Pitt coach Jamie Dixon defended the play of freshman center Steven Adams Thursday afternoon when a reporter asked about his development. Adams, who was one of the top 10 recruits in the country when he signed his letter of intent last year, is averaging 6.6 points and 4.6 rebounds per game.
Here is the exchange between the reporter and Dixon at Pitt’s media opportunity Thursday evening:
Reporter: Offensively, he looks like he’s trying to figure it out. His progress? Is he doing the things, does he have to be more aggressive with the ball?
Dixon: It depends. Basing it off what we expect or what you expect? Which one are we discussing?
Reporter: I expect a guy to shoot the ball once in a while?
Dixon: How many did Anthony Davis average last year?
Reporter: He was a 12 and 14 guy?
Reporter: We’re not talking about Anthony Davis
Dixon: No but we’re talking about freshmen. They were both freshmen. Just go down the list… I think he’s doing fine. There are going to be adjustments. Big guys are ranked… What did they average in high school? He didn’t play in high school. We had the advantage of seeing him play a number of times. We may know where he is going to be and where he’s going to go to. I’m happy with him. I knew there would be adjustments. We factored those in. I’ve said this before. It’s never going to be enough. For certain people, it’s never going to be enough. We’ve had it with other guys and other schools have had it with other guys. He’s working hard and getting better and doing a lot of good things. He’s doing a good job of learning and getting better. He’s trying to adjust to defense and transition defense. He’s unselfish. That’s the biggest thing that stands out about him. He’s not a hungry scorer. That’s the thing that probably is a thing we can work with.”
Reporter: Can freshmen be too differential sometimes?
“Yeah. Really with guards, not a lot with bigs. There can be seniors and juniors like that. Guys that pass up shots can hurt your offense, too. You can’t get three open shots on the same possession. If you pass up an open shot the defense rotates and recovers. So you do have to take open shots. He’d rather pass. That’s not news to us. It’s not news to us this week. He’s a team-first guy. I don’t know what we’re comparing it you?”
Reporter: He’s a guy who’s highly touted and obviously has some skill
Dixon: He’s 19 playing against 23 year olds. Those Delaware guys were seniors. Those were good players. I know they might not have been ranked high but now they’re older kids. I think he’s doing fine. It’s never going to be enough. I said that a long time ago and I’ll say it again. He’ll get better. He’s right on our track. That’s the [track] we’re worried about and that’s the one he’s worried about.”
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