James Michael McAdoo has been on the radar of NBA teams for a long time now and tonight they’ll finally have their chance to grab him. The UNC forward, thanks to his athleticism and 7’1″ wingspan, has scouts from around the league intrigued.
McAdoo has displayed very impressive north-south speed as well as lateral movement. With great quickness for his build, the 21-year-old is able to guard players of all shapes and sizes.
“It’s my wingspan coupled with my foot speed that allows me to guard the smaller guys as well. I know how to move my feet to stay in front of my man and that’s something other guys at my position just can’t do. At power forward there are a lot of screens on the ball and switches and I’ll get paired off with smaller guards. That’s just something you have to be able to handle,” McAdoo told Hoops Rumors.
McAdoo’s aforementioned wingspan also allows him to disrupt passing lanes and challenge adept ball handlers. The combo of arm length and speed also allows him to beat opponents to the punch easily in transition. His post game hasn’t always been on the same level but this season he took some noticeable strides forward.
“I think the biggest thing going into this last year and my workouts is just doing what I’m comfortable with doing. I think when I first got to UNC I did a lot of things that weren’t in my comfort zone, and that includes working with my trainer on how to post up in the block,” McAdoo explained. “Now, especially after this last season, I feel like when I’m in the post I can get the shot opportunity that I want to, no matter what I’m being given by the defender.”
In addition to improving his post game, McAdoo has been working hard to be a more consistent jump shooter. McAdoo can be a contributor on both sides of the floor, but he’ll need a reliable mid-range shot to really round out his offensive profile. He’s also working to create his own scoring opportunities off the dribble.
The UNC product’s free throw shooting has left something to be desired and that’s another issue he’ll have to work on at the next level. This past season, McAdoo shot 53.7% from the charity stripe, the lowest mark of his three collegiate seasons. The power forward knows that it’s simply a matter of quieting his mind when it’s his turn at the line.
“I think the biggest thing is my mental approach. I’ve made couple of minor adjustments with my trainer and I’m trying to make my shot more consistent from the stripe. Still, I think the biggest thing is getting comfortable and confident at the line. It’s really not a problem for me anymore. All I do now is play basketball and I’m in the gym every day working on it. The difference has been drastic,” said McAdoo.
McAdoo could have been a lottery pick if he jumped into the draft after his freshman season and a first-round pick still if he declared himself eligible after his sophomore campaign, but he has no regrets about his extended stay in Chapel Hill. By staying through his junior year, McAdoo was able to put himself within arm’s length of earning his history degree (he says he will return to finish his coursework) and spend a little extra time with now-wife Lauren Adkins, a volleyball standout at UNC.
The mock drafts have McAdoo pegged as a late second-round pick, but he’s never been one to pay attention to those projections. After working out for a baker’s dozen of NBA teams, McAdoo is ready to sit back and watch everything unfold from the couch tonight along with his family.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.