North Carolina lost Reggie Bullock to the NBA, but Tar Heel fans got some good news on Tuesday night as James Michael McAdoo announced that he would be returning to school instead of entering the 2013 NBA Draft.
“Coach (Williams) and I have been talking about this since the end of the season and today my parents joined Coach and me in those discussions,” McAdoo said in a release sent out by the school. “I have decided to stay in school at North Carolina and play another season for the Tar Heels.
“I love this school and my teammates and I love being a North Carolina basketball player. There will certainly be a time when I want to play in the NBA, but right now I truly enjoy college life and I want to continue doing that for another season.”
(CLICK HERE to follow along with who is turning pro and who is returning to school.)
McAdoo averaged 14.4 points and 7.3 rebounds this past season, but he had an up-and-down season on the whole. McAdoo is a terrific athlete, but he lacks a position. He doesn’t have enough of a low-post game to be a power forward, but he needs to improve his jump shot and perimeter skills to be a small forward.
This is huge news for the Heels, however. UNC made their run last season when Roy Williams gave up on using one of his young big men in the paint and opted instead to use McAdoo at the five and play small. With PJ Hairston returning, that will still be an option for the Heels, but the addition of five-star forward Isaiah Hicks and four-star big man Kennedy Meeks, Williams will have more quality front court depth next season than he did this past season.
The loss of Bullock will hurt, but Hairston proved himself to be a more explosive score by the end of the year. Finding a low-post scoring presence and developing either Marcus Paige or Nate Britt into a pure point guard will be the key for the Tar Heels next season.
But the return of McAdoo is a huge boost to their ACC title chances.
You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.