Current Date: Sun, 09 Mar 2014 15:02:09 -0400
James Michael McAdoo is just a sophomore but he’s established himself as a leader on the North Carolina men’s basketball team.
He was the Tar Heels’ leading scorer and rebounder in both of their games this weekend with a pair of double-doubles.
On Sunday afternoon in UNC’s 80-56 win against Florida Atlantic, McAdoo also led the team by taking three charges.
“He’s doing all the little things and he’s being a leader for us,” freshman point guard Marcus Paige said.
“That’s really big for our team and for our chemistry — to see one of the guys that scores a lot of points and gets a lot of rebounds to also do the little things and help our freshmen out the way he has so far.”
McAdoo followed his 26 point, 14 rebound performance against Gardner Webb on Friday with 19 points and 11 boards Sunday.
And taking charges is something he picked up from a former Tar Heel big man.
“I watched (Tyler) Z(eller) last year do it so well and that’s something that I just try to do to help the team win ball games,” McAdoo said.
After learning from his predecessor, he’s now passing those lessons on to the new guys on this year’s team.
Brice Johnson and Joel James, in particular, have the most to pick up from the 6-foot-9, Norfolk, Va. native.
“I try to take note of all of it,” Johnson said about McAdoo’s game, “because of course he’s James.
“He knows what to do here, he’s been here a year. I just have to pay attention to what he does and try to do a little bit of what he does and do what I can do at the same time.”
Johnson also added that McAdoo has been helping the freshmen learn the plays at practice.
Johnson and James must be paying close attention because both of them had strong outings in the season-opening weekend.
Against Florida Atlantic (0-1), James had 11 points to go with eight rebounds, while Johnson added 12 points. Their effort on the glass helped the Tar Heels outrebound the Owls by 20, 56-36.
Not only did McAdoo contribute with his defensive efforts, he was also North Carolina’s best free throw shooter against Florida Atlantic.
McAdoo made three of his four attempts at the stripe. As a team, the Tar Heels made a dismal 44 percent at the free throw line.
Despite leaving 15 points at the free throw line the Tar Heels handled FAU with relative ease. It was an eight-point game at half time, but a quick start to the second half and a handful of 3-pointers left the Owls behind.
Reggie Bullock made three shots from deep, pacing the Tar Heels from the outside.
Coach Roy Williams knows that especially this early in the season, it’s crucial for his team to have its more experienced players, namely Bullock and McAdoo, produce as the freshmen are acclimating to North Carolina’s style.
“They’ve played more minutes and accomplished more things than anybody else, so it’s not completely new to them,” Williams said of Bullock and McAdoo. “Nineteen and 11 for James Michael and he didn’t even really have a great day by any means.
“I’m sure that’s going to get better and better also — he’s just a sophomore.”
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