Having covered the lovable walk-on and the star-crossed project, it’s time to move on to the first of the Hoyas’ anticipated five-man recruiting class, freshman center Tyler Adams. Adams committed to Georgetown in November 2010, the first of hopefully many recruits attracted by assistant coach Robert Kirby. Kirby, who was then a brand new transplant from Mississippi State, had been recruiting the Brandon, Mississippi native Adams at his former school, making the transition that much easier. After Adams de-committed from Duke, Kirby sold Adams, a top-100 prospect in his class, on Georgetown and its history of producing big men.
At 6’9″ and weighing somewhere between 255 and 270 lb., Adams is a space eater down low. He clogs the lane defensively, and, using his soft hands, seals and finishes well in the lane offensively. What he lacks in lift he more than makes up for in strength, which allows him to be an effective rebounder. In his senior year, Adams posted numbers typical of such a big man, averaging 16.7 points, 10.5 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game while leading Brandon to a 21-9 record.
While the other Hoya freshmen gained unusually extensive exposure over the summer, Adams’ off-season balling was curtailed by an ankle injury that shortened his Kenner League play and kept him entirely off the court in China. His last two Kenner performances were shortened, and his injury limited him to hauling in rebounds. Earlier in the summer, Adams held his own in a match-up against fellow Hoya big Moses Ayegba, as the contest even got a bit bloody.
Any expectations that Adams would be brought along slowly were dashed when Ayegba’s season was scotched with a torn ACL. Suddenly, Adams was second on the Hoyas’ depth chart at center, relieving senior Henry Sims, himself no sure thing at this point in his career. While JTIII may get creative, filling in the more lithe freshman big Mikael Hopkins at 5, Adams necessarily will be at least a role player immediately. Hoya fans rightly concerned about front-court depth may find themselves worrying about Adams’s history of injuries, which included a balky knee in high school and the ankle injury over the summer. While he appears to be healthy again, Adams still needs to work on his conditioning, as JTIII pointed out in a question-and-answer session before Saturday’s open practice, both to get up and down the floor quickly and to be able to avoid future injuries. Like most big men, Adams figures to develop gradually, and may be learning on the job against some of the deeper front courts that the Hoyas face. But whatever the state of his offensive game, Adams has the essential elements–size, strength, and effort–to contribute immediately on the boards and on defense. Adams’s succession to the throne of Hoya Big Man may be a year or two away, but Georgetown fans should see plenty of him right away.