James Michael McAdoo (right) is forgoing his final year of eligibility. (Peyton Williams/Getty Images)
North Carolina junior James Michael McAdoo will enter the NBA Draft, the school announced in a press release Thursday.
"I just feel I am ready to play at the next level and excited about that challenge," said McAdoo in a statement. "I had chances to go after my freshman and sophomore years but was more excited about coming back to school then. Right now I am excited about fulfilling my dream to play in the NBA and do what I have to do to take that next step."
The 6-foot-9, 230 pound forward averaged 14.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in leading the Tar Heels to a 24-10 record and No. 6 seed in the NCAA tournament, where they were ousted in the round of 32.
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McAdoo, ranked No. 8 in the class of 2011 coming out out of Norfolk Christian School, according to Rivals, was considered a potential lottery pick had he declared for the 2012 draft, despite averaging just 6.1 points in limited playing time his freshman season. While his numbers improved, McAdoo -- a distant cousin of former All-Star Bob McAdoo -- never developed into the dominant player his physical tools suggested he could be. In DraftExpress.com's 2014 mock draft, McAdoo is projected as a second-round pick. He isn't listed on Chris Mannix's latest Big Board.
In the release, North Carolina coach Roy Williams expressed support for McAdoo’s decision.
"I am extremely happy for James Michael, but at the same time I am sad for me because I won't get a chance to coach that youngster again," says Williams. "He's a wonderful kid who has been a very dependable player and one of the top players in the ACC the past two seasons. Everyone connected to our program has enjoyed getting to know him. He's been extremely important to North Carolina Basketball and Roy Williams
. We support him 100 percent in his decision, wish him nothing but the best in his professional career and understand that it is truly important to him and his family that he complete his degree work."