McAdoo Shines in Jordan Classic

CHARLOTTE --- With 1.6 seconds left in the Jordan Brand Classic, UNC signee James McAdoo toed the free throw line and calmly sank two foul shots to ice the game, leading the East to a 113-109 victory over the West.

McAdoo wowed the Carolina partisan crowd with his 26 points (19 in the second half) and 14 rebounds to earn MVP honors for the East.

"The game, it was the greatest experience overall," said McAdoo, who also earned the MVP award in last month's McDonald's All-American Game. "For me and P.J. [Hairston] to play in front of all the Tar Heel fans, just to get the win and to walk away with the MVP, God blessed me with that, so I'm thankful for that."

The Norfolk, Va. native was efficient offensively, shooting 10-of-16 from the field. McAdoo also displayed a deft touch from the perimeter, going 2-of-2 behind the three-point arc and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.

McAdoo said he is ready to join the Tar Heels. The All-American's arrival to Chapel Hill will be a welcomed one.

"I see myself fitting in very well, and that's why I chose Carolina," McAdoo said. "Just because it's the best fit for me, and with [John] Henson and [Tyler] Zeller coming back it's just going to help me more playing behind two great basketball players every day in practice. It's just going to allow me to get better."

The future Tar Heel is focused on proving himself, and earning everyone's respect, but back-to-back MVP honors in the nation's two most prestigious all-star games has him well on his way.

P.J. Hairston

P.J. Hairston scored seven points off the bench for the East, shooting 3-of-8 from the field, including 1-of-5 on three-pointers. The Greensboro, N.C. native did not let the off shooting night keep him from leaving his mark on the game.

"I just wanted to show that I can do more than just shoot," Hairston said. "Everyone knows I can shoot. My shot wasn't really falling today, and I tried to do more things like on defense like block shots and get steals and get my hands into plays."

With just under 3:00 minutes remaining in the first half, Hairston put together his most impressive offense-defense sequence. After nailing a step-back 18-foot jumper, on the next possession he raced back down court to block a shot, sending it out of bounds.

The future Tar Heel said he's enjoyed playing on the all-star circuit with McAdoo, his future college teammate, and cannot wait to do the same thing next season.

"It's going to be a real fun experience for me next year," Hairston said. "This is fun. Coming out and playing with all the best talent, but knowing that I'm going in with the MVP of the game and we have the win that's always a good thing. We're going into college, and we're going to try to win games for our team."

Until his arrival in Chapel Hill in two months, Hairston said he will be working on his ball-handling, shooting and conditioning. He credits the discipline and structure of his senior season at Hargrave Military Academy for helping him drop 20 pounds and improve his game. The All-American has dropped from 240 pounds down to 220.

"It's done a lot," Hairston said. "It's gotten me ready for Chapel Hill body-wise and as a basketball player. I thank them for that, because it's all worth it. I'm really glad I did it."

Jackson Simmons

Jackson Simmons scored six points, pulled down eight rebounds, dished out two assists and blocked three shots for the West team in the Jordan Brand Classic Regional Game.

"It's a tremendous opportunity, getting to play in an NBA arena with great players that are going to be at the next level and the NBA afterward - it's pretty honoring," Simmons said. "Also that I'm recognized as one of the best players in North Carolina is a pretty awesome deal."

Like McAdoo and Hairston, Simmons, an invited walk-on from Sylva, N.C., is eager to join the Tar Heels and is ready to compete for a national championship. The 6-foot-8 forward says he has developed relationships with the current Carolina players, and that they have taken him under their wing. Simmons is impressed with the other incoming freshmen, and he just aims to help UNC by doing whatever it takes to win, while also expanding his game.

"The biggest thing is being aggressive, and continuing to learn the game of basketball," Simmons said.

He is already learning from his future teammates. Tyler Zeller hosted him on his official visit. Simmons recalled what Zeller told him: ‘If you make your man run the court he's eventually going to get tired, he's going to have to keep with you, and then you'll wear him down.'

Simmons said another area he is working to improve is not gathering himself, but rather going straight into a move and being more explosive.

"That's one thing I need to really harness in my game," Simmons said. "It's just going, and not waiting for the defense to come at me."

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