Inside the Game: James McAdoo

James McAdoo led Norfolk Christian to a win over the weekend and Inside Carolina's Matt Morgan was courtside. Go beyond the box score with a detailed breakdown of the Tar Heel commitment's performance ...



James McAdoo is probably one of the more natural scorers you'll find in the nation right now. He's long and agile. He's supremely skilled. He can finish strong with either hand.

Against Norfolk Collegiate, McAdoo lived up to his reputation early, scoring 14 of his team's first 20 points and showing off most of his offensive arsenal -- scoring in transition, off the dribble and stepping out to knock down two three-pointers.

One of the most impressive aspects of McAdoo's game is that he doesn't make things needlessly difficult for himself on offense. His first basket of the game came when he received the ball between steps and under the basket. Rather than panicking and traveling, McAdoo quickly adjusted and made an easy reverse lay-in. The philosophy of scoring seems to come easily to him.

McAdoo's outside shooting is a developing part of his game but his stroke was impressive against Norfolk Collegiate. He spent most of the quarter on the perimeter and looked confident and comfortable shooting the ball.

His stroke is smooth but he might benefit from tightening up his form a bit. At times his right hand will stray to the side of the ball. It's hard to notice in live action but it shows up a lot in photos. He might get greater consistency by keeping his form consistent.

Defensively McAdoo played at the top of his team's 1-3-1 full-court pressure defense and used his length to get into passing lanes. He had four steals in the first quarter and picked up six easy points in transition as his team built a quick 15-point lead.

Norfolk Christian 20, Norfolk Collegiate 5
McAdoo's 1st Quarter Stats - 14 points, 5-7 FG, 2-2 3FG, 2-4 FT


Norfolk Christian's in-conference schedule can be hit or miss and this year it's been mostly misses. It's a down year overall for the league and Norfolk Collegiate – usually a stronger program – had a hard time matching up with McAdoo's size.

After being guarded by a defender about six inches shorter than him in the first quarter, McAdoo faced a 6-foot-5 forward in the second quarter. In order to make the best out of the situation, McAdoo often has to find different ways to challenge himself. In the first quarter he spent most of his time on the perimeter. In the second he started attacking the rim a little more.

McAdoo started the quarter with an air ball on a mid-range pull up jumper but got his own rebound and laid it back in. After a short breather from 6:20 to 5:19, he returned to the game and quickly drove again, pulling up, missing another mid-range jumper and drawing a blocking foul.

You can tell McAdoo wants to incorporate the mid-range pull-up into his game but it wasn't quite there against Collegiate. If he can consistently knock that down he'd be nearly unguardable.

McAdoo uses his length exceptionally well when he drives to the basket. He doesn't waste an inch of his wingspan and his arms are fully extended when he finishes. It's especially apparent against Collegiate's shorter defenders who caught him on the wrist several times trying to block his shot.

For a 6-foot-8 high school junior, McAdoo is very comfortable in everything he does. After stealing the ball in the backcourt, he avoided a turnover by controlling the loose ball with a behind the back dribble and transitioned into an easy drive to the basket.

Something interesting to note, in the first half McAdoo scored all of his points off perimeter jumpers, drives to the basket or in transition. He only posted up two or three times and didn't attempt to score with his back to the basket. He is a legit scorer but he's not going to do a lot of damage with his back to the basket at this point.

As a rebounder, he has great fundamentals and bounce. He boxes out harder than most high school juniors and has the potential to become a special rebounder.

Norfolk Christian 53, Norfolk Collegiate 25
McAdoo's 2nd Quarter Stats - 12 points, 4-5 FG, 4-5 FT


McAdoo has a uniquely polished face-up game. He has a quick – and long – first step and a handful of moves at his disposal. In the third quarter alone he showed a fadeaway jumper, a pump fake and drive as well as a smooth left-handed runner. That's a nice repertoire for a shooting guard and even more impressive for a 6-foot-8 power forward.

Two minutes into the quarter McAdoo unleashed possibly his most impressive move of the night on a missed lay-in. Starting on the left wing, he drove baseline with his right hand, elevated to the basket and switched to his left hand before reaching from behind the backboard to lay it over the rim. The shot rimmed out but it was a great example of his skill around the basket. McAdoo isn't just comfortable finishing with his left but seems to prefer it at times.

With two minutes left in the quarter he scored his fourth point of the third with a steal and a left-handed dunk.

Norfolk Christian 70, Norfolk Collegiate 45
McAdoo's 3rd Quarter Stats - 6 points, 3-6 FG


With his team up 25 points heading into the quarter, McAdoo wasn't particularly aggressive in the fourth. In his six minutes of playing time he shot just once, making a three-pointer from the left wing with 4:45 left and drawing a foul off another jab-step pull-up 20 seconds later.

McAdoo said staying focused for a full 32 minutes is something he's working on but it was hard to blame him tonight

. At the 1:47 mark McAdoo left the game with his team up 28 points.

Norfolk Christian 86, Norfolk Collegiate 63
McAdoo's 4th Quarter Stats - 5 points, 1-1 FG, 1-1 3FG, 2-2 FT
McAdoo's Final Game Stats - 37 points, 13-19 FG, 3-3 3FG, 8-11 FT


On his length -

"That's definitely something I try to use to my advantage. I'm not the strongest guy on the court so I try to use my length and try not to let a hand in my face affect my shot." – James McAdoo

On working on different aspects of his game during blowouts -

"I know in most games that I play if I try to post up that's just an invitation for them to double team me. But if I'm on the wing it gives me the opportunity to see the floor and work on my perimeter skills." – James McAdoo

On his perimeter shot -

"He shot the ball real well tonight from the perimeter and that's something I challenge him in personally. When he gets to the next level he's got to improve his outside shot. He's got to improve his foot quickness on the defensive end guarding wings." – Coach Michael Allen

On playing through physical play -

"With his name, people are going to come after him and they've been challenging him but we say ‘It's a credit to you. It's a compliment when kids come after you and people want to come see you play. Sometimes you're not going to get calls.'" – Coach Michael Allen

On his versatility -

"He's a tough match up. He's one of these kids where he's big, he's long and he's athletic and pretty skilled and polished with his skill set. He just continues to get better. If he just continues to stay grounded and keep working, the sky is the limit for James." – Coach Michael Allen

On staying aggressive -

"The main thing I try to do is just play every play. Coaches are always getting on me about that. I think that's something I have to do, especially in the bigger games, is play every play and bring intensity. I know it's a bad habit and I'm trying to get out of it. It's just sort of going into relax mode because I know I can dominate a game like that and I don't always like to." – James McAdoo

"We've been challenging James to really go at whatever opponent we're facing. We played a really tough schedule this year and no knock on the competition back home but there are a few schools in our conference that are down a little bit this year. [Norfolk Collegiate's coach] does a great job with his kids and I know they were going to scrap and claw but you look at the talent and obviously we were a better team than they were." – Coach Michael Allen

James McAdoo Profile

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