Assuming Pitt freshman Steven Adams puts together anything resembling a good season, the question is bound to be there at the end of the year: Will he leave for the NBA Draft?
Reader pittboss04 brought this interesting article to our attention in a comments thread and it's well worth your five minutes to read. The gist of it is that Adams is sure to stick to 'the plan' for him to get to the NBA. And that plan, in his mind, is to stay for four years, according to Jamie Dixon speaking in that earlier article:
"Everything we’ve ever said to him has been accurate, so it’s worked out. All he does is talk about being at Pitt for four years, getting his master’s degree. Everybody else tells him differently, but he doesn’t like to deviate from The Plan."
Adams' game is, of course, the thing that's front and center. But one thing I love about him is that he seems so down to earth. Granted, unless you personally know someone, you just never know. But I'm willing to give Adams the benefit of the doubt because, frankly, I think he deserves that.
Now, on the four years thing ...
I'd love to take him at what he says. And to a degree, I think he even believes in potentially wanting to stay at Pitt that long. But if he's the player he's expected to be, it'd be incredibly selfish on our part for wanting him to carry that out. Too much money is on the table to be made. Now, look - if Adams bucks the trend and stays all four years ... if Adams not only stays and leads Pitt to a Final Four... that's the type of stuff out of which legends are made. If he stuck around for three years and did that, he'd become the face of Pitt basketball - of all time.
The legends - Don Hennon, Charles Smith, Sam Clancy, Billy Knight, DeJuan Blair, Brandin Knight ... they never accomplished that in the modern era of the tournament. Pitt's been on the cusp of a Final Four and if they go there with Adams leading the way, it would be legendary. And if he stayed for three years, broke records, and became one of the best players in college basketball, he'd be revered for all time at Pitt.
Those are lofty expectations and, truthfully, the odds are against him. I'd bet against them myself, but you just never know.
That said, the four year thing is really a pipe dream to me. Four years just doesn't happen much among stars in this day and age and even three is highly unlikely. The good news? I can certainly see him staying for two if he's really determined to do it. Perhaps his development gets slowed. Perhaps he doesn't put up the numbers everyone expects with so much other talent offensively on the team. Or maybe he just loves parties on Bouquet and Dithridge. But the odds are certainly against anything beyond that.
Adams may fully intend to stay for four years, but my argument would be that things change. Not only will Adams have to deal with things like mock drafts (which even DeJuan Blair cited as a reason he left early), but there will be friends and maybe even family putting the idea of an injury into his ear. And let's not even mention that the college life (or even Pitt life, as Khem Birch proved) is for him.
The thought of him staying beyond two or even three years is nice. But reality tells me it will be tough.