Steve Adams opens college season in style

MARC HINTON
Last updated 11:25 11/11/2012

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Basketball

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Kiwi Steve Adams has launched his collegiate basketball career with the University of Pittsburgh in promising fashion.

Adams had eight points on four-of-five shooting, to go with eight rebounds, two assists, a steal and four blocks as the Pitt Panthers crushed Mount St Mary's 80-48 in their regular-season opener at home yesterday.

The 19-year-old New Zealander, touted as a potential one-and-done NBA prospect, started at centre for Jamie Dixon's Big East powerhouse and played 26 solid minutes in a one-sided encounter.

The Panthers were ahead 42-27 at the half, led by forward Talib Zanna's game- high 20 points (10/12 FG).

Adams is seen as a player with a huge upside as he experiences the collegiate level for the first time, and has been consistently rated among the nation's top 10 new recruits for the 2012-13 season.

Scouts love the seven-foot New Zealander's athleticism, length and defensive presence. His offensive game is seen a work in progress, but he has certainly launched things in positive fashion. Tougher contests will come, but all indications are the towering Kiwi is up to the challenge.

Adams had three offensive boards among his game-high rebound haul and had just a single turnover in a pleasing all- round effort.

The Panthers set a school record by shooting 70 per cent (34 of 48) from the field and improved to 10-0 in season-openers under coach Dixon. Their next game is against Fordham, also at the Petersen Events Centre, on Tuesday (NZ time). This is Pitt's final season in the Big East before they transfer to the ACC conference.

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