It was the same routine, same Smith Center crowd. Before North Carolina’s 76-59 win against Gardner Webb on Friday, the Carolina blue clad fans behind the basket jumped around as the ball was tipped to begin the Tar Heels’ 2011-12 campaign, just as they always do.
This time, it all looked a little bit different to sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo.
Now a starter, McAdoo has a lot of pressure on him to perform. On a UNC team that began last season with three preseason all-ACC players, and has since lost them, McAdoo is expected to carry a big load for the rebuilding Tar Heels.
In his first game with new responsibilities, he didn’t disappoint.
McAdoo finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds in UNC’s season opening victory, leaping past his previous career-high scoring total of 17.