they’ve been practicing really, really well. P.J. has played about as well at this point in the season as anybody I’ve ever had.

Why is the process taking so long?
I can’t answer that question

Has this been the most difficult offseason for you?
Offseason and preseason both

How are P.J. and Leslie handling it?
I’m sure they’re frustrated because of human nature but they’ve been practicing really well, they really have.

What’s your role in the process?
Waiting for somebody to tell me what’s going on

How’s the team's morale?
The anxiety level’s there but I think they’ve handled it really well. I’ve been surprised, to be honest with you. I don’t think our club has felt that there’s a distraction. … Guys really have done a nice job. I don’t think it’s been a real concern. Deep down you know it has to be something, but I haven’t seen it affect us in practice by any means.