Freshman center Steven Adams drew some big applause from the Petersen Events Center crowd Monday night when he made 4 of his 5 attempts from the free-throw line. Adams had missed 17 of his 22 attempts from the line in Big East play.
It’s not the only area where Adams is improving. He recorded a career-high 15 rebounds in the 56-46 victory over Seton Hall. He is now averaging 7.2 rebounds per game in league play. And even though it’s not showing up in his scoring statistics, Adams looks much more at ease in the half-court offense.
“He’s getting more comfortable,” junior forward Lamar Patterson said. “It’s showing on the court. He’s making big plays. He’s making free throws. Every game, he’s definitely getting more comfortable.”
Pitt coach Jamie Dixon sees the improvement, too. Dixon said Adams shoots 80 or 90 percent from the foul line when the coaches chart his shots in practice.
“We’ve constantly talked about improvement,” Dixon said. “That’s what you hope for big guys and freshmen big guys especially. He shot the free throws [Monday night] like he shoots them in practice. That’s a big confidence booster for him, too. I kept him in there at the end because he was making free throws.”
There is one area where Dixon would like Adams and his other big men improve: finishing around the hoop. The Panthers missed an inordinate number of layups against Seton Hall.
Adams was as guilt as anyone else. He grabbed six offensive rebounds, but did not convert enough of those into points.
“There are some things we have to continue to work on,” Dixon said. “Six offensive rebounds… we have to get more put-backs out of it. That’s something we’re not doing a good a job as we’re doing in the past.”
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