“We’re 10-3. A lot of people thought we were going to be that,” McAdoo said. “They probably didn’t think we were going to lose to the teams we lost to, obviously. But we’re confident. We’re ready for this.
“Me and (sophomore guard) Marcus (Paige), being the leaders on this team, we’re in good communication now. We realize what it’s going to take.”
Though he made no reference of a New Year’s resolution for his team, Williams called for the Tar Heels to start the year by playing more consistently than they did in their first 13 games of the season.
For Williams, the team’s widespread steadiness must sprout from what he currently sees as the most consistent aspect of the game for the Tar Heels — defense.
“Our consistency, I have not liked,” Williams said. “Sometimes we’ve been a good rebounding team, sometimes we’ve been a sorry rebounding team. Sometimes we’ve been extremely unselfish, and other times we’ve been extremely selfish.”
“But I’ve got hope, I really do, that we’re going to be pretty good defensively first to start.”
Defensively, the Tar Heels will likely again be missing the inside presence of 6-foot-10, 280-pound sophomore center Joel James, who Williams said he anticipates will miss a fourth straight game Sunday despite participating in Friday practice.
James started the first 10 games of the year for the Tar Heels before sustaining an MCL sprain in the opening seconds against Texas on Dec. 18. Sophomore Brice Johnson started two games in James’ absence before freshman Kennedy Meeks got the starting nod in UNC’s last game against UNC-W. But Williams has yet to commit to a starter for the Wake Forest game.
Days after making his first career start against the Seahawks, Meeks will play in his first ACC game against the Demon Deacons along with the team’s other two freshmen — starting point guard Nate Britt and forward Isaiah Hicks. Williams said the team’s transition from non-conference play to the ACC schedule may result in some growing pains from the youngsters.
“They have no idea,” Williams said. “It really is a big-time jump.”
It’s one that all the Tar Heels, not only the freshman trio, will attempt to make starting Sunday in Winston-Salem.