Well, I won’t bury the lead in this. In a story that gushes over Steven Adams is this big, big nugget.
Adams is set to graduate High School in New Zealand at the end of this year and will then transfer to Notre Dame Prep for the 2011-12 season to gain some American high school experience. He becomes eligible to play for Pittsburgh in 2012-13.
This is very big. This is primarily about getting his eligibility in order. Make sure he gets the tutoring and help needed to prepare and get the qualifying score he needs for an SAT. And to make sure his grades are proper.
There will be additional excitement since he will be getting some top competition playing at ND Prep. If you obsess over the ratings for recruiting, his further exposure in the US should push him to 4 or 5-star ratings.
The other factor about ND Prep. Pitt assistant Bill Barton was the head coach and principal there until 2006. Khem Birch, of course, played there last season. In other words, yes, there will be some other schools that will try to nose about for Adams, but it sure looks like he was rather safely placed there for Pitt.
How good is Adams? He has a real chance to be a “one and done” top 3-5 pick in the 2013 draft. And if NBA scouts had been allowed to be in attendance this week at adidas Nations, the buzz around this kid would be out of control right now.
Adams has become the #1 international prospect out there and will be the top center prospect in college the minute he steps on the court at Pittsburgh. (Andre Drummond is considered a PF and also not likely to ever step foot on a college campus.)
An enormous coup for Jamie Dixon and Pitt, he’s the type of talent that would instantly turn a number of solid NCAA squads into top 25 teams.
Jeff Goodman over at CBS Sports also gushed and dreamed of a special squad.
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.”
Now, if Pitt can land a top notch point guard to go with Adams…