by Megan Walsh, GoHeels.com
CHAPEL HILL - Forward James Michael McAdoo's aggression began even before North Carolina took down Florida State 79-58 on Sunday.
Coming off an 11-point performance against Clemson on Thursday, the sophomore bounced back with 21 points on 10-for15 shooting by afternoon's end against the Seminoles. And it all started with a positive pre-game attitude.
"I felt really confident coming into this game and really just felt a good vibe, even during warmups," McAdoo said. "Just coming off of that game at Clemson where I didn't feel like I played very well, God is good and my shots were able to fall early."
The Norfolk, Va., product's aggression came quick for the Tar Heels. Getting out early and running the court, McAdoo steered North Carolina with 17 points before the break and put up one of his most impressive halves all season.
With a one-handed slam and back-to-back alley oops just a few plays later, the preseason All-America even showed some rare emotion in his performance.
McAdoo's emotion - and the success that stemmed from it - was also infectious for the rest of the Tar Heels. Collectively, the team shot 55.4 percent in the effort, the highest shooting percentage UNC has seen since Nov. 21 against Chaminade.
"I definitely feed off of it, seeing (McAdoo) get out in transition, steal the ball, go down and get an and-one dunk," Bullock said. "Just seeing the emotion on his face - he really doesn't show that much emotion. When he definitely gets into the game, get him involved and everybody in the starting five definitely feeds off it."
Head coach Roy Williams credits some of McAdoo's recent success to the insertion of Hairston into UNC's starting lineup. With the ability to spread the floor and stretch the defense, Williams said Hairston's starting spot allows McAdoo to drive to the basket more often.
"10 for 15 - I want him to do that every game," Williams said. "The bottom line is that he knows I want him to be aggressive, but you've got to make shots. 10 for 15, to do that when the defense is aimed to stop you is pretty doggone impressive."
And it seems McAdoo has been listening. The forward acknowledged Williams' push for aggression just a few minutes later, saying, "I just try to look at it and focus in on it.
"I knew I needed to play and I need to stop relying on my teammates. When me, Reggie and P.J. and everyone in the starting lineup have good games, we really do well. I don't want to have any regrets, so I just go out there and give it my all and plays just seemed to go my way."