Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bullock, McAdoo hope to feed off each other

GREENSBORO – Both Reggie Bullock and James Michael McAdoo are in some ways experiencing the NCAA tournament for the first time this weekend in Greensboro.

Bullock, a sophomore guard, missed the postseason last year because of a torn lateral meniscus in his left knee. McAdoo, on the other hand, is a freshman.

McAdoo saw extended minutes in last week’s ACC tournament because of John Henson’s left wrist injury. Now, the two anticipate they will be on the court at the same time in many stretches during UNC’s second-round game against Vermont Friday night.

“This means a lot to me because I just observed last year, and I saw what that team needed,” said Bullock, who is averaging nine points and five rebounds a game. “I’m just trying to be a great defensive player who can make shots coming down the stretch.”

McAdoo and Bullock know they need to do well in their roles to help UNC reach the Final Four.
McAdoo says he knows what the biggest priority is for him and Bullock.

“I feel like we’re the best rebounding team in the nation,” McAdoo said. “That’s somewhere where we have to exploit teams.

Early in the season, Bullock and James sat on the bench together as backups.

“When we weren’t starting, we were on the bench always talking about what we were going to do on the court,” Bullock said.

But starting guard Dexter Strickland was lost for the season with a knee injury in late January. Since then, McAdoo took notice of Bullock’s improvements as a better defender.

McAdoo sees that he is just a freshman on a team full of marquee players. He sees Bullock as a friend and mentor.

Though UNC fell to Florida State in the ACC Tournament championship game, Bullock was proud of McAdoo’s toughness given the circumstances.

“I think it helped his confidence a lot just knowing that he’s playing more,” Bullock said of McAdoo. “He’s a big part to our team. With him out there with me now, we hope not to be the weak link on the team.”

-Nate Taylor