When he was recruited to come to Pitt, many expected Steven Adams to be a one-and-done player.
Despite a less than spectacular freshman campaign, that’s become a reality.
According to a University of Pittsburgh press release, Adams announced on Tuesday that he will make himself available for the 2013 NBA Draft. Adams intends to sign with an agent, which means he can’t change his mind and return to school.
“In discussing options with my family and Coach Dixon, I feel that it is in my best interest to declare for the NBA Draft,” Adams said. “I want to thank everyone at Pitt including my teammates, coaching staff, the administration and the fans who have all supported me over the last year.”
Adams didn’t dominate as many may have expected, but he showed a skill set that NBA scouts will certainly love. He was very good defensively and his offensive game continued to improve all season and will likely continue to improve in the future. Adams has excellent footwork and an NBA wingspan, but didn’t get enough touches in the Panthers’ offense to really make a difference.
He ended up being a Big East All-Rookie Team selection and led Pitt in blocked shots (65), rebounding (6.3 rpg.) and field goal percentage (.571), while also averaging 7.2 points per game.
Adams started all 32 of his games played in 2012-13 and had two double-doubles, six double figure scoring games and five 10-plus rebound games.
Had he stayed another season, Adams would have almost been a lock to be a lottery pick, but as it is now, he will certainly be a first round pick.
He’s also a guy who will be very difficult for Dixon to replace next season as Adams was a presence at the defensive end of the floor. That’s something that simply can’t be replaced.
Adams decision to enter the draft caps a very rough day for Pitt athletics as Trey Zeigler has elected to transfer, as has football player and starting running back Rushel Shell.
“After talking with Steven and his family, we fully support him in this decision,” Pitt Coach Jamie Dixon said. “We support him in choosing to pursue his dreams and in having the opportunity to provide for his family back in New Zealand. We will continue to stay involved in the process and he will always be a part of the Pitt Basketball family.”
The 2013 NBA Draft is scheduled for June 27 at New York’s Madison Square Garden.