Originally written on Pitt Blather  |  Last updated 11/18/14
I know it is common in just about every city, but I am not a big fan of the cross-media thing. Where a local columnist also does the radio show. (And by that, I mean, my general problem not specific to a particular guy.) Not because his work suffers or because he isn’t particularly good. It bothers me because every column written takes on an undertone of preparing for a topic on the radio show. I thought about this as a couple weeks ago Joe Starkey did a column on Steven Adams. This week Ron Cook had his own column. Both centered on the issue of whether Steven Adams would return for his sophomore year (or even junior year). And hey, Chris Mueller also did a Steven Adams column — though, he is more radio guy first so I probably cut a little slack on that. For the record, Starkey thinks he will. Cook says, “who cares.” In both you can almost feel how this is just prelude to using it as a topic on their respective shows. Okay, I’ll take the bait. I believe Adams plans to come back, but I won’t be surprised if he goes pro based on the rate of his improvement. Sad to say, the Nerlens Noel injury may very well provide a boost to his place in the draft after slipping into projections that say the teens to the twenties. His numbers may not look impressive, but look at the #9 pick from last year, Andre Drummond. The UConn one-and-done put up less than outstanding numbers and still went lottery. Drummond: MPG — PPG- RBG–BPG—FG%-FT% 28.4 10.0 7.6 2.7 .538 .295 Adams: 23.4 7.2 6.5 2.0 .594 .404 Adams has shown steady improvement. Especially in recent weeks. “Steve is starting to show what he is really all about,” junior forward Lamar Patterson said. “Everyone has heard of what he can do, but now he’s starting to show it. He’s one of the most talented big men, I think, in the country. That’s a big statement for a freshman, but we’re starting to see the real Steve Adams now.” Pitt had played without a legitimate low-post scoring threat since DeJuan Blair left for the NBA in 2009. The Panthers were good enough to win a Big East championship and a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament in 2011, but Dixon wanted to return to the formula that worked so well when Blair, Aaron Gray and Chris Taft manned the middle for him early in his tenure. “This is the first game we saw the results,” Dixon said. “We’ve been emphasizing it, trying to get better in that area.” It was the first time Adams reached double figures since scoring 10 Dec. 19 against Delaware State, but this breakthrough game had been in the works. In the past six games, he is 22 for 36 from the field and averaging 9 points per outing. “He’s more patient,” Patterson said. “He’s not as sporadic as when he first came in. That comes with being a freshman. As long as he keeps improving, we expect him to do big things.” Adams is not doing much media. Pitt has shielded him. So, there is something of a big question mark regarding the kid and his future. That just fuels the speculation. And really, even if he did more media it wouldn’t change anything. Whatever he says now. Or next month mean nothing until the window to declare for the NBA draft. If it helps, it seems the New Zealand media believes he’s staying for another year. Before the start of the US college basketball season, rising Kiwi star Steven Adams was tipped to spend just one year with the Pittsburgh Panthers, before declaring for the NBA draft. But it now seems almost certain that he will return for at least another year at Pittsburgh, which former NBA player and ESPN college basketball analyst LaPhonso Ellis said would be a smart move. “One more year of college development will be great for him. What it will help him with is his understanding of the American game, because it’s so different. “One more year in college will enhance his skill level and put him in a better situation to get drafted next year.” Ellis has been impressed with Adams’ growth since the start of the season. He believed his game would keep evolving as he became more consistent with his play. “He’s better now than he was in November. Because of his work ethic, you’ll continue to see him get better. I’m really excited about his future.” Adams’ old mentor from New Zealand won’t speculate on what Adams will do in April. But he does say this about the free throw shooting. That is one area letting him down (averaging 37.5 per cent). Is that a confidence or technique issue? Neither. He damaged his thumb five weeks ago. It’s heavily strapped and giving him restriction. He has to make some adjustments because he’s been shooting them pretty poor. What about his development in other areas? Overall, he’s making tremendous progress. As a freshman you can feel like you’re doing nothing right because the coach tries to tear you down and build you back up. But he’s third in the Big East in field goal percentage (58.3 per cent) and fourth in blocks. And he’s getting better each game. How is he enjoying life in general? He’s loving it and he got a 3.8 grade point average in the first semester which was extremely surprising. He’s finding college life, team-mates and the environment good but at the same time challenging. Hopefully he finds reasons to keep playing at Pitt (*cough* girlfriend *cough*). But, it wouldn’t be a mistake if he looks to the pros.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

MLBPA reacts to Kris Bryant's minor league assignment

Gregg Marshall's show canceled, Bama speculation grows

Report: Shaka Smart in discussions with Texas

Report: Rick Barnes expected to land at Tennessee

Demaryius Thomas planning to skip Broncos' workouts

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Rockets GM: We think we can win NBA title despite injuries

Browns GM Ray Farmer suspended over text messages

Aaron Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box after murder

Byron Scott: Opposing players say they want to play for Lakers

Falcons reportedly will lose pick over pumping in crowd noise

Report: Sam Bradford wouldn't sign extension with Browns

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

University of California soccer player found dead

Joe Namath parties with twin 100 year-old women

WATCH: Mike Napoli hits home run as bat shatters

WATCH: Marc Gasol misses shot, rips jersey in disgust

PHOTO: Minor league team to wear Jabba the Hutt jerseys

Lions LB DeAndre Levy takes ride on top of a moving plane

Colts owner addresses Indiana religious freedom bill

John Calipari addresses controversial ND comments

Arizona coach Sean Miller rips critics: 'Go cheer for ASU'

Report: NFL could push extra point back to 15-yard line

Urban Meyer: 'No issue' with Braxton Miller's Instagram post

College Basketball News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

10 winners and losers from the past week in the NFL

Namath parties with 100 yr-old women

Report: Shaka Smart talking to Texas

Rick Barnes to land at Tennessee?

Browns GM suspended for texts

Hernandez's fiancee disposed of box

Mayweather-Pacquiao: It's sparring tall-tale season

The MLBPA has a problem

Final Four preview: Can every team win?

Full WrestleMania 31 recap and results

Why Texas had to fire Rick Barnes

Craig Sager's leukemia has returned

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.