Nov 17, 2013; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Leslie McDonald (2) and guard P.J. Hairston (15) sit on the sideline during the second half of their loss to the Belmont Bruins at Dean E. Smith Student Activities Center. Belmont won 83-80. Mandatory Credit: Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina guard Leslie McDonald cleared to return immediately

For the first time in a long while, the North Carolina basketball program was able to announce some positive news surrounding the status of one of their previously suspended players.

North Carolina guard Leslie McDonald has been cleared to play by the school (per their own announcement) after missing the first 9 games of the season. McDonald had been suspended pending an investigation of an NCAA violation concerning him receiving funding for using his likeness (see Feldman’s Tweet above concerning the $ owed), but this is a huge win for the program.

McDonald isn’t a big “star” in terms of statistics, having averaged 7.2 points (on 35.7% shooting) last season, but he does provide a veteran presence (McDonald is a senior) and another shooter (career 3-point percentage over 36%) to a program that needs both. In addition, McDonald is a positive option at the shooting guard, and his shear presence should allow Marcus Paige (who has been UNC’s best player) to move back to his natural position of point guard.

With PJ Hairston still out for the Heels, they aren’t at full-strength yet, but McDonald should give Roy Williams a needed lift.

Tags: Leslie McDonald North Carolina Tar Heels

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