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McAdoo Concedes Frustration Got To Him Early In Season

James Michael McAdoo has too often allowed his emotions to get the best of him during his freshman season at North Carolina.

 “I did allow it to get to me at times,” McAdoo said. “The past couple weeks have been real big, ups in practice and downs in the games. I felt like I was really going to be able to turn it up for ACC play. I wasn’t, but at least it never affected my work ethic.”

McAdoo is coming off his most effective Atlantic Coast Conference game of the season, a nine-point, six-rebound performance in Sunday night’s victory against Georgia Tech.

“I want to be out there and when I’m out there I want to be productive, the player I know I can be, and not let whatever happens affect my confidence," McAdoo said.

McAdoo’s wired nature has left him susceptible to picking up fouls while also accentuating some awkwardness and lack of polish down low.

Via Times-News

Teague Maturing As Kentucky's Floor General

Wildcats point guard Marquis Teague has shown steady improvement, cutting down on his turnovers and making strides at the defensive end.

"The biggest thing with Marquis Teague that he's doing better is defending and rebounding," Kentucky coach John Calipari said. "You all want to look at his offense. He's defending and rebounding. So he's not stopping. He's going in and getting balls."

After a rough start, Teague’s more at ease of late in running the ship and serving as a distributor.

"On a team like this, that's what you have to do," Teague said. "You've got to pick and choose when to go. People would like to come down and shoot the ball, but if you play for a team like this, you've got to find guys. You've got Doron Lamb, Michael (Kidd-) Gilchrist, Terrence Jones. You've got to feed them guys. They all can score very easy and very well."

Via CatsIllustrated.com

Zeller Making Concerted Effort To Battle For Rebounds

Tar Heels center Tyler Zeller is more aggressively battling for position, coach Roy Williams said.

“He’s going to the boards more; it’s pretty simple,’’ Williams said. “Early in the year, we’d have to yell at him to get to the boards, but I think he’s establishing a spot in there, he’s trying to get to the offensive boards. He got two offensive boards for baskets in the first half just by getting to the boards and finding an open spot. We need that.”

Indeed, Zeller has now pulled down 116 rebounds in his past 10 games, recording double-digit boards in nine of them.

In UNC’s first 10 games, he’d managed 10 or more rebounds only twice.

And entering this season, he had posted 10 or more rebounds only seven times.

Via Robbi Pickeral/ESPN.com

Le'Bryan Nash Has Breakout Game, Finds Motivation In Slights

Le'Bryan Nash scored 27 points on 12-of-18 shooting to lead Oklahoma State to a 79-72 victory over Missouri on Wednesday.

“This win is going to do a lot for this team -- especially me,” said Nash, who is averaging just over 11 points while shooting 35 percent from the field. “My confidence has been up and down.

“I haven’t been consistent scoring the ball, and I’ve needed to be more consistent as far as playing hard. That was one of the hardest games I’ve ever played in my life, because I wanted to win. When I play hard, good things will happen for me and this team.”

The 6-7, 230 pound swingman has struggled under high expectations.

“Coming in as the highest-rated recruit in the history of the program, I knew all the hype was going to be about me,” Nash said. “It was just motivation for me. When I don’t play well and people say negative stuff, that just gives me motivation to play even harder, even better.”

Via ESPN.com

Kendall Marshall Ready For Increased Workload

Tar Heels point guard Kendall Marshall, who is averaging a team-high 31.2 minutes this season, doesn’t seem particularly worried about his potential increase in playing time now that starting shooting guard/back-up point guard Dexter Strickland is out for the season with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Since last season, he said, he’s learned to take better care of his body -- stretching more, getting to bed earlier.

Williams said Marshall could still improve in the weight room, but “he’s worked, done a nice job on his body. Not anything as much as I want him to do, but I might be able to say that about a lot of other guys, too.”

Still, he's sure his starting point guard can compete for longer stretches, just like last season.

“I think he can play 34, 35 minutes per game,’’ Williams said. “I hope that he doesn’t have to. But I think he can, if we ask him to.”

Via Robbi Pickeral/ESPN.com

C.J. Leslie Adjusts Shooting Motion, Finds Free Throw Stroke

N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried said C.J. Leslie’s foul shooting has been "much better" since a recent adjustment in form and approach.

"We've worked with him on his release point - a little higher," Gottfried said. "His concentration - much better than it's been in the past. It's getting better there. I think he's improved in just about every aspect of his game."

Before facing Georgia Tech, Leslie shot 63.3 percent from the line in N.C. State's first 16 games. He's 9-for-17 (52.9 percent) in the last four games, with all but one of the attempts coming against Georgia Tech and Miami. He went 4-for-8 against the Yellow Jackets and was 5-for-6 against the Hurricanes before missing two attempts with 2:03 remaining.

"Just concentrating, stay on the line and make the shot," Leslie said.

Via Bret Strelow/Fayetteville Observer

Austin Rivers Takes Benching In Stride

Blue Devils guard Austin Rivers, removed from a starting lineup for one of the few times in his life, scored 20 points off the bench against Wake Forest.

When Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski informed Rivers that he would come off the bench against Wake Forest — marking the first time this season he wouldn’t be starting — the highly regarded freshman admitted he seethed.

“The past three days I haven’t slept. I’ve been thinking,” Rivers said. “I was so angry. You have no idea how angry I was. … But I realize that I need to mature.

“That’s what (Krzyzewski’s) intention was. I mean, he’s a genius. He knows what he’s doing. He’s going to make me better and this team is going to make me better.”

Via Times-News

Terrence Jones Clears Mind Of Injury Issues, Raises Play

Wildcats forward Terrence Jones believes that clearing his mind will go a long way toward making him more productive on the court.

"I'm just not thinking as much," Jones said after scoring 13 points, grabbing 9 rebounds, and blocking a career-high five shots in a win over Arkansas on Tuesday night.

Jones vowed to be "less conscious" about his hand, a reference to the finger he dislocated against Chattanooga on Dec. 17.

Asked if the finger is completely healed, Jones said, "Nah, it's not. But I don't use it as an excuse. I just play."

Via Lexington Herald Leader

Birch Feels Sense Of Belonging At UNLV

UNVL transfer Khem Birch says he's already felt a sense of “belonging” that didn't exist in his semester stay at Pittsburgh.

“I didn't gel with my teammates, and the system wasn't right for me,” said Birch, who averaged 4.4 points and five rebounds per game in 10 games at Pitt, including six starts.

Birch believes his skills will be best utilized in an uptempo system.

“When I opened my recruitment, I wanted to go to a fast-paced team,” Birch said. “Right away UNLV came to mind because I saw that game and how they ran.”

Via Canadian Press

Henson Comfortable Scoring With Off Hand

Tar Heels power forward John Henson is right-handed but is comfortable shooting left-handed as well.

"I love my left hand," he said. "I came in shooting my left-hand jump hook - that was kind of my go-to move. Now that I've expanded it, it's a little easier to get that shot off now."

He ranks second in the ACC in field-goal percentage (54.6 percent), but that's not only because of his dunks and post moves. He also has developed a jumper.

"You always want to improve something every year, and I felt like offensively is where I had to improve this year," Henson said. "The little jump shot I've been working on, it's not necessarily automatic, but it'll keep the defender honest."

Via Mark Berman/Roanoke Times

Patric Young Dealing With Ankle Tendinitis

Gators center Patric Young is suffering from tendinitis in his ankle.

Wildcats Gain Possession On Majority Of Anthony Davis' Blocks

Anthony Davis blocked seven shots against Arkansas, bringing his single-season total to 89 and setting a school record.

Shabazz Muhammad Seriously Considering UNLV

Shabazz Muhammad spoke highly of the Runnin’ Rebels.

Royce White Draws Comparison To Jamal Mashburn

Royce White, a 6-foot-7, 270-pound sophomore, has impressed with his playmaking abilities.

Khem Birch Blasts Former Pittsburgh Teammates

UNVL transfer Khem Birch torched his former Pittsburgh teammates.

Austin Rivers' Numbers Down Since Dec. 30th

Austin Rivers appears to going through a rut that began after his Dec. 30th performance against Western Michigan.

Anthony Davis Ascribes Shot Blocking Ability To Instinct

Anthony Davis has recorded 83 blocks, two shy of the Kentucky single-season record.

Sullinger Takes Blame For Loss To Illinois, Vows To Work Harder On Defense

Ohio State star Jared Sullinger admitted to lapses of effort on defense.

Harrison Barnes Attempting Bulk Of Shots From Midrange

Harrison Barnes continues to settle for too many midrange jumpshots.

Spurs, Thunder Among Teams Scouting Iona's Scott Machado

Scott Machado averages a Division I-best 10.1 assists per game.

Buckeyes Struggling With Team Chemistry, Sullinger Plans To Fill Leadership Void

Jared Sullinger talked about needing to lead more.

Anthony Davis On Verge Of Breaking Kentucky Single-Season Blocks Record

Anthony Davis is averaging 4.6 blocks per game.

Drummond Plans On Returning For Sophomore Season

UConn center Andre Drummond is projected as a top-5 pick in the next draft.

Syracuse Backup Dion Waiters Leads Nation In Transition Points

The Orangemen are forcing turnovers and scoring in transition.

John Henson Holding Opponents To 24.2 Percent Shooting

Tar Heel John Henson is leading candidate for national defensive player of the year.

Tubby Smith Urges Ralph Sampson III To Attack Rim

Minnesota center Ralph Sampson III disappeared against the Iowa Hawkeyes’ zone defense.

Michigan Incorporating More Screen-And-Rolls For Trey Burke

Trey Burke has excelled running the pick-and-roll.

Celtics Never Considered Picking MarShon Brooks

MarShon Brooks is averaging 21.8 points per 36 minutes through his first seven games.

Zeller Leads Hoosiers In Deflections

Indiana charts deflections to measure defensive effort.

Kidd-Gilchrist's Enthusiasm, Will-To-Win Draw Praise From NBA GM

Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s intangibles drew praise from one NBA general manager.
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