Wellington NBA prospect Steve Adams has settled into life at the University of Pittsburgh, who are 19-5 in America's college competition. Sam Worthington checks on Adams' progress with his mentor, Kenny McFadden.
Looking at stats, Steve seems to be steadily improving? (averaging 6.9 points, 6.7 rebounds and 2 blocks)
He's getting more comfortable in the system. Against Seton Hall on Tuesday he had 15 rebounds which is a career high. The best thing is he was four from five from the free throw line.
That is one area letting him down (averaging 37.5 per cent). Is that a confidence or technique issue?
Neither. He damaged his thumb five weeks ago. It's heavily strapped and giving him restriction. He has to make some adjustments because he's been shooting them pretty poor.
What about his development in other areas?
Overall, he's making tremendous progress. As a freshman you can feel like you're doing nothing right because the coach tries to tear you down and build you back up.
But he's third in the Big East in field goal percentage (58.3 per cent) and fourth in blocks. And he's getting better each game.
How is he enjoying life in general?
He's loving it and he got a 3.8 grade point average in the first semester which was extremely surprising. He's finding college life, team-mates and the environment good but at the same time challenging.
He said he doesn't "give a crap" about the NBA at this point?
That's right and I think that question started getting to him earlier in the season because everybody continued to ask.
But the last thing you want to do is talk about what's happening next season when he's only just learning the NCAA system. That's challenging enough, let alone what's going on in the NBA.
Will he stay another season before declaring for the draft?
It's hard to tell. What happens in the NCAA tournament next month can make or break a player and will probably dictate his future. Even Michael Jordan, he didn't really come on until that NCAA game when he hit the last shot, as a freshman.
Does he not quite realise how good he can be?
No. They want him to be more of a leader and more aggressive. But he's still playing good basketball. The door is open for him to move to the NBA. I'm quite sure he'll take advantage of that but it's a decision he's got to make when the season ends.
- © Fairfax NZ News