Tag:Steven Adams
Posted on: January 17, 2012 11:06 am
 

Steven Adams will not be savior for Pitt

By Jeff Borzello

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Of all the top players at the Hoophall Classic over the weekend, the one player everyone wanted to see was Pittsburgh signee Steven Adams.

A 7-footer from New Zealand, Adams had only played basketball on U.S. soil a couple of times – and the reviews were outstanding. Many had him pegged as a top-five player in the class of 2012 and a future lottery pick.

On Sunday night, Adams went against New Hampton Prep and was, well, underwhelming. He only played five minutes in the first half after getting hit in the head, and finished with five points, four rebounds and three blocks in 21 minutes.

“It was a bad setting,” said DraftExpress.com’s Jonathan Givony, who had seen Adams prior to the weekend. “He got off the plane about a week ago, he’s out of shape and he hasn’t really played in six months.”

Adams has dominated at Adidas Nations the past two years and also put up 23 points and 14 rebounds against Nerlens Noel, the No. 2 prospect in 2013, on Saturday. Those sorts of performances only heightened the hype for his arrival at Blake Arena.

“It was nothing I was used to,” Adams told reporters of the crowd and environment. “It was pretty scary.”

“He was very, very nervous,” Givony said. “He’s never played in an atmosphere like this, never played in an organized setting. The best competition he could find was going against 5-foot-11 guys in New Zealand.”

Adams did show flashes of his potential, though. He is very good on the defensive end, with a nose for the ball. Adams was active on the offensive glass, getting two baskets off of putbacks. He moves well and demonstrated some athleticism – although he also seemed stiff on other plays. Moreover, he didn’t seem like he had a ton of post moves in his repertoire, leading Givony to say that Adams needs guards around him who can create shots and open looks around the rim for him.

This is the last thing Pittsburgh fans want to hear, especially after a seven-game losing streak and an 0-6 start in Big East play, but Adams will not be a savior next season.

“People need to temper their expectations of him,” Givony said. “He’ll be a 15-20-minute per game type of player. People expect him to come in and be a Jared Sullinger or an Anthony Davis. That’s not him.”

While Adams still might end up as a top-five pick due to his ceiling, it might be a couple of years before we see that on a consistent basis.

Photo: Adidas

Posted on: August 8, 2011 12:02 pm
Edited on: August 8, 2011 12:05 pm
 

New Zealand big man gives Pittsburgh huge hopes

By Jeff Goodman

Pittsburgh’s front-line is going to be downright terrifying in 2012.

Just imagine a scenario of senior Dante Taylor, sophomores Khem Birch and Malcolm Gilbert along with then-freshman Steven Adams.

Adams, if you haven’t heard by now, may have been the best player out in the adidas nations event this past weekend in Los Angeles.

Andre Drummond was there. So were Kaleb Tarczewski and Isaiah Austin.

Those are arguably the three best big men in the Class of 2011.

``If the kid played in the U.S., without question he’d be in the discussion with the best players in the country,” ESPN television analyst Sean Farnham told me of Adams on Sunday night. ``You can put him up there with Drummond, Shabazz (Muhammad), Isaiah Austin.”

Farnham said he left adidas nations more impressed by the 7-foot New Zealander, who went for 37 points and 14 boards on Saturday, than anyone else.

``He’s going to be a star in college,” added Farnham, a former UCLA player. ``A bonafide star. He’ll step right in from day one and make an impact.”

But that won’t happen until 2012.

I spoke to both Adams and his coach for the event, former NBA player/coach Alex English, after his final game on Sunday.

Adams, who recently turned 18, said the reason he opted to go to Pittsburgh was because it was his first scholarship offer – and it came largely because Dixon played with Adams’ brother back in New Zealand years ago.

``I’ve never been to Pittsburgh,” Adams said. ``I’ve only seen pictures on the Internet.”

``He’s very athletic,” English said. ``He can run the floor, blocks shots, rebounds well. He needs to learn how to play with his back to the basket and focus through the entire game.”

DraftExpress.com’s Jonathan Givony – who was also in attendance - added that while Adams’ “all-around offensive game and fundamentals” need some work, he’s a rare physical specimen “who will contribute immediately and is a huge steal for Pitt and very likely a future NBA player.”

English’s comparison was to former NBA star and ultra-athletic big man Tom Chambers – minus the perimeter shot.

Adams is currently ranked in the back half of Top 100 in the Class of 2012, but he’s likely to shoot up the rankings following his performance this past week.

``Pro, pro, pro,” said one college coach who has seen Adams play in person. ``He’s that good – and Pittsburgh’s big men will be as good as anyone’s in a couple years.”

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com