Current Date: Sun, 09 Mar 2014 07:20:32 -0400
After the NBA Draft picked off 66 percent of his team’s offensive output last season, North Carolina coach Roy Williams told James Michael McAdoo and Reggie Bullock exactly what he expected from them in the Tar Heels’ 2012-13 campaign.
“Last summer I said they needed to be big for us every night,” he said after UNC’s 87-62 victory Tuesday against Wake Forest.
And so far, they’ve come through. McAdoo and Bullock, who are first and second on the team in scoring, have played in 21 games together this season. In all but five of them, they both contributed double-digit points.
But against the Demon Deacons, the pair took its coach’s forewarning to a whole new level.
For the first time this season, both McAdoo and Bullock scored more than 20 points in the same game — Bullock finishing with a team-high 23 and McAdoo with 20 — as the Tar Heels (16-6, 6-3 ACC) rolled to their sixth conference victory in seven games.
“Everyone would agree that those are our two main guys on the offensive end, probably the most consistent,” said Marcus Paige, who went 3-for-6 from the field Tuesday.
“To have them put up big numbers, it makes it easier for all of us.”
Especially in the first half, North Carolina’s offense got a little bit of help from the sloppy Demon Deacons (10-12, 3-7 ACC). When the teams went into the locker room at halftime, UNC leading 47-27, Wake Forest had more turnovers (13) than field goals (nine).
Bullock, who finished 7-for-10 and 4-for-5 from deep, conceded that Wake Forest’s smaller guards made it easier for him to hit shots all night. He wasn’t the only one to find his sweet spot on the Smith Center floor, as 12 different Tar Heels recorded at least two points in the game.
“I hope that everybody we put in the game understands they need to add something positive,” Williams said about his team’s scoring depth Tuesday.
“The best teams have more than one or two guys that can score.”
McAdoo and Bullock stole the show Tuesday, particularly during a three-and-a-half-minute second-half span during which the pair accounted for all 12 of North Carolina’s points.
But the loudest cheers from the home crowd came for P.J. Hairston, back on the court after sitting out with a concussion he sustained Jan. 29. He went 3-for-4 in 12 minutes on the court and sunk two of UNC’s nine 3-pointers.
It’s been a while since Bullock and McAdoo first came to terms with their heightened sense of responsibility this season. Still, McAdoo doesn’t need a reminder of the load he and his high-scoring teammate have on their shoulders.
Instead, he helped show everybody else just why they are the ones who deserve to carry it.
“Just going out there and leading by example, I think it makes everything just so much easier for everybody else,” McAdoo said, “just to feed off our energy and just get out there and join the fun.”
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