CHAPEL HILL — Youll recall that after North Carolinas 83-59 loss at Indiana on Tuesday night, James Michael McAdoo, the Tar Heels sophomore forward, said he and his teammates had to work better together on the court.
Off the court, McAdoo said, the Heels are close. But that closeness hasnt translated, he said, into chemistry where it matters most.
Said McAdoo, of when things fell apart at Indiana:
Were great off the court, but on the court I feel like when they were going on that run, we were kind of all looking to each other when we should have been just coming together as a team and looking at each other as a team, and knowing that not one person not me, not anyone had to make one spectacular play that was going to bring us back.
Earlier today, Reggie Bullock, UNCs junior guard, supported McAdoos comments. Like McAdoo, Bullock spoke of chemistry issues that have hindered the Tar Heels through the first few weeks of the season.
Off the court, were brothers, Bullock said. We never fight, anything, but we love each other. But on the court, I just feel like its a lot of people pointing fingers and not taking responsibility of what theyre doing. Even if its me, not getting to the boards or boxing out my man. I just think everybody in order for us to have a great chemistry on the team, on the floor as a team, I feel like everybody has to take responsibility for what theyre doing.
Both of those statements from McAdoo and Bullock are troubling, but not completely unexpected. This is a team thats still clearly in flux. McAdoo and Bullock are learning to step into starring roles. Returnees like Dexter Strickland, P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald are trying to find their place amid greater expectations. And the four freshmen are clearly still adjusting to the college game.
So statements like these arent surprising now. But they would be a month or two from now.