Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jason Smith on Jalen Adams: 'If you called K.O. right now, he'd say, 'Drop him off on the way home'"

Jalen Adams was impressive at the Hoophall Classic at Springfield College on Sunday morning. He scored 23 points on 7-for-11 shooting (2-for-5 on 3-pointers) and was a bundle of energy all over the court in Brewster Academy's 100-69 win over Montverde Academy Prep (note: this was Montverde's postgrad team, not its more talented varsity team, which plays Monday and features the top-rated big man in the country, Ben Simmons).

Got a little frustrated at times when he was open and didn't get a return pass from a teammate, but overall he's a good kid, effervescent personality who can do a little of everything on the floor -- run the point, score, 'D' it up. He'll help UConn immediately next season -- and would be a help right now if he could.

Kevin Ollie and assistant coach Karl Hobbs, fresh off Saturday night's loss out in Stanford, California, were at the game to see their prized commit.

"He texted me, told me he was gonna take a red-eye, come see me play," Adams said of Ollie. "That's what I love about him, coming to support me ... I just like that about him. He's a real loyal guy."

Adams said he didn't see the Huskies' loss to Stanford.

"I couldn't watch it. I tried to get some rest."

Here's a quick snippet of Adams in action:



And here's what Adams and Brewster coach Jason Smith said afterward:

SMITH:

(on whether Adams can step right in and help next season as a freshman)



(on how Adams has progressed so far this season)

"I think that Jalen has definitely shown people that he's not just a scorer, he's able to run offense and facilitate and make great decisions to become more of a point guard. I think that's ultimately what he's gonna have to do for Coach Ollie at UConn. And he's been phenomenal doing that for us."

"I think that the fact that he knows, some games he can go off and score 25 or 30, but he's taken the mindset of, 'I have to make sure that I get others involved. I have a lot of these other pieces around me that I have to distribute the ball (to).' We're routinely six, seven guys in double figures. Very balanced."

ADAMS:



"Playing against the top talent every day is helping us a lot. Even the guys who aren't committed. The un-committed guys, they're tough, too. Every day, you're playing against tough competition, and that prepares you for the next level."

(on what Kevin Ollie has said to him lately)

"He says that at UConn, they don't have any positions. The guards all move around and shift. But I'm definitely gonna have to be a vocal leader and put guys in the right position."

(does being a vocal leader come naturally to him?)

"No, because I played on the wing growing up, so it's been tough. But last year, playing with Kaleb Joseph, he taught me a lot. And Coach Smith, he's a great coach. He's made that a big thing this year, so it's become a lot better."

(on comparisons to Shabazz Napier)

"I saw him play a couple of times at Charlestown, because that's where my father went to school. We went to a lot of games. He was unreal, shooting from halfcourt, practically. But I've never really idolized him that much or tried to compare my game to him. But, it's amazing how he went to UConn, did big things, and now he's in the NBA. And now, I have the chance to do the same thing."

DONOVAN MITCHELL, a Louisville commit and Adams' backcourt mate at Brewster:

"(Adams) might be the funniest dude I've ever met in my life. He's always making jokes, whether it's in practice ... he made Coach Smith even laugh, which last year I thought was the hardest thing possible. He manages to do it a lot."


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