In what is probably a very big surprise to anyone that roots for UNC, junior power forward James McAdoo has decided to give up his last year of eligibility and head to the NBA draft. For those of you that follow North Carolina basketball you know that the young man out of Norfolk, Va. was a sure lottery pick following his freshman season, when he came off the bench subbing for either Tyler Zeller or John Henson, both in the NBA now. However, both his sophomore and junior seasons, where he earned All-ACC second team honors, have not been up to McAdoo’s potentials.
The news might have been more surprising because with the 6’9″ forward, who averaged 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game this year, coming back the Tar Heels would have been pretty much a lock as a Top 5 team in the pre-season polls. The whole team, with the exception of fifth year senior Leslie McDonald, was to return, while adding a good batch of freshmen into the fold. McAdoo’s departure kind of shakes that theory up. How much? That is to be determined months from now, when the media begins to think about the 2013-14 hardwoods year.
McAdoo said, in a statement released by the school…
“I just feel I am ready to play at the next level and excited about that challenge. I had chances to go after my freshman and sophomore years but was more excited about coming back to school then. Right now I am excited about fulfilling my dream to play in the NBA and do what I have to do to take that next step.”
While head coach Roy Williams spoke these words about the young man…
“He’s a wonderful kid who has been a very dependable player and one of the top players in the ACC the past two seasons. Everyone connected to our program has enjoyed getting to know him. He’s been extremely important to North Carolina Basketball and Roy Williams. We support him 100 percent in his decision, wish him nothing but the best in his professional career and understand that it is truly important to him and his family that he complete his degree work.”
From an article on ESPN it seems that several NBA franchises believe McAdoo is a late first rounder/early second round selection. That is kind of scary, as of right now second rounder are not guaranteed a contract. In the end, as I do with all the players that have donned the carolina blue, I wish all the best to James McAdoo, and hope to be seeing him play at the next level in the years to come.
I will end this post with a personal note. I know that as fans we always want to have the best players and then never want them to leave, that is why we are fans… we love the game, we love our team, we have passion, in the good and in the bad. However, I have to say, some of the comments I have seen about this move by a young man who stayed three seasons in Chapel Hill were very unkind and very wrong.