UNC Basketball: Make or Break for James Michael McAdoo


Mar 17, 2013; Greensboro, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward James Michael McAdoo (43) reacts in the second half. The Hurricanes defeated the Tar Heels 87-77 in the championship game of the ACC tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

By now, all Tar Heel fans know that now junior power forward James Michael McAdoo was a very highly regarded recruit coming out of high school. He was actually ranked in the top ten in his class by ESPN. As a freshman he played sparringly behind the likes of first round draft picks Tyler Zeller and John Henson. Even after his freshman season he was expected to be a lottery pick, despite not playing a great amount. McAdoo’s draft stock was very high but still decided to return for another year.

Before his sophomore season began, McAdoo was expected to be one of the best players in the country and was expected to carry the Tar Heels on his back. After his freshman season he admitted he did not work as hard as he should have. Tar Heel fans and analysts everywhere predicted McAdoo to have a huge breakout season, yet James Michael appeared to be the same exact player as he was as a freshman, just with more playing time.

As his sophomore season went on, he was very inefficient and turnover prone. McAdoo constantly forced shots and seemed to not be able to hit a free throw. He shot 44.5%, which is not good for a post player, and committed 2.7 turnovers per game. That stat was good for most on the team. Averaging 14.4 points per game and 7.3 rebounds per game for a player is usually pretty good, but not for James Michael McAdoo. Now if he was not as insanely hyped  his perception might be different. By the end of his sophomore season his draft stock had dropped severely, being projected as a late first round pick. He decided to come back yet again, which excited Tar Heel fans all around the country.

It is now the summer before his junior year as a Tar Heel. This year will be his make or break year regarding his draft stock. He will also be one of the main factors, if not the single main factor, to the success for the Tar Heels in the 2013-2014 season. He will be counted on to come up big time night in and night out for the Heels, but now he seems like he is truly ready to take on the leadership role and be “the guy” for the Tar Heel. With PJ Hairston’s status with the team in question at the moment, McAdoo will be counted on even more.

James Michael has acknowledged he has not worked as hard as he should have. This summer is very different. Luke Davis had mentioned how he had never seen McAdoo so focused as well as how he had never seen James Michael work out so much. McAdoo did not watch the NBA Draft either, he was in the gym getting some work in. He even buzzed his head. So it looks like James Michael McAdoo is preparing to be the man for the Tar Heels and is working extremely hard this summer to improve.

This is his make or break year. This is his time to step up and be the player all Tar Heel fans expect him to be.