Turns out North Carolina didn’t need James Michael McAdoo last season. That could make a huge difference for both parties.
When Ed Davis jumped early to the NBA draft and the Wear twins, David and Travis, surprisingly transferred to UCLA, the Heels’ frontcourt lacked depth in a big way. It was just going to be Tyler Zeller, John Henson and Harrison Barnes, a freshman who was used to playing on the wing.
So when the possibility was raised that McAdoo, then a junior at Norfolk (Va.) C hristian, could graduate early and enroll at UNC to bolster that thin frontcourt.
But the more he thought about it, the more he wanted to stay in high school. As he told the Raleigh News & Observer, it’s a decision he doesn’t regret in the least. From the paper:
“I would have missed a lot of things … and I would have missed some growing up,” said the 6-foot-8, 220-pound James Michael McAdoo, who finally moved to Chapel Hill two weeks ago to take summer school classes and play pick-up ball with his fellow incoming freshmen. “This year has boosted my confidence a lot – mentally, physically, spiritually. If I would have gone down there (to UNC) a year ago, I would have gotten pulled in a lot of different ways. Now, I’m comfortable with my game and who I am, on the court and off the court.”
McAdoo’s now a more complete player – and an even more ferocious rebounder, if that’s possible – and UNC didn’t exactly suffer. Zeller, Henson and Barnes thrived together, and the Heels found some depth in transfer Justin Knox.
In a few months, they’ll be the No. 1 team when the season begins. McAdoo got his senior season.
I’d say it worked out.
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