That appears to be what is about to happen in the case of Norfolk (Va.) Christian power forward James McAdoo, who long ago committed to play at North Carolina. The 6-foot-8, 205-pound star, rated No. 3 overall in the rising senior class by MaxPreps.com, could become a Tar Heel a year early.
An Internet report Monday suggested that he has withdrawn from Norfolk Christian. Why? Because he needs three summer-school classes to graduate from Norfolk Christian. By withdrawing, the honor-roll student only needs one online English class to qualify for a GED. Coupling that with his grades and high SAT score would qualify him to attend Carolina for the fall semester.
You might wonder how much this kid could help the Tar Heels next season. I say that if he helps at all it's worth it for UNC and there's every chance that he has the talent to have a huge impact off the bench.
Another high school player from Hampton Roads, Atlantic Shores' Andre Dawkins, left high school a year early to play for Duke. The difference with him was that he was reclassified and was the age of most graduating seniors at that point. His season was full of inconsistent play and inconsistent playing time, but it seemed like a good move overall for him.
Any contribution McAdoo makes next season is a bonus. If he played his senior year at Norfolk Christian and joined the Tar Heels for the 2011-12 season, there's a significant chance that he'd be tempted to leave after one season. But because of his age, if he joins the UNC program next season, he has to stay two seasons before entering the NBA and hopefully stays longer.
You can argue that the Heels will be in better shape next season with Alabama transfer Justin Knox playing for them next season and possibly McAdoo also joining the program than if the Wears had not transferred to UCLA. If the Wears had stayed, odds are that only one of them would have played next season because of David's hip issues.
In getting Knox to play for one season, it's like an NBA team making a trade for a player with an expiring contract. Coach Roy Williams knows that his scholarship will be open for the next recruiting class.
It would be more family history for the McAdoos. James' uncle Robert (who went by Bob once he got to the NBA) became the first Tar Heel to leave early for the NBA after leading UNC to the 1972 Final Four. Now James could become the first player to leave high school early to become a Tar Heel.
Suddenly the concerns about front-court depth aren't as significant. Let's just hope that injuries don't force that depth to be tested more than it needs to be.