Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
Pittsburgh has officially signed 7-footer Steven Adams, which is bad news for the Big East.
And maybe the ACC.
“We are extremely excited about Steven and James,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said, referring also to DeMatha Catholic guard James Robinson. “Both are good players from winning backgrounds and both have outstanding work ethic.”
Adams is a 7-foot, 240-pound center from New Zealand who has been rated as a consensus national top-10 recruit. This summer he led the adidas Nations Tournament in both scoring (22 ppg.) and rebounding (16.8 rpg.).
In a matchup with fellow 7-footer Kaleb Tarczewski, who has signed with Arizona, Adams posted 20 points, 24 rebounds and four assists, while holding Tarczewski to 10 points and four boards.
“He’s tremendous,” said Chris Rivers of adidas, who was the assistant coach to Alex English on Adams’ Asia team. “He’s very Greg Oden-like from 2005.
“He runs, he blocks shots up by the square, he finishes with both hands. He’s a competitor, a true team player.
“He has tremendous attitude. His team lost every game and it didn’t phase him. He went hard every time down the court.”
A New Zealand National Team player, Adams competed this summer for the Wellington Exodus Saints and helped lead the squad to the National Basketball League title. He has also guided his club team in Wellington to two national titles at the Under-19 and Under-17 age groups.
Following secondary school graduation from Scots College Prep (Wellington, N.Z.) in December, Adams will enroll and play at Notre Dame Prep in Fitchburg, Mass., and play for coach Ryan Hurd.
After a semester at Notre Dame, Adams will join fellow Notre Dame Prep alum Khem Birch, a Canadian who was named a McDonald’s All-American last season, along with current freshman shot-blocker Malcolm Gilbert.
“In high level Division 1 basketball, you need those bigs to survive,” Hurd said.
“[Coach Dixon] is going to have two incredibly skilled guys who can go get the ball.”
Robinson, a 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard, is a three-year varsity player who has guided the program to 90 wins, three conference titles, three city titles and the 2011 Alhambra Catholic Tournament championship.
He also guided his AAU team, Team Takeover, to the Nike Peach Jam/AAU national title after scoring 24 points in the championship game. DeMatha is expected to be ranked among the nation’s top-25 preseason teams in 2011-12. Robinson is a consensus top-60 national recruit.
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.