Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kiwi Adams Still Adjusting to American Style of Game

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Kiwi Adams Still Adjusting to American Style of Game

Article excerpt

Pitt freshman Steven Adams did not believe his teammates when they told him before the season that two first-half fouls would earn him a seat on the bench next to the coach. Sure enough, after Adams picked up two fouls in the opening minutes Nov. 17 against Oakland University, he was pulled from the game and did not play again until the second half.

Adams, a highly-touted 7-footer from New Zealand, was in disbelief.

"I guess I tested it," he said. "It was right. I was out. I should have stuck to what people said. That's all right. Now I know."

Some of the simplest things most freshmen take for granted, Adams is still learning.

The foul trouble is just one example of the many adjustments Adams is making in his first season of college basketball, his first season of American basketball. Many freshmen go through adjustments in making the transition from high school to college, but Adams is learning how to deal with things that are second-nature to American- born players.

For instance, playing in front of big crowds continues to be worrisome for him.

"In my first couple of games, and even now, I get nervous around them because I'm not used to it," he said. "I'm slowly starting to get used to the crowd being there."

There are some signs things are starting to slow down for Adams. He had the best game of his short college career Saturday night when he scored 16 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in Pitt's 89-40 victory against Bethune-Cookman. It was his first career double- double and only the third time he reached double figures in scoring.

"Early in the season I think he was thinking too much," junior forward Lamar Patterson said. "When you think too much it's hard to play your game. You worry about little stuff that doesn't even matter. It just doesn't even feel natural. But he's starting to not think as much and just play his game."

Adams agreed with Patterson's assessment.

"That's probably spot-on," Adams said. "I've been told that by all the coaches. …

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