McDonald Eager for UNC Visit

NASHVILLE --- For a change, Leslie McDonald didn't have to venture too far from his home to play in a tournament with his summer team Memphis YOMCA. Taking the floor at the Nike Memorial Day Classic, the 6-4 guard was his usual effective self.

Next week, the standout from Memphis (Tenn.) Briarcrest will be back on the road, but it won't be to play -- he'll be checking out a couple schools, as he treks to the state of North Carolina to visit with the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils.

According to McDonald, he's doing everything he can to start his visits with a clear and open mind and he and his father will adjust as they go.

"Right now I have no plan, I'm just waiting to get up there," said McDonald. "I talk to Coach Williams and Coach K about it and I'm just excited to get up there. They have the same position for me, and a lot of the same qualities. They are both good schools with good atmospheres and I'm looking forward to checking it out."

In regards to North Carolina, McDonald said that he's appreciated the way Roy Williams has approached his position. Rather than project a specific role for him in college, Williams has stressed to McDonald that he just likes him as a player who can get things done.

"He likes me as a ball player," said McDonald. "I talk to him and he just says, "Leslie, I like you because you are a ballplayer." A lot of other people try to put specific positions on me and call me a shooting guard or whatever, he just calls me a player and I'm cool with it."

McDonald has also taken notice of the class already committed to the Heels and sees himself as a guy who could co-exist with guys like John Henson, the Wear twins and Dexter Strickland. Being that missing piece is something else that Williams has stressed.

"He said that he would really like me to come in and there and be the missing piece to the puzzle," McDonald said. "He'd like to get me in there and roll with it."

As he nears the conclusion of a recruitment that he's hoping to end by the fall -- when he'll pick from UNC, Duke, Georgetown, Memphis and Tennessee -- McDonald says that he's become much more comfortable with the entire process. In particular, he's learned to not feel pressured whether he's on the floor, talking to coaches or dealing with the media.

"At first when I was recruited it was some pressure to come out and play well every time," said McDonald. "I'm used to it now. I also understand that everybody is going to put a microphone in my face now and in college, I just had to get used to it."

When he does pick a school, the usual aspects of academics and potential playing time will be important. But at the end of the day it's going to be all about his relationship with the man in charge and that's why he's working so hard to get out to see schools and build relationships.

"If you don't have a great relationship with the coach then what's the point in going to that particular school," said McDonald. "I really do try to create a good relationship with the coaches and then it's just a matter of looking at how I get along with the team and fit into a particular environment -- I'm really going to look at that."

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