I’m going to be optimistic and assume that freshman big man James Michael McAdoo is going to make it official soon and announce his intentions to return to Chapel Hill and play his sophomore season for North Carolina. With Tyler Zeller graduating and John Henson declaring his intentions to go pro in this June’s NBA Draft. The post is now McAdoo’s to rule, Franklin Street now his strip, make no mistake, the 2012-13 North Carolina Tar Heels will be James Michael McAdoo’s team.
Normally coming out and enthusiastically declaring a player who has three career starts and a 6.1 points per game average to his name a future All-American is crazy. But that’s exactly what I’m doing right here about McAdoo. He started to show us during the ACC and NCAA tournaments what type of game he can bring. His unreal athleticism started to come out in bursts all over the court. Whether he was coming up with a steal and taking it himself all the way, ending with a sick throw down meant for guards. Or if he was slicing through the lane and showing his terrific face up game. Maybe it was on a follow up slam that seemed to come out of nowhere and get everybody in the building on their feet. He showed us he can stick the mid range jump shot and that he does indeed have a little bit of a post up game.
McAdoo was no busts as a freshman. He was a player who struggled to adjust to a small role off the bench behind two superstars. Had he went to a one and done type of school like Kentucky, or pretty much any other team without two veteran stars in front of him. McAdoo would have done a whole lot of damage his freshman year. It wasn’t that he couldn’t get it done, he didn’t have time to figure it out. And on a team like Carolina, it was even harder for him to adapt his unique offensive game into the flow of what the team did as a whole.
When given the chance he shined and put it all together pretty quickly. But even with Henson out, he wasn’t nearly the focus with Zeller, Barnes and Marshall still on the court that he will be this upcoming season. The Tar Heels will still be very good on the perimeter with returning players PJ Hairston, Reggie Bullock, Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald along with incoming freshman JP Tokoto. But McAdoo will be the focal point of the offense, especially in the half court. His athleticism is far superior to that of Zeller and even Hensons. His potential in the open court while playing major minutes is unlimited.
It’s easy to forget that McAdoo was one of the most celebrated freshman in the 2011 class. A five star recruit who was a two time, Virginia Mr. Basketball, a USA junior team gold medal winner and the McDonalds and Jordan All-American game MVP. After a year of learning behind two NBA lottery picks, McAdoo is ready to take the stage as Carolinas leading man.