this is heavy

Too Good to be True: McAdoo bails for NBA


Well, not the best news ever, but undoubtedly the best news that has come across my desk this week.

james-mcadooNorth Carolina hybrid big man James Michael McAdoo announced Thursday that he will forego his senior year of eligibility and enter this June’s NBA Draft. I’m sure Roy Williams is devastated by the news.

Why McAdoo, who is projected to be a late first-round to early second-round selection, made this decision is unknown – his professional stock couldn’t be much lower – and I don’t really care. I’m just happy that Chapel Hill has finally rid itself of one of the most overrated recruits in Tar Heel history.

No offense to McAdoo. Well, maybe some offense.

Despite some damning evidence to the contrary, he was in fact an industrious, team-oriented player who garnered defensive attention no matter how he was playing. However, his list of flaws is a long one:

  • Notoriously inconsistent
  • Lack of true leadership skill (astonishing considering the amount of minutes logged)
  • Limited outside game
  • Limited inside game
  • Poor to egregious shot selection
  • Atrocious free throw shooter 
  • Below average rebounder

And to think, this laundry list describes the game of a young man blessed with superb natural athletic gifts. At 6-foot-9 and well over 200 pounds, with a wingspan of 7-1, McAdoo has the prototypical NBA power forward build. He’s surprisingly agile. He’s fluid. No wonder he was ranked No. 3 in ESPNU’s high school class of 2011.

Don't believe the hype.

Don’t believe the hype.

Perhaps that was the problem. McAdoo was overrated from the beginning, and living up to the hype – particularly at a school with the hardwood heritage of North Carolina – is not easy. In fact, it’s an Everest-esque challenge that few manage to scale. Ask Jawad Williams.

The excuses stop there, however. It’s clear McAdoo was well-equipped to handle the pressure and expectations. Factor in his natural ability, as well as the platform on which to succeed provided by North Carolina, and Chapel Hill deserved more. Though marginally productive for a majority of his career, McAdoo never once put North Carolina in a position to truly win in the sense that North Carolina expects to win. Perhaps most telling is the fact that UNC should prove to be a better overall outfit without McAdoo. Brice Johnson and Isaiah Hicks are of a similar mold, yet offer much more as all-around players.

What McAdoo does at the next level is as unclear as his draft status. Could he transform into a serviceable reserve, in the vein of former Tar Heels such as Brandan Wright and Ed Davis? What about John Henson? Personally, I can’t see any of it. Even Sean May looked to be a more promising pro prospect to me, and we all know how that unfolded.

Wishing McAdoo the best at the next level, after lambasting him for 500 words, seems disingenuous. So, I’ll simply say ciao, James. It wasn’t that enjoyable and the Heels, they won’t be too terribly upset to see you go.

  • Bryan Carthage

    One item left off his – list is the fact that he is illiterate. Not in the rhetorical sense, but in the literal sense! Speaking tonight on a show that aired on NPR, McAdoo confessed he could neither read nor write and has been passed along under North Carolina university’s sports program without having to take a single class. NCU has been allowing this to happen to players on their teams for 19 years! Nice ‘school’ NCU (and I’m using the word ‘school’ in the most pejorative sence).