James McAdoo Starting To Settle In


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Freshman James Michael McAdoo came in with a ton of street cred.  A five star rated player by everybody, McAdoo was one of the most sought after recruits in the country.  And for good reason, after leading his Virginia HS team to consecutive championships, McAdoo showcased his talents on an international level.  Representing Team USA in the 2009 FIBA U-16 tournament, USA Basketball named McAdoo their 2009 male athlete of the year.  McAdoo is so talented that NBA mock draft geeks have been calling his number for the 2012 lottery for a couple years now.

Early in the season it was obvious McAdoo was experiencing some growing pains while settling into his new role.  With senior Tyler Zeller and junior John Henson, the Heels have established, veteran stars in the starting lineup.  It was obvious in the early goings of the season, this was a bit of a culture shock for James. Now a role player, coming off the bench, playing less than half the game, when your used to being the star, is tough for anyone.  To his credit, even early in the year, McAdoo was aggressive.  Perfect for Roy Williams’ system, McAdoo is terrific running the floor and finishing at the basket.  A physical, 6-9, 220 pounds, he doesn’t shy away from contact in the paint.

A look at McAdoo’s stats and my thoughts on the rest of his season after the jump

While the early season, mostly cup cake schedule, hasn’t helped McAdoo.  As the games get tougher, the rotation will tighten, and McAdoo will find himself on the court more and more.  Since putting up a donut against Long Beach State on 12/10, McAdoo’s performance has been more consistent.  While he hasn’t had any huge, 20 point, I have arrived games yet like fellow frosh PJ Hairston, he’s been solid.  Solid, is all UNC needs from the decedent of the great Bob McAdoo, for now.

What has changed: His minutes are a bit more consistent over the last five games where he’s put up at least 8 points.  He’s starting to find his niche in the offense and in transition.  McAdoo has a face up and penetrate game and mixes in a nice mid range jump shot.  He’s not a post player like Zeller or Barnes.  Therefore, it’s harder for him to get the ball, he’s not the best player on the floor anymore.  Moving without the ball and “forcing” his teammates to find him is something he’s shown dramatic improvement in over the last few games.

How good can it get?: We’re only scratching the surface here.  McAdoo isn’t even playing 20 minutes a night yet, he’s still just learning.  Roy Williams has the luxury of waiting until he’s comfortable and ready to give him a big role.  The more he shows his athleticism and the more the Heels play some talented teams, Roy may be forced into it.  Sooner or later, Zeller and or Henson is going to get into foul trouble early.  McAdoo will have a chance for a big game, and I think he’s going to cash in on that.  When that, or whatever moment happens that makes Roy trust him, that’s when we’ll really know what he’s capable of this season.

I’m a big fan of the development of big men.  Talented bigs are very hard to find, UNC has 3 of them right now, 2 are upperclassmen.  Let the frosh learn and quiet that NBA talk.  It makes me grin ear to ear thinking of the possibilities of this team, late in the season, with McAdoo playing a big role off the bench, ala Marvin Williams.  Look for him to be playing 20-25 minutes a night, when the rotation tightens to 8, around the mid way point in ACC play.  He’s capable of big things when that happens, and I think we’ll see a peek at a 2012 first team All American.

McAdoo’s stats through 15 games:

Season Averages
2011-12 Game Log
Fri 11/11W 67-55172-4.5000-0.0000-0.0003010424
Sun 11/13W 91-7593-4.7500-0.0000-1.0004000016
Sun 11/20W 101-75163-7.4290-0.0004-6.66751031210
Tue 11/22W 102-69123-4.7500-0.0001-2.5004001017
Fri 11/25W 87-62193-6.5000-0.0000-2.0001010206
Sat 11/26L 90-80181-4.2500-0.0004-7.5714203406
Wed 11/30W 60-5771-3.3330-0.0000-0.0004000112
Sat 12/3L 73-72151-3.3330-0.0000-2.0004000302
Tue 12/6W 97-48162-7.2860-0.0006-9.66750021210
Sat 12/10W 84-78100-3.0000-0.0000-0.0003001000
Sat 12/17W 97-82143-4.7500-0.0000-2.0003011106
Mon 12/19W 99-49175-9.5560-0.0004-6.66770112114
Wed 12/21W 82-63132-5.4000-0.0004-41.0000001028
Thu 12/29W 100-62173-8.3750-0.0002-3.6673100118
Sun 1/1W 102-65172-7.2860-0.0004-41.00010110138

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