"It's what it is," the head coach said. "Everyone is trying to do their best and we're trying to move along. We just do the best we can."
UNC and the NCAA are working together to resolve ongoing eligibility issues regarding the two players. The duo also sat out the season opener, an 84-61 win over Oakland last Friday. In their place, the Tar Heels started a backcourt of Nate Britt and Marcus Paige, with J.P. Tokoto at the small forward spot, James Michael McAdoo at power forward, and Joel James at center.
Hairston and McDonald are continuing to practice with the team. "They've been wonderful in practice," Williams said. "They're pushing the other guys. They've been quality teammates."
After identifying J.P. Tokoto as the second-most impressive player throughout the preseason and during practice, Williams was asked who the most impressive player has been.
"By far the most impressive player in practice is P.J. Hairston," he said. "It's not even close."
Hairston's role in practice has changed slightly as the Tar Heels have entered the game portion of the season. Rather than being a clear-cut first team player, Hairston and McDonald are spending more time with the blue (reserve) team.
"We have to go with the lineup we know we can use the next day (in games)," Marcus Paige said. "We have seen more lineups with them on the blue team. Coach is still mixing them in with the white group and keeping them part of the team."