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North Carolina

Breakout season expected for UNC's James

Posted October 23, 2013
Updated October 24, 2013

North Carolina basketball players are in agreement on who will be the breakout star of this year's Tar Heel team.

"I think that's definitely Joel," forward James Michael McAdoo said at UNC hoops media day .

"I think Joel James," UNC guard Marcus Paige said.

"I'm really impressed with Joel," agreed UNC guard Leslie McDonald.

Fialko: UNC's James is catching up on the game Fialko: UNC's James catching up on the game

The six-foot-ten sophomore from West Palm Beach is a consensus number one answer.

James averaged just over two points and two boards a contest in a "trying" freshman season.

A true learning experience, including one memorable practice outburst he and head coach Roy Williams recall very vividly.

"Everyone else was playing full, 100 percent, and I just stopped," recalled James. "Coach was like 'what happened?' and I said 'I don't get it.'"

"Everybody was trying to coach Joel because they want Joel to do so well," said Williams.

"Coach was like 'Hold on! Be quiet!'," laughed James.

"And I said, 'Joel, would you like everybody to leave you alone?' 'Yes, sir!'," Williams continued.

"'No one talks to Joel besides me!'," James said continuing his impression of coach Williams.

"And so I asked Dexter (Strickland) 'when did you start playing basketball?' He said, 'when I was 6'," Williams said. "I asked J.P. (Tokoto) and I think he may've said '5 or 6' or something like that. I said, 'well, Joel played his first organized game in..."

"'Tenth grade! He's been playing since the tenth grade'," James finished with a smile.

"So, get off Joel's back," Williams said.

Now, entering just his 5th year of organized hoops, the more confident James, a self-described sponge, is soaking up all the b-ball knowledge anywhere he can find it.

"Last night, I was up till like two o'clock in the morning watching Hakeem Olajuwon videos," laughed James. "Just looking at the way he plays the post, and then I tuned into a Shaq (O'Neal) video and just watched the way he dominated the paint. I just find myself watching as much basketball as possible, to try and catch up mentally."

And James says he cannot wait to put his YouTube study sessions to good use.

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  • Top 5 Beaters Oct 24, 5:01 p.m.

    ABC fans = pitiful trolls ...

  • Coach K is still GREAT Oct 24, 2:37 p.m.

    Jeez. Some dummies on here posting....ie....Dook and Cow Kollege fans.

    — Posted by rduguyhere

    Calling people dummies, but can't spell DUKE or COLLEGE...

  • kmorlives Oct 24, 1:16 p.m.

    The story is great. As long as he does not watch Youtubes of CJ Leslie he will be fine. Now... View More

    — Posted by tlesley4ncsu

    there was no such thing to start with

  • unc4realz Oct 24, 1:04 p.m.

    Tom Sorensen in Charlotte wrote a few years ago that UNC lost its right to turn their nose up in... View More

    Who is "Tom Sorenson in Charlotte", some other abc'er? I don't really think he gets to make that call. The Carolina Way simply is what it is. Sorry if that hurts "Tom Sorenson's" feelings.

  • tlesley4ncsu Oct 24, 12:58 p.m.

    The story is great. As long as he does not watch Youtubes of CJ Leslie he will be fine. Now ...as far as the Carolina Way?? Tom Sorensen in Charlotte wrote a few years ago that UNC lost its right to turn their nose up in the air with that Carolina Way BS. Some will never learn.

  • rduguyhere Oct 24, 12:34 p.m.

    Jeez. Some dummies on here posting....ie....Dook and Cow Kollege fans.

  • wjuliang Oct 24, 11:22 a.m.

    Ignorance abounds. Is Middle School out today ?

    — Posted by zonk

    +1

  • BlueDevils00 Oct 24, 10:47 a.m.

    This is great news for all of UNC's opponents. James starting at Center... LOL!

  • birdman033 Oct 24, 10:42 a.m.

    I like the photo attachced to this story. He's pointing to a teammate, "thanking him for the... View More

    — Posted by unc4realz

    Probably pointing to his tutor thanking them for the paper he turned in that morning. That's The Carolina Way.

  • zonk Oct 24, 9:58 a.m.

    Ignorance abounds. Is Middle School out today ?

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