McAdoo looking to be difference maker with new position, hard work
Posted July 8, 2013
Updated July 9, 2013
Chapel Hill, N.C. — University of North Carolina forward James Michael McAdoo could have been shaking hands with David Stern at last month's NBA Draft, but after an up-and-down sophomore season, the 6-foot-9 Norfolk, Va., native felt he still had work to do before leaving Chapel Hill.
In two seasons, McAdoo has averaged better than 10 points and 5.5 rebounds per game while accumulating nine double-doubles. Still, he feels like there is work to be done.
"Just gotta work on my game, you know?” McAdoo said. “The NBA's a whole another level, it's a whole another beast. But with that, I want to be able to master the college game before I take that next step."
Part of the growth process will involve moving back to his natural position. McAdoo spent much of last season playing center, but with as many as six other post players contending for playing time this season in Chapel Hill, McAdoo should move back to a forward slot.
“We're a big team, and that's definitely something that I like,” McAdoo said. “It allows me to be more perimeter oriented, where I feel like I'm more comfortable."
McAdoo shot better than 50 percent from the floor 13 times last season and nearly 45 percent from the floor on the year. He attempted just two three pointers, missing them both.
McAdoo also fought through a nagging back injury last season, which didn't make playing out of position any easier as he led the team with 96 turnovers.
"I wasn't 100 percent, and I can say that honestly, McAdoo said. “I just look at how small I was, going up against guys like (Duke's Mason) Plumlee, (Maryland's Alex) Len, and (Kansas' Jeff) Withey. You know, with that came another learning curve. From my freshman year to my sophomore year, and now going into my junior year, I think it's just getting better on the court. I shot horrible from the free throw line, for example - and that's not me. That's something I'm working on, and being able to be a better low post scorer. It's all coming from hours in the gym."
McAdoo attempted 173 free throws last season; the only other Tar Heel to shoot more than 100 was PJ Hairston (113). However, McAdoo made just 100 of them for a team-low among players with at least 27 attempts at a .578 percentage.
UNC is hoping a healthy, focused McAdoo could be a difference-maker this season.