UNC Basketball: PJ Hairston & James McAdoo’s Tar Heel Freshman Blues


Tar Heel freshman James Michael McAdoo and PJ Hairston burst onto the scene this season.  Hairston was busy making it rain from three point land, boasting a confident, sweet jumper.  When he wasn’t letting loose with his jumper, he was dunking on defenders in transition.  McAdoo meanwhile was looking the part of a future dominate big man.  Running the floor exceptionally well, showing freakish athleticism for a big man.  Hitting the mid range jumper.  Facing up and taking his man to the cup and finishing at the basket like a beast.  Giving everyone in Heel Nation indications of not only greatness to come, but promise of a big impact this season.

Every sports fan has heard of the sophomore slump, welcome to the Tar Heel freshman blues.  McAdoo hasn’t scored more than six points in the last seven games.  Being held to a measly zero or two points in four contests.  He’s gotten into foul trouble and been shut out on the glass in two games also.  Hairston hasn’t scored in double digits in seven contests and went over six just twice.  For a three point shooter, chucking the ball the way he has, it hasn’t been pretty for Mr. PJ either. 

One of the great things I’m finding, as I dig deep and take a long look at this team.  Is that this team doesn’t really have problems.  They have small issues to work out and the best possible remedies

to solve them.  Extremely talented, young players with a ton of potential and nowhere to go but up.  I’m not the least bit concerned about Hairston or McAdoo.  McAdoo earned a ton of national, and international awards, last season, for his play on his HS team, and the under 18 Olympic team.  Hairston is the only freshman in the 2011 class, that could win a three point shootout, and the dunk contest.

Both these kids aren’t just athletes, they are basketball players.  This is an adjustment unlike any other these two young men have ever experienced in their lifetimes.  Everywhere they have ever played, every single team, they were far and away the best player on that team.  The strategy, the lineups, everything revolved around them as individuals.  Now they play ball at the University of North Carolina and they aren’t even in the starting lineup.  A lot of freshman struggle, some don’t find their way until their sophomore or even junior year.  Think John Henson, but don’t let yourself think that’s the case with players.

Everything is put together for both of them.  For Hairston, he needs better shot selection, he needs to take the ball to the basket more and utilize his athleticism.  For McAdoo, he needs to play with more aggression and be more active on the offensive end.  Play smarter on defense and stop thinking too much.  It hasn’t come together yet for these two, but a breakout game for both is coming.  Look for a 14-18 point, 10-14 rebound game out of McAdoo sooner than you think.  And the next time Hairston goes off for 20+ points.  It won’t be because he got hot and hit five or six threes, it’s going to happen when it all clicks and his total game finds it’s way onto the court.

I’m looking into my crystal ball Tar Heel Nation, and I see these two making waves within the next 2 weeks.  What do you see for PJ and James Michael?  Sound off in the comments section.  Don’t know how?  Having trouble?  We’ve got you covered, click HERE

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