Pitt freshman Adams declares for NBA Draft
After repeatedly insisting that he would return to Pitt next season, Steven Adams is one and done.
The 7-foot freshman center from New Zealand declared Tuesday for the NBA Draft and intends to sign with an agent, a move that would forfeit his final three seasons of eligibility.
Adams announced his intentions in a statement released by the university.
“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.”
A Pitt spokesman said Adams is out of the country and unavailable for further comment.
The NBA Draft is June 27 at Madison Square Garden. Adams has been projected by some as a first-round pick. Pitt hasn't had a player selected in the draft since DeJuan Blair and Sam Young were chosen in the second round in 2009.
Adams was named the Big East's preseason Rookie of the Year and was selected to the conference's All-Rookie team after averaging 7.2 points and leading the Panthers in blocked shots (65), rebounding (6.3) and field goal percentage (.571) in 32 starts.
Adams had two double-doubles, six double-figure scoring games and five 10-plus rebound games. His best performance came in his final game for the Panthers, when he had 13 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots in a 73-55 loss to Wichita State in an NCAA West Region second-round game in Salt Lake City.
Afterward, Adams was adamant that he would return to Pitt.
“I'm coming back,” Adams said while choking back tears. “I don't know why you guys keep asking that question, but I'm coming back.”
His decision to turn pro, coupled with sophomore Malcolm Gilbert's mid-season transfer to Fairfield, leaves Pitt without a returning center next season. Talib Zanna, a 6-foot-9 redshirt junior who started every game at power forward, appears to be the most likely replacement.
Pitt will join the Atlantic Coast Conference next season with six players returning from a team that finished 24-9, along with incoming recruits in guard Josh Newkirk and power forward Mike Young.
“After talking with Steven and his family, we fully support him in this decision,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said in a statement. “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.”
Kevin Gorman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @KGorman_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pitt offense eyes healthy balance
- Notre Dame leads powerhouses in ACC; Pitt women picked 14th
- Pitt notebook: Chryst didn’t lobby to keep Watt at tight end
- All signs positive for Pitt junior forward Johnson
- Discipline Pitt’s only option against Georgia Tech
- Pitt notebook: Voytik recovers despite pressure
- Pitt’s defense has not rested in post-Donald era
- New Dixon assistant has Family ties
- Well-rounded Voytik Pitt’s work in progress
- Pitt notebook: Zone-read plays suit Voytik’s strengths
- Pitt’s Dixon expecting more from point guard Robinson