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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Radio show notes: turnovers, drives, exams

By Robbi Pickeral

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams was out recruiting on Monday night, so Director of Basketball Operations Joe Holladay took his place on “Roy Williams Live.”  Some notes from the weekly radio show….

MORE FROM MAC: Williams is known for pushing his teams to go faster-faster-faster. But UNC’s coaches would like sophomore James Michael McAdoo to actually slow down a smidge -- at least when he gets the ball in his hands.

Because even though the forward leads the team in points (15 per game) he also leads it in turnovers (30 this season).

“Too big a hurry,’’ Holladay said. “Once he catches the basketball, he’s got to slow down a little bit. He shoots it quick, and his footwork -- he’s just in too bit a hurry to score. So when he slows down a little bit, the game, even though it’s fast, slows down for him.”

Holladay said he has been impressed with the way McAdoo, who started only three games as a freshman and is the most experienced returning post player, has “turned it up a notch” this season.

“We saw glimpse of it last year when John [Henson] was hurt, and from that, he really worked hard this summer,’’ Holladay said. “His shot’s improved, his strength has improved, he’s so quick with the basketball. There’s not many ‘4’ or ‘5’ men that can cover him, especially when he faces up. So he’s able to take it to the goal, or if they don’t cover him, his shot’s so much better, hitting the 15-foot jumper.

"He’s got a chance to really do some things this year, and I hope he does. Because we need his scoring every night.”

Saturday, McAdoo posted zero turnovers for the first time this season -- but he also scored in single digits (nine points) for the first time this season.

JAMES ‘FINE’: Freshman big man Joel James left the Smith Center in a walking boot after rolling his ankle during Saturday’s win. But no long-term issues are expected with the injury.

“He’s fine,’’ Holladay said. “We practiced the next day -- with exams going on we practiced Sunday evening at seven o’clock, actually.”

DEX DRIVES: Senior Dexter Strickland buried two 3-pointers during Saturday’s win over ETSU, but there’s no doubt his offensive strength remains driving to the basket.

“Dexter’s an athlete,’’ Holladay said. “He’s probably not as quick as he was before his [ACL] surgery, but he’s getting stronger every week. I think we’ve noticed his quickness improve even since the season started. But he seems to find a way -- he doesn’t stop very often once he starts to the goal. There had better be five of them back there or he’s going to challenge them.”

Strickland, by the way, has also posted 40 assists with only 13 turnovers this season.

QUOTE WORTHY: “We shot 31 3-pointers the other night; I’ve been with Coach so long, there’s been years where we haven’t shot 31 in a year.” -- Holladay

BRIEFLY: Because of semester exams, the Tar Heels will go through a “run-and-shoot” workout today, take Wednesday off, and return to regular practices Thursday and Friday before playing East Carolina at noon on Saturday. … How does UNC need to get better before the start of ACC season? “Need to improve our free throw shooting,’’ Holladay said. “We’re not very good at it. I could use other words, but we’re not very good at free throw shooting right now. We’re, like, 61 percent. In close games, we’ll need that.”