When Will UNC Freshman James McAdoo Bust Out?


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Tar Heel freshman big man James Michael McAdoo (do I always have to include his middle name or what?) was on everybody’s way too early 2012 NBA Mock Draft as a lottery pick.  Rated as a top 5 recruit, McAdoo could have went anywhere he wanted in the country.  He could have went some place that would have made him the focus of the offense.  He could have at least went to any other power house and received major minutes as a starter from the gate.  Instead, just like Bob he chose to come to Carolina, despite the stable of big men in front of him.

The Heels with senior Tyler Zeller and junior John Henson already had the best starting big man combination in college basketball.  In high school, McAdoo absolutely dominated all facets of the game.  An explosive big man that can roam the perimeter and is best facing up and attacking the basket.  A force around the rim that punishes on coming defenders.  Landing McAdoo who certainty knows how good he is better than I do has to rank as one of Roy Williams top gets.

What’s ailing McAdoo and if he’ll break out this year for UNC after the jump

I expected this kid to come in and command minutes and force Roy to find a way to get him starter minutes off the bench early in the season.  I commented in my season preview, that I thought Harrison Barnes, would have to play some shooting guard, to squeeze McAdoo into the lineup at the 3 spot.  So what has all the hype produced?  5.4 points, 3.6 rebounds, 1 steal, on 44% from the field, and a dismal 48% from the line in just 13.9 minutes.  Was the hype unwarranted?  No, this kid is going to be an All American, just not this season.

It’s too hard to come into a place like UNC and dominate when your role is completely different from anything you’ve ever known.  Going from a starring role to a supporting role on a team full of stars is one thing.  Roy Williams has McAdoo playing a very small role right now, UNC is deep everywhere except the point, Roy has to play who’s hot.  Right now McAdoo is not.  We have seen flashes, some huge dunks, nice moves to the basket, a decent touch on his mid range jumper.  A complete game we have not.

All that’s missing here is a little time and patience.  No way Zeller and Henson make it much further in the year without one of them having some early foul trouble.  When that happens McAdoo will get his chance for some serious run.  I like Roy’s strategy with his deep, talented bench.  He plays who’s hot, you may see a player like McAdoo or PJ Hairston play 20+ minutes one night and 8 the next.  Depending on how they and their counterparts at their position are playing that given night.  This is what the early season is for, and why this 9 game home stand against mostly crap teams is so important.

McAdoo’s situation reminds me so much of Marvin Williams in 05.  Marvin was an absolute stud coming in, but again UNC was so deep he was relegated to a 6th man role.  He played a little more in the early going that McAdoo due to his 3 point shooting but didn’t really have a major role until late in the season.

As the season goes on and McAdoo logs some big minutes in a few games his talents will break through eventually.  The perfect scenerio is to increase his minutes slowly and hope that right around the time ACC play opens up, he busts out with some big performances.  That’s right about the time when Roy usually has his rotation set.  My favorite quote from Roy that he gives every single year is something like this: “We’re getting to the point in the season where I can’t play guys just because I like em’.”  In other words, when things get serious, the scrubs are sitting down.

James McAdoo will be fine, he will break out in a big way for this team at some point in the season.  I for one think it’s going to take until the latter part of the season and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.  For one it doesn’t give him much time to cement his draft stock and it gives UNC a potential late season star add on with fresher legs than the rest.

The main thing that worries me about McAdoo is once he breaks out he becomes a star and leaves for the NBA this June.

Keep It Heel!

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