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With the exception of his disappearing act against Holy Cross, James Michael McAdoo has had a superb start to his junior season in Chapel Hill.
The Tar Heels' star power forward is leading the way with 19.7 points and 8.7 boards per game. He's also shooting 50 percent from the floor, which is right about where he needs to be. He's still having issues at the free-throw line at 65.5 percent, but that's up from 57.8 in 2012-13.
At times last season, it seemed like the effort just wasn't there from McAdoo 100 percent of the time. That doesn't seem to be the case so far this season. He's actively trying to get to rebounds he would normally let go over his head—even if they are just tip-outs.
That's what you want to see from an upperclassman with his potential.
What's also been notable is his control. He isn't rushing or forcing his shots the way he often did last year. He has been taking it strong to the hole when there is an opening and gently kissing the glass on leaners.
When there isn't a shot, or he sees a wide-open teammate, he's dishing the rock instead of forcing the issue.
As a result, his shooting percentage is up and his turnovers are down. He is averaging just 1.3 per game compared to 2.7 last season.
There just isn't much to knock on McAdoo's game thus far.
But there are some possible future concerns. He still isn't bullying the lower-tier opponents the way a rock-solid 230-pounder should be. We have yet to see any back-to-the-basket moves beyond his signature turnaround jumper.
If he hasn't added any moves to his repertoire in the post, it could be very problematic for McAdoo and the Tar Heels as competition steepens. He can't just drive by everyone. He needs to be able to back down defenders to optimize Coach Williams' dual-post system.
For now, I can only dock him for his performance against Holy Cross. Otherwise, McAdoo has been outstanding.