Steven Adams bounces back for US college team

MARC HINTON
Last updated 10:59 26/11/2012
Steven Adams
Getty Images
IMPOSING FIGURE: Steven Adams in action for his University of Pittsburgh team.

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New Zealand's Steven Adams has bounced back well after his toughest experience in the college basketball season in the USA.

Adams was a non-factor as his University of Pittsburgh team was pipped 67-62 by fourth-ranked Michigan in the opening round of the NIT pre-season tournament at New York's famous Madison Square Garden.

The huge Kiwi freshman, younger brother of Olympic shot put gold medallist Valerie Adams, played just 10 minutes in the Panthers' first defeat of the season, finishing with no points on zero-for-one shooting and just a single rebound.

Considering the hype that has surrounded the 19-year-old, and that Pitt coach Jamie Dixon is starting him in the centre position, it was the first reality check for the Wellington youngster as he deals with the demands of top-level college hoops.

But Adams' response was heartening as he contributed in a much more substantive way to Pitt's followup 85-59 victory over Delaware in the NIT consolation game.

Adams tied his career high with 13 points on six-of-nine shooting and added three rebounds, two steals and three blocks as he returned to the form that has scouts predicting the NBA in his future.

Adams wasn't the only Kiwi making his mark in college hoops over the last few days.

Tall Black big man Rob Loe produced a very solid 12 points (3/3 FG, 3/3 3PT) and four rebounds in Saint Louis' 61-51 home victory over Southern Illinois that improves their record to 3-2.

And fellow national teamer Isaac Fotu also posted his most productive outing for the University of Hawaii in their 71-66 win over North Dakota that took them to 4-1 for the new season.

Fotu, a freshman, had 17 points on eight-of-12 shooting off the bench and added eight rebounds, an assist and two blocks as he made his biggest impact with the Warriors.

Meanwhile, former New Zealand Breakers and Tall Blacks captain Kirk Penney has continued his outstanding form in the Turkish league for his TED Kolejliler club.

Penney finished with 24 points (7/13 FG, 5/5 3PT) and three assists as his Kolejliler outfit were pipped 93-89 by Antalya in the latest round of the Turkish league.

Kolejliler are eighth in the standings with a 3-4 record but Penney is the competition's leading scorer overall with an average of 18.8 points per game.

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- Fairfax Media

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