The Pittsburgh Panthers fell to the Wichita State Shockers to open the 2013 NCAA tournament, and with the loss freshman center Steven Adams lost any shot at improving his NBA draft stock. It might not matter that much.
The 7'0, 250-pound big man from New Zealand told the media after the game that he is "definitely" coming back for his sophomore season, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ray Fittipaldo. With Pitt coach Jamie Dixon's status in question these days, there's always a chance that Adams could change his mind.
Still, the loss means Adams won't have a chance to quickly move up the draft boards. He contributed 13 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks in the 73-55 loss to the Shockers, but a win would have likely given him a matchup against No. 1 seed Gonzaga on Saturday. That team is led by center Kelly Olynyk, a junior projected to go toward the end of the lottery in the 2013 NBA Draft, according to DraftExpress.com.
Adams won't get to tease people with his potential any further this postseason:
That steal and one-man fast break by Steven Adams gave me great insight into why scouts are so high on him.— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) February 19, 2013
WIth a raw back-to-the basket game and a poor shooting touch, Adams was still viewed as needing more weight and work. DraftExpress.com has him going No. 7 in the 2014 draft.
The center averaged seven points and 6.1 rebounds this season for the Panthers. He shot 56.5 percent from the floor, but only 42.4 percent from the foul stripe.
Consistency was another issue for Adams this season. The 13 points scored Thursday tied the second-highest total of his freshman season. He scored that number three other times during the 2012-13 season and his career-high 16 came in another game earlier this year.
Rebounding consistency was an issue for him as well, as he topped the double-digit mark just five times.