James Michael McAdoo has decided to forgo his senior season at North Carolina and declare for the 2014 NBA draft.
The junior announced the decision on the school's official website, adding this message:
I am thankful to God for the opportunities I have had at Carolina. I am thankful for everything I have been blessed to experience from my relationships with Coach Williams and his staff, to my current and former teammates and to the fact that I am so close to earning my degree from such a great institution. Without a doubt I plan to come back and finish my degree. That is important to me.
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.
McAdoo (6'9", 230 lbs.) led North Carolina with 6.8 rebounds per game and ranked second behind Marcus Paige with 14.2 points per game. Unfortunately, both of these numbers were slightly down from his 2012-13 campaign.
The 21-year-old forward was a highly touted recruit coming out of high school in Norfolk, Va. According to 247Sports' composite rankings, McAdoo was the No. 6 player in the 2011 class ahead of big names like Cody Zeller and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, among others.
Unfortunately, he played very little in his freshman season behind an experienced frontcourt. When he returned for his sophomore year, he posted solid numbers but was unspectacular. He did not fare much better this season with a lack of a perimeter game and poor defensive ability.
For these reasons, McAdoo is only ranked No. 76 on the list of the best available prospects, according to Draft Express.
Jeff Goodman of ESPN thinks the draft could end up much better for the North Carolina star:
He does have a decent amount of upside due to his athleticism, but his draft prospects will likely be based on how he performs in pre-draft workouts.
As far as North Carolina is concerned, this will likely hurt the team, as it prevents the Tar Heels from having his senior leadership next season. Although he never became the star they were hoping for, he was a consistent scorer who was a solid secondary option.
Inside Carolina notes the future of the team's frontcourt:
With plenty of talent returning and a quality incoming recruiting class, Roy Williams' team should be just fine going forward.
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