McAdoo's Rise

HAMPTON, Va. --- In 12 months, James McAdoo has become one of the nation's top prospects.

McAdoo emerged as a national prospect at the 2008 Boo Williams Invitational. The then 6-8, 190-pounder impressed at the 15-under level for his BWSL squad with his ability to run the floor.

Two months later he was showing off his skill level at the Hoop Jamboree, cementing his status as an elite frontcourt talent. He moved to the 16-under division before the end of the summer.

McAdoo then averaged 25 points and 11 rebounds his sophomore season at Norfolk (Va.) Christian, earning the ranking as the No. 1 power forward in the class of 2011.

McAdoo returned to Hampton for the 2009 Boo Williams Invitational this weekend. But now he's a starter on the 17-under BWSL. And he looks different, too.

"I've been hitting the weights," McAdoo said of his physical transformation over the past year. "I've gained about 20 solid pounds — I went from 190 to 210 and I'm a solid 6-8.

"I'm just still trying to develop and fill out my body – I've been lifting weights and that's the main thing for my step up. I'd like to be about 220, but you never know. I don't want it to affect my game as far as being smooth on the court."

And smooth he is. Playing for a traveling team so loaded that it features two ACC commitments in the backcourt (UNC's Kendall Marshall and Duke's Andre Dawkins) and two likely ACC commitments in the frontcourt (Travis McKie and Luke Cothron), he still manages to make a big impact.

McAdoo, the youngest player in the BWSL starting lineup, averaged 16.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.0 blocks in the three games this writer witnessed this weekend at the Boo Williams Sportsplex. But he wasn't satisfied with those numbers.

"I just want to be able to grab 20-25 points and 10-15 rebounds – that's what I'm capable of," he said.

McAdoo is an elite athlete, able to run the floor and finish on the break, but he can also score with either hand in the post and has soft touch out to mid-range. He's a force as a shotblocker and is becoming a better rebounder as a result of his added muscle.

"It's tremendous," McAdoo said of the impact of his added weight. "Just being able to finish better than last year and being able to push guys around on the boards is definitely a benefit."

McAdoo is also benefiting from having one of the nation's best passers in his backcourt. "This is my first time playing with a true pass first point guard like that," McAdoo said of Kendall Marshall, who's been in McAdoo's ear promoting UNC's cause. "It's awesome when you've got a guy always looking to get you the ball."

Over the last week, college coaches have descended on Norfolk Christian. With the NCAA schedule allowing coaches to make appearances starting on Thursday, head coaches made sure to be seen.

"I had North Carolina, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Virginia come by on Thursday and Friday," McAdoo said. "They can only talk to my coaches, but I saw them. Roy Williams was there, Oliver Purnell and the new Virginia head coach."

Seeing the UNC head coach in the building within 24 hours of the opening of the evaluation period made a clear statement to McAdoo.

"It definitely shows their interest is very high," he said. "But I knew it already."

The mutual interest with North Carolina is well established by now. McAdoo has made several trips to Chapel Hill, including two last fall. In the first one, he toured the campus, attended a football game, played pick-up with the team and met with Roy Williams and his staff. A month later, he was back in town for the ‘Late Night' event and also attended a UNC practice. And the Tar Heel staff has returned the favor, making a number of trips to Norfolk throughout this past season.

There's no scholarship offer from UNC yet, but McAdoo says UNC's recruitment hasn't reached that stage yet.

"My coach talks to Roy Williams, but mostly Coach Robinson, and I call Coach Robinson every so often and talk to him," he said. "I'm still trying to build a relationship and they're trying to get to know me."

Florida and Texas are the two other schools that McAdoo says he's developed good relationships with.

"Florida, I had a good relationship with Shaka Smart, but he is now the head coach at VCU, so I'm trying to figure out who I'm going to talk to," he said. "Texas, I'm really close with them. I'll go down and see them probably."

McAdoo has taken trips to Florida and Wake Forest, and attended games at Georgetown and Duke. Clemson and Texas have yet to receive a visit.

However, he is already looking to make a decision relatively soon.

"Probably by the end of this summer I'd like to make a decision so I don't need to stress about it during my junior season," McAdoo said. "So if not by the end of my sophomore year, by the end of the summer."

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