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Reggie Bullock leaving UNC: What it means for the Tar Heels

Without Reggie Bullock, James Michael McAdoo would take on a greater role for North Carolina -- if, that is, McAdoo returns to school. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — So Reggie Bullock is leaving North Carolina one season early to follow his dream of playing in the NBA. This isn’t a surprising a decision. It’s probably the right decision, right now, for Bullock.

No, we don’t know how it will turn out. We don’t know where Bullock will be drafted in June, or what might have happened to his draft prospects had he decided to return for his senior season. But we do know this: Bullock comes from a meager financial background. The chance to make money now has to be appealing. And after three years, who knows how much more he could have improved in college.

The questions that surrounded UNC – and their answers

North Carolina was a good shooting team during the 2012-13 season, but consistent scoring in the post eluded the Tar Heels. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — You might recall that before North Carolina’s season-opener against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 9, I posted a list of 10 questions that surrounded the Tar Heels at the start of the season. You can read those 10 questions right here.

Little by little, UNC provided answers to those 10 questions as the season progressed. And now, with the season complete, those answers are final. So here goes – the questions that surrounded UNC then, and the answers to those questions now, with the season already a memory:

UNC against non-conference opponents: the review

Brice Johnson's offense was a bright spot for North Carolina during the non-conference portion of the schedule. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — As North Carolina coach Roy Williams said recently, “big-time basketball” is upon us. That being, of course, the start of ACC play. The Tar Heels open the conference portion of their schedule on Sunday night at Virginia, and so now’s as good of a time as there ever will be to take a look back at how UNC fared during the non-conference portion of its schedule.

So without further delay, a look back at the good, the not-so good and everything else in between from the start of the season until now:

Desmond Hubert, Joel James, Brice Johnson continue to vie for fifth starting spot at UNC

North Carolina freshman Brice Johnson has been productive offensively but he's still adjusting to playing in the Tar Heels' man-to-man defense. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — Through North Carolina’s first nine games, three players have started alongside James Michael McAdoo in the Tar Heels’ frontcourt. Joel James, the freshman forward, was the latest to have that opportunity. Before him, Brice Johnson and Desmond Hubert started, too.

UNC coach Roy Williams made clear on Saturday, after his team’s 78-55 victory against East Tennessee State, that he isn’t close to figuring out who will become the team’s permanent starter alongside McAdoo.

Then again, Williams said he won’t make the decision. The players will.

Ten questions that surround UNC at start of season

Marcus Paige begins his college career as the starting point guard at North Carolina. How ready is he? ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — It’s here. Basketball season is here. Finally. It never really goes away in Chapel Hill, but it returns tonight when North Carolina begins the season at the Smith Center against Gardner-Webb.

Around this time a year ago, the Tar Heels began the 2011-12 season with national championship aspirations. Entering this season, though, who knows what to expect? I wrote some about that in a story we ran earlier in the week, which you can read right here.

The headline tells the story: “More questions than answers” for UNC.

An ovation for Roy, even before he shows off his dance moves

CHAPEL HILL -- The momentum of the dance contest was so strong even Roy Williams couldn’t resist: Freshmen in ballet tutus, salsa moves and a Broadway kick line. When the entire team came to the bench and tried to pull Williams onto the floor, he obliged with a shuffling sort-of shag, never mind the still-healing scars from his kidney surgery.

“I was surprised,” Leslie McDonald said. “I didn’t know he was going to do it at first. But coach Williams is a lovable, passionate type of guy, so when he hears the crowd going, he’s going to get up and dance.”

Williams was caught up in the moment at a Late Night with Roy that was very much a tribute to the coach after his recent cancer scare. His appearance on the court was greeted with a standing ovation, and his official introduction prompted another, prolonged ovation that left Williams visibly emotional.

Tar Heels add forward recruit; Warren cuts list to two

North Carolina's basketball recruiting class is getting bigger, in numbers and in size.

Forward Brice Johnson, 6-9 and 210 pounds, chose the Tar Heels on Wednesday over N.C. State, Clemson and Florida, according to ESPN's Dave Telep.

With Johnson headed to UNC, forward T.J. Warren cut his final college choice down to N.C. State and Georgetown.

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