Oct 26, 2012; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward James Michael McAdoo (43) shoots in an exhibition game at the Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

UNC Basketball: Can UNC Succeed If McAdoo Only Plays Facing The Basket?

First and foremost, I like James Michael McAdoo. In my opinion, he is a great role model for young men based on the way that he carries himself. In regards to his basketball skills, McAdoo’s innate ability to anticipate passing lanes for steals reminds me of former Tar Heel, George Lynch. Lynch is one of my favorite Tar Heels of all-time. Lynch was the starting power forward on the Carolina squad who beat the Michigan Wolverines for the  1993 national championship. When Lynch left Carolina, he was the all-time leader in steals. If McAdoo stays at Carolina for four years, he may be able to be the all-time record holder in steals at Carolina.

Although McAdoo excels at stealing the ball, his inability to play facing the basket is hindering Carolina’s offense. Think about it. When Carolina played Indiana, Brice Johnson played more at the center position than McAdoo did. McAdoo is 6’9” 245 pounds, which is the same size as Deon Thompson and Tyler Hansbrough. Brice Johnson is 6’10” 185 pounds, which is smaller than John Henson. Based on size alone, when McAdoo and Johnson play together down low, McAdoo should be the center. There is no reason why Brice should be guarding Cody Zeller (which took place on November 27th, 2012), when there is not a switch on defense. McAdoo is more athletic than Thompson and Hansbrough. In my opinion, playing him at the center position should create matchup problems with other teams. However, since McAdoo “prefers” to play facing the basket, North Carolina still has a hole to fill at the center position.


In order for James Michael McAdoo to take his game to the next level, he needs to be versatile. People criticized Antawn Jamison for his quick release, his size, and lack of range. Jamison was labeled a “tweener;” however, he has spent close to 15 years in the NBA playing both forward positions. Jamison excels at playing with his back to the basket and facing the basket. In addition, he is an excellent three-point shooter, which was not shown during his college career. His longevity in the NBA is a result of this. Once James  McAdoo broadens his skill set, his individual game and Carolina’s ceiling will soar tremendously. If he does not become versatile, then this is not in the best interests of the Tar Heels. Regardless of McAdoo’s preferences and tendencies, it would behoove him to diversify his game. Not only will Carolina flourish, his NBA stock will as well.

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