Feature: UNC Basketball Player by Player Review: James McAdoo


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In our  sixth edition of Player by Player Review I’ll take a look at James McAdoo the Tar Heels freshman forward. Over the next week or so I’ll take a look at the rest of the UNC roster from top to bottom. What the team needs from each player, who will deliver and how each player fits into the team.  For the other parts of the series click HERE

James McAdoo could have went anywhere in the country and he would have been almost guaranteed a starting spot and on almost any other school he would have been a focus of the team.  Yet he chose to follow in his uncles footsteps and attend UNC despite the fact that he won’t even crack the starting lineup. McAdoo will have to settle for a role off the bench for Carolina sitting behind established bigs Tyler Zeller and John Henson but will still settle into a key role for the Heels.

McAdoo’s role, how he’ll fit in with the team and if he will deliver on expectations after the jump

While McAdoo won’t be pressured to play a huge role early in the season (obvious by his mere 9 minutes of playing time last Sunday).  He will need to be one of the best big man off the bench and ideally will become the team’s 6th man as the rotation settles.  McAdoo is being asked to make a huge adjustment coming to college as a role player after being one of the top high school players in the country the last 2 years.  A five star recruit rarely comes into a program these days to sit behind upperclassmen and learn but that’s just what James is doing.

His playing time and role off the bench isn’t the only adjustment he’ll have to make coming to UNC.  McAdoo is used to having the ball in his hands a lot, something he won’t have at North Carolina.  Perhaps his biggest challenge as a freshman will be learning to move without the ball, play with his back almost exclusively to the basket.  In short McAdoo has always thrived by being more athletic and talented than his opponents.  He’s benefited from always having an offense tailored to him, again something that’s not going to happen at UNC.

Expect Roy Williams to play McAdoo about 15 or so minutes per game at the start of the season, gradually increasing his playing time as he becomes more comfortable in his role.  The Heels may eventually need to get creative to give the talented McAdoo enough playing time.  Something they may need to consider is playing small forward Harrison Barnes at shooting guard more often and plugging McAdoo in at SF.  Each are easily versatile and talented enough to make the switch and that’s a big, talented lineup when you move Dexter Strickland out and James McAdoo in. 

Many NBA Mock Drafts have McAdoo as a lottery pick in next years draft.  With the lockout and labor dispute in full force I believe the Heels will benefit once again from the NBAs mess by McAdoo staying in college at least through his sophomore season.

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