A new environment can be nerve racking for anyone. But McDonald, a four-star prospect in the 2009 class, has a little more pressure on him than your average freshman because he's got to perform on the court and in the classroom.
"I think for all basketball players you have a little nervous in you, but at the same time you're excited, so it's like a mixture," he said. "Although I'll be away from my parents, I'm doing my own thing and going to college. It's very exciting."
Since getting knocked off in the D2-AA state semifinals, Leslie, who averaged 20.7 points and 6.5 rebounds a game, has spent a lot of time in the gym preparing for his freshman year.
"I've been training ever since my basketball season ended," McDonald said. "I've been training hard, as far as in the weight room, on the track and on the court as well."
"The only goal I have right now is to get better," he continued. "I'm just trying to get better. My goal is to see how much I can get better over the summer and the course of the season."
The Tar Heel staff was in touch with McDonald this spring and informed him on certain aspects of his game and conditioning that he needed to continue to develop.
"We've discussed some things and I've talked to the weight and conditioning coach and we've talked about some of the things I need to work on body wise and eating," he said. "The coaching staff is just encouraging me to keep working out. They've set up some drills for me to do with shooting and ball handling."
Once on campus, McDonald will live with a pair of freshmen – John Henson and Dexter Strickland. According to the 6-foot-4 shooting guard, the three already get along very well.
On the court, McDonald is hoping to continue to wear the No. 2 jersey, but he hasn't been given the go ahead from the coaches.
"I'm trying to get my same number as I had in high school, which was No. 2, but we haven't confirmed that yet. Hopefully I'll confirm that when I get to school."