Posted: 8:48 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2013
By Brian Barbour
Sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo will return to the University of North Carolina for his junior season in 2013-14. McAdoo earned second-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference honors after leading the Tar Heels in rebounding and steals and finishing second in scoring in 2012-13.
The Norfolk, Va., native averaged 14.4 points and 7.3 rebounds and made 54 steals in leading UNC to a 25-11 record and the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
"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," says McAdoo. "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."
McAdoo scored in double figures a team-high 32 times, posted nine double-doubles and scored 20 or more points five times. He was fourth in the ACC in steals, ninth in rebounding and 12th in scoring. He has averaged 10.1 points and 5.5 rebounds in 74 games as a Tar Heel.
"I am ecstatic about having the opportunity to coach James Michael for another season," says Roy Williams. "He's an incredible young man who did some really nice things this year. He's going to be an even better player in the future. Coaching young people like James Michael is what makes me enjoy coaching so much.
"James Michael's decision says a lot about the University of North Carolina and his teammates. He truly enjoys the entire collegiate experience. It's the reason he came to this decision."
"I'm certainly looking forward to coaching P.J. and James Michael again," says Williams. "They have grown a lot as young men in their first two years at Carolina and I expect them to be fantastic leaders for us next season."
Most of the rumors surrounding McAdoo have pointed to his return despite likely being a late first round pick. With the return of P.J. Hairston and the departure of Reggie Bullock, McAdoo's return was crucial to give UNC a balanced lineup going into next season. There will still be questions, particularly at center and with Leslie McDonald at the two but UNC is still in good shape to compete for the ACC title in 2013-14.
As it stands right now and not factoring in Andrew Wiggins possibly committing this is the potential lineup for next season.
That lineup has two obvious needs.
McDonald needs to play at a much higher and more consistent level. McDonald can defend and shot 35.9% from three. However, he also shot 35% overall and it was rare for him to shoot well against quality teams. McDonald would need to step up in a big way to account for the loss of Bullock. The other need is at center where one of those four potential names listed above needs to seize the position and give Roy Williams quality minutes. McAdoo's overall success will depend greatly on someone being a legitimate rebounding and scoring threat at the five to give the defense something else to worry about. Williams has stated he won't go small again but it is not clear if Isaiah Hicks playing at the five is a possibility or not given his length and leaping ability.
The bottom line, McAdoo and Hairston returning give UNC a shot at being a good team next season. It will serve as a bridge to the 2014-15 season when a top flight recruiting class will combine with the 2012 and 2013 groups for what should be a very good team.