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Pitt freshman Adams gets into flow on court

| Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, 8:52 p.m.
Pitt's Steven Adams says he's starting to feel comfortable in the Panthers' offense. Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review

Asked to evaluate teammate Steven Adams' progress, Pitt forward Lamar Patterson said that the freshman center is starting to relax more and think less on the court.

It is an evaluation with which Adams would agree.

“That's actually pretty spot-on,” he said. “I've been told that by a couple of the coaches, and then when I reflect I actually know that I think too much. I'm just too nervous to make a mistake and playing like a robot, really.”

The 7-foot native of New Zealand registered his first double-double Saturday against Bethune-Cookman. Prior to that, he'd had two games in which he scored in double digits and one in which he finished in double digits in rebounds.

Adams said that as team chemistry builds and he gets more experience, he's starting to know when he's going to get the ball and when he should score. He's also learning other things about his team, such as Jamie Dixon's rule that getting two fouls in the first half means you'll sit until the second.

“I guess I tested it, and it was right — I was out,” he said. “Should have just stuck to what people said. It's all right, though. Now I know.”

Patterson said it takes time to make the transition to the college game, and so much of it is mental as a freshman.

“You're worried about little stuff that doesn't even matter, and it doesn't feel natural,” Patterson said. “But he's starting to just play his game. Everyone knows he's good enough to play, and I feel like he's definitely showing it.”

Adams was named Big East Preseason Rookie of the Year. He admitted he knows nothing about the Big East, although he's looking forward to getting his first taste when the Panthers host Cincinnati on New Year's Eve.

“Apparently it's big,” he said. “Should be good.”

Adams said that he gets a little nervous when he first runs out in front of so many fans at Petersen Events Center.

Told that once the Big East season opens the crowds will be even bigger and louder, Adams laughed remembering the overtime win against Oakland.

“Oh my God, I couldn't hear myself think,” he said. “Just constant yelling. It was cool, though.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7980 or kprice@tribweb.com.

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