Hairston, McAdoo Shine in Showdown

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. --- It might have taken a half but James McAdoo and P.J. Hairston gave Carolina fans plenty of reasons to be excited Saturday night in the Smith Center.

Both future Tar Heels won Team MVP awards -- McAdoo finishing with 33 points and 15 rebounds and Hairston nabbing 28 points and six rebounds -- as Hargrave Military topped Norfolk Christian, 88-75.

McAdoo struggled to find his stroke in the first half making just 3-of-14 from the field but came alive in the second, scoring 20 of his 33 points and missing just four shots.

"First half I was just trying to get into the rhythm of the game," McAdoo said. "But coach really emphasized getting down in the post. So I felt like once I got down there I really started to feel more comfortable and I felt like that kind of opened it up."

Despite his size, playing in the post is something new for McAdoo on the high school level. He plays inside during the summer but was mostly a perimeter player at Norfolk Christian. Saturday night McAdoo showed his versatility in the second half, posting up and attacking the basket.

"I think (playing in the post) is something I just need to focus on. It's my mindset. I know I'm a good post player," McAdoo said. "I don't really know why I (play on the perimeter) during high school. Maybe it's a bad habit. Every post player wants to be a guard so I guess that's just me doing that. But in the second half, I kind of just came in with the mindset that they couldn't check me down low."

McAdoo highlighted his second half outburst with a pair of ferocious dunks including one in the vicinity of his future teammate.

"I think I might have caught him on one of those but it's all good," McAdoo said.

Hairston confirmed McAdoo's suspicions, saying he looked forward to playing with him instead of against him next year.

"He's strong," Hairston said. "He knows how to finish and get to the hole -- and he will finish on you. As you saw he did on me. But it's all love though."

Hairston might have been on the wrong end of a second-half dunk but he had a big night himself. Like McAdoo, Hairston struggled with his bread and butter -- perimeter shooting in this case -- but showcased a new element to his game.

Hairston looked quicker off the dribble, more patient in his offense and hit a handful of mid-range jumpers.

"At Dudley I was more of a stand still guy," Hairston said. "I would just stand in one spot and shoot all day. Here they have me coming off screens, setting screens for other people to get them open and get them shots too."

Though Hairston didn't show his three-point range tonight -- making just 3-of-13 from beyond the arch -- McAdoo said there's no doubting his shooting ability.

"Everybody knows P.J. can stroke the ball. It's unreal," McAdoo said. "I can't wait to play with a guy like that. He just shoots the ball unconsciously and has that big, NBA two-guard body so he's definitely going to be an animal."

Saturday marked McAdoo's first game in the Smith Center. With future teammates Kendall Marshall, Harrison Barnes and Reggie Bullock along with coaches Roy Williams and Steve Robinson in attendance, McAdoo said it was a special experience.

"It was awesome," McAdoo said. "We've actually had an opportunity to practice here but just playing here in front of all the Carolina fans and my future coach is just one step closer to putting on that Carolina blue."

This was Hairston's second straight year playing a high school game in the Smith Center and said he always looks forward to it.

"It gives me a chance to show them what I'm bringing in next year and what I can do," Hairston said. "I can prove to the crowd that I'm more than a three-point shooter."

Hairston already sounded like a Tar Heel earlier this week, entering the Duke rivalry via Twitter with some good-natured trash talk.

"I was just into it," Hairston said. "Of course I didn't want Carolina to lose but it was a hard fought game. They blew a lead but at least we know now that Carolina is capable of blowing Duke out. We just have to maintain our composure, execute plays and don't rush anything."

Both McAdoo and Hairston are staying in town tonight and part of tomorrow. Hairston said the two might hang out after the game. P.J. Hairston Profile
James McAdoo Profile

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