Virginia Star Says UNC Rumors are “Crazy”
Words. Jason Jordan
When Norfolk Christian School (Va.) forward James McAdoo led the United States to a 101-87 win over host country Argentina in the gold-medal game of the FIBA Americas U-16 Championships, he got a glimpse of what he’d be in for once he chooses one of the big time schools that are courting him.
The arena, which seated 3,000, was standing room only, and the vicious crowd did everything it could to make it uncomfortable for Team USA.
“That crowd was crazy!” says McAdoo, a rising junior who is rated the No. 20 prospect in the HighSchoolHoop top 50. “They were hostile no matter who we played because they didn’t want us to win. The only people rooting for us were on the bench. I’m sure that’s how it will be on the road in college sometimes. That will be fun.”
Just not fun enough to help him zero-in on what college he’d like to take said road trips with…
HighSchoolHoop: How did you do in the gold medal game against Argentina?
James McAdoo: I had 20 points and 12 rebounds. I think I did pretty good.
HSH: What did you average over the tournament?
JM: I think it was 16.8 points and 8.6 rebounds.
HSH: That’ll get the job done. 2K Sports sent an All-American team over to France to compete recently and the players talked about how much of an adjustment the rules were overseas. Can you relate?
JM: Yes, definitely. Over-the-back isn’t even a call over there, even though that’s not something we struggled with being so much taller than those guys. It was just the way the game was called overall. It took some getting used to.
HSH: You recently cut your list?
JM: Yes, I cut it down to nine – Duke, North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, UCLA, Syracuse, Georgetown, Florida and Kentucky … Everyone says I’m going to North Carolina, but that’s just not true. I’ve just been down there the most because it’s close. I like them, but they’re not my No. 1 right now. I haven’t even been to the other schools to compare it.
HSH: Oh OK, you just wanted to clear that up?
JM: Yeah. I get tired of hearing that sometimes. You know what’s funny, I’ve had so many college coaches tell me that they stopped recruiting me because they thought I was a shoe-in for North Carolina. That’s just crazy to me. I’m not a shoe-in for North Carolina.
HSH: Well, who would you say is in the top tier?
JM: I don’t really know. I haven’t been to Virginia. I mean sure they’re in my home state, but I haven’t been up there. A school like Florida is up there. They’ve recruited me the longest, which helps. I will say that I have the best relationship with Florida. I talked to coach (Billy) Donovan today.
HSH: I’ve been present for a few of Donovan’s creative recruitment tactics. What does he do with you?
JM: He’s just really down-to-earth. He just talks about where he sees me playing and talks about the program and things like that. He tells me who else they’re recruiting and is just really honest with me. It’s impressive because they just won back-to-back national championships recently.
HSH: Talk about visits.
JM: I know for sure that I’m gonna be going down to Duke in August. That’s the only one that I have set in stone.
HSH: Now are you one of those guys that wants to hang on until the end like John Wall or do you want to get it over with right away like Reggie Bullock?
JM: Well, I’m not gonna just decide to get it over with. I’m not gonna make it anytime soon. I definitely don’t think that I’ll wait as long as some of those other guys did. I just want to get all of the doubts out of my mind and pick a school after that.
HSH: I talked to your AAU coach Boo Williams recently about you and he said you were having a great summer for BWSL. What are you averaging?
JM: About 17 points and 12 rebounds.
HSH: That’s pretty good on such a loaded team.
JM: Yeah even though I’m one of the younger guys they know that I can play. Part of me knows that the team is gonna be mine next year so I don’t try and run the show too much. I’m not out there like “give me the ball!”
HSH: What has your best highlight been this summer?
JM: I would have to say the game against DC Assault. I pretty much just annihilated these two kids on the break. It wasn’t (Duke commit) Josh Hairston, but I went up and dunked on two guys and they both fell on the ground from the impact. It was a pretty good play.
HSH: In regards to picking a college, what style of play suits you best?
JM: I love to get up and down the court. I’m gonna want to go to a school that’s gonna develop my perimeter skills and prepare me for the next level beyond college. So probably a school that plays a four-out, one-in set. Something like that.
HSH: Do you plan to cut your list again?
JM: I’m thinking around the end of August before I go back to school. It depends on how many visits I get in before that time.