Three Things: UNC Hoops Notebook
1. Remember way back in November, when one of the season’s big storylines was the dominant role James Michael McAdoo was playing in the Carolina offense? Entire stories were written about the historic proportion of Tar Heel shots he was getting.
That’s changed significantly, and so has McAdoo’s offensive load. Through the first three games, the Tar Heel sophomore took 54 shots, averaging 18 field goal attempts per game. In the six games since then, he’s taken 63 shots, averaging 10.5 field goal attempts per game.
So if McAdoo’s shots are going down, there must be another element of the offense that’s increasing, right? As you probably guessed, it’s perimeter shooting. Carolina tried 53 three-pointers in the first three games, averaging just under 18 per game. Since then, they’ve hoisted 143 trifectas, averaging just under 24 per game—and that’s even including the game at Indiana, when the Tar Heels attempted just eight three-pointers.
Overall, Carolina is attempting 21.8 three-pointers per game this season. As you would expect, that puts them in some rare territory among other Tar Heel teams, and not necessarily in company you’d want them to keep. The Carolina squad that attempted the most three-pointers per game was the 2002-03 group, which attempted 23.5 per game (and went to the NIT). The next-closest was the 2001-02 team, which attempted 21.6 per game (and missed the postseason entirely).
2. One of the highlights of Tar Heel shootarounds has become the post-practice shooting contest between J.P. Tokoto and Joel James. Last week, before the UAB game, ESPNU happened to have the cameras rolling when Tokoto tossed in a backwards half-court shot.
This week, before the East Tennessee State game, James was looking for a similar shot. He decided to sit on the first row of the folding chairs behind the Tar Heel bench—and promptly made two shots in a row. Sadly, no cameras were rolling, but eyewitnesses confirm James’s sudden perimeter shooting prowess.
“I told J.P. I was going to make Top Ten this week, since he made it last week,” James said.
Not bad for a player who proclaimed after his first jumper of the year was way off the mark that he wouldn’t be taking any more jump shots this season.
3. Speaking of James, by the time he met the media on Saturday night, he had already iced his knees and his right ankle. The ice on the knees was nothing more than what typically happens when an 18-year-old grows to seven feet tall, 260 pounds. But the ankle?
“I twisted my ankle stepping on Dexter’s foot,” James said. “I’m just icing it down.”
The more pressing question might be the status of Strickland’s foot, considering it just bore the weight of James. Even the freshman had to laugh at that. “He’s doing fine,” James said.