Gerry Broome/Associated Press
North Carolina forward James Michael McAdoo has struggled from the line all year.
He has only hit 53.6 percent of his free throws this season, which is a lower percentage than he did as either a freshman (63.8) or a sophomore (57.8).
However, over the last three games, JMM has been finding the range with his freebies, hitting 14-of-19 (73.6 percent).
None were bigger than the two he hit in the closing seconds of North Carolina's opening-game victory against Providence.
Without McAdoo hitting those attempts, the game would have gone into overtime.
This improvement is not a random coincidence. GoHeels.com's Adam Lucas tells how McAdoo has been putting in some significant extra time outside of practice to shoot better when he gets the opportunity to go to the free-throw line.
Lucas also shared what took place right before McAdoo shot the crucial free throws against the Friars:
Marcus Paige, who had made two enormous three-pointers in the final 90 seconds, knew he wanted to take McAdoo's mind off the fact that he was essentially shooting for Carolina's season, but wasn't sure exactly what to say. He ultimately decided his best choice was simply to tell McAdoo the truth. Paige, clearly the best free throw shooter on the team, knew. He'd seen all the extra shots.
"All those thousands of extra free throws you've shot, they're about to pay off," Paige told McAdoo.
Those will not be the last important free throws McAdoo takes this season. Hopefully, he will have the same confidence and get the same results when those chances come.