Home » ACC » UNC’s Future Building Blocks: James McAdoo and Stilman White
After the UNC Tar Heels injury induced departure from the NCAA Tournament this year, it looked as though the team’s recent stretch of dominate play would come to an abrupt end. To the surprise of many fans, the news broke that Heels were losing their superstar frontcourt tandem of reining ACC Player of the Year Tyler Zeller and former ACC Defensive Player of the Year John Henson to the NBA.
With the loss of the two pillars of their team, along with the departure of Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall, it first seemed as though the Tar Heels were in for a long period on rebuilding while they waited for other potential stars to develop their game. However, if the players that led the team’s second unit last season have anything to say about it, this will in no way be the case.
Let’s look first at UNC’s top huge man, James Michael McAdoo. After getting off to a slow begin during the beginning of his freshman campaign, McAdoo made a name for himself as the replacement for an injury laden Heels frontcourt. When given the chance to play significant minutes, McAdoo showed very promising signs that he will manage to live up the standards that were set when he was named the 4th ideal player on the 2011 high school player’s prospect list. Above all else, James McAdoo displayed a stellar post up jump shot last season that looked to be almost guardable. After having an entire offseason to coach him, I’m willing to bet that head Coach Roy Williams will not only perfect his current strongpoints, but also add several other tools to his arsenal. While he only averaged 6.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 15.6 minutes per contest last year, he was still drawing so much attention form NBA scouts that he had to make a public announcement to say his intentions to return to school next season.
While the recent stretch of Tar Heel teams have been based around a dominate presents at the center position, the fast break offence has always been an integral part of Roy Williams offence. With the loss of the nation’s top point guard Kendall Marshall, the team will have to turn the reigns to the team over to Stilman White for the foreseeable future. While White’s playing time was notably low at only 5.8 minutes per game during the regular season, White, much like McAdoo, was given his chaLarrynce to shine due to an injury to the team’s starting unit. When Marshall went down with an injured wrist in the NCAA Tournament, it became White’s responsibility to go from a season long fill in man, to the on court facilitator of one of the top teams in the country during his freshman campaign. The most encouraging part of Stilman White’s performance in this seemingly impossible situation was the fact that he was able to find success despite the enormous pressure. We know that any player who is recruited to a top tier school like Carolina has the basketball skills to find success. However, as we have seen in the past, it’s not every day that you find a player with the intangibles to handle the spotlight of such a nationally recognized position of leadership as the role of North Carolina Tar Heels starting point guard. Just a few short seasons ago we saw Larry Drew II crumble under the pressure and ultimately transfer out of UNC. The easy fact that Stilman White showed the confidence and most notably the heart to overcome his challenge during last season’s tournament and play to his strengths is certainly an encouraging signs of things to come.
While the 2012-2013 Tar Heels may have some chemistry or even development issues next season, I fully anticipate the team to be one that is in contention for some great accomplishments. While the loss of talent should cause a drop-off in production, this should be a team that improves as the season progresses. When all is stated and done, do not be surprised is next year’s version of the Heels are once against one of the top contenders in the ACC.
Tags: ACC, ACC Defensive Player of the Year, ACC Player of the Year, featured, Harrison Barnes, James Michael McAdoo, John Henson, Kendall Marshall, Larry Drew II, NCAA TOURNAMENT, popular, Roy Williams, Stilman White, Tyler Zeller, unc tarheels
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Submited at Monday, April 9th, 2012 at 8:00 pm on Uncategorized by admin
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