19 June 2012
Because of all the attention after the announcement that he was committing to Pitt, I had a rough idea of how Steven Adams was going to play in Greentree. Even though it's against stiffer competition than what he's used to in New Zealand or in the New England Prep scene, Greentree is essentially playground-style basketball. The player I was most interested in hearing about was Trey Zeigler, a guy whose time at Central Michigan is tougher to find footage from than anything Adams did since arriving at Notre Dame Prep this winter.
But in what is surely going to be a recurring theme this offseason, last night was the Steven Adams Show (via the Trib):
Pitt five-star recruit Steven Adams was surprised to see fans standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the tiny gym at Greentree Sportsplex.
“For real, people standing up?” he said. “What the hell? It shows you how committed they are.”
Adams didn't disappoint. Despite going just 2-for-8 from the field, he added 18 rebounds and reportedly played pretty well on defense against older and more experienced opponents in Dante Taylor and WVU's Pat Forsythe.
Adams seems to be intent on learning as much as he can from Pitt's other big men (via the Post-Gazette):
"Me personally, I don't think I'm doing too well skill-wise," Adams said. "They know a lot of technical things. I still have to learn that. I'm still kind of raw. I used to be able to rely on my size. Now that I'm versing bigger and stronger dudes, I have to get my footwork right. Talib, he's amazing. He's a good player. He's been teaching me. He's a real good team player, too. He's been teaching me all the basic stuff I need to know."
Contrast that to Khem Birch, who infamously cried during practice against Zanna and then left the program and started a public spat with Zanna on Twitter. The comparisons don't stop there (via the PG):
One big difference between Adams and Khem Birch, a freshman everyone wanted to see a year ago, is Adams' physical stature. Since coming to America this winter, he has put on 33 pounds and weighs a solid 248 without any noticeable body fat. Birch came to Pitt frail and stayed that way until he transferred to UNLV midseason.
Adams credits strength and conditioning coach Tim Beltz for his physique. He also has become a solo advertising campaign for some of the local eateries, where he sometimes consumes three meals in a sitting.
Adams' favorite spot is the Fuel and Fuddle in Oakland, where he takes full advantage of late-night, half-price specials. He usually goes for a steak burger, a turkey burger and a small pizza.
"The [workouts] are just so intense I can eat whatever and just run it off," he said.
Adams and Birch are two different players with two different body-types. The comparison may not be completely fair - these are 18 year olds at different levels of their physical development - but pretty valid nonetheless. Adams certainly has the physisque to compete immediately in the Big East, something Birch sorely lacked when he was under the basket.
And three meals at Fuel? I'm speechless with envy. Just make sure he stays away from the beer list.
And hey, in other news, according to the Trib Dante Taylor was told he's going to be putting in some time at power forward. If he can handle the added ball-handling and passing responsibilities, that would give Dixon a solid "big" option behind Talib instead of having to go small with either Moore or Patterson. I'm skeptical it will happen, but if it can, Pitt would be very versatile at both forward positions.
The official stat sheet indicates that other guys actually played last night too. Lamar Patterson scored 24 points for his team in the win, going 4-for-7 from three. Taylor had a 14-and-7 night and redshirt freshman Durand Johnson was not shy shooting the ball, going 6-for-21 (!!!), adding 14 points. I understand it's a summer league and all, but maybe Durand needs to slow it down a little....
And Zeigler? Well the only coverage the much-heralded transfer got was from new Pitt News sports editor RJ Sepich (via Twitter):
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