With Pitt's brief exhibition season now over, I thought it was a good time to check out what heralded recruit, Steven Adams, has done so far. Even though I attended the two games, I went back and took in a bit of video (each game is available on pittsburghpanthers.com, by the way, if you didn't get a chance to see them).
To review, Adams has put up some decent numbers thus far. In the two games, he averaged eight points, eight rebounds, 2.5 blocks, and two steals in an average of 22.5 minutes a game. Really, not all that bad on paper for a true freshman. A few things, though.
Adams hasn't shot particularly well, hitting only five of his 14 shots over those two games. Even more important is the level of competition. Pitt's played two Division II programs and, without any offense to each (especially IUP, who played the Panthers pretty well), Adams will face an entirely different level of competition once the regular season rolls around.
It's easy to surmise from his 36% shooting from the field that Adams' offensive game needs work, but if you saw him in those two games, you are particularly aware that that's the case. It wasn't entirely his fault because the team simply didn't look inside all that much, but I expected Adams to do a bit more offensively against weak competition. That was doubly true in the last game against Hawaii-Hilo as their tallest player was 6'7". Even despite the big size advantage, Adams wasn't able to get much going offensively. And Adams had his looks, missing several close range shots not all that far from the basket.
None of this is to suggest that he isn't as good as advertised. And truthfully, I expect by the end of the season we'll all be talking about Adams' good rookie year. But that will be due in part to him making some strides during the year because right now, he's just not a great offensive player. On the flipside, he's a tremendous defender and rebounder and will give the Panthers' defense another dimension. Teams should find it much harder to get into the lane with him clogging it up.