It's safe to say that a month into the basketball season, prized freshman recruit Steven Adams was struggling a bit in his new surroundings. The highly-touted center was expected by most to provide more than the roughly five points and rebounds he was contributing each game.
But while he hasn't dominated lately, the big man has definitely improved.
Over the team's past three games, Adams has averaged a double-double, collecting 10 points and just over 10 rebounds per game. In the team's latest contest on Saturday, Adams had his best game of the season with 16 points, 10 boards, and an assist and block in only 22 minutes of action. And because of his recent play, he has even taken over the team lead in rebounds per game with six per contest.
The recent spark can be partially attributed to Pitt's competition in those games. The team played against Duquesne, North Florida, and Bethune-Cookman, a combined 13-19. Some level of enthusiasm about his surge has to be tempered a bit by the fact that the Panthers have played some pretty bad teams. More to the point, the Big East will not only be an upgrade over the non-conference teams they've faced, but a significant one. Adams will need to continue to get better to be able to contribute significantly to the team when the Big East schedule rolls around.
But all in all, it's hard not to like what Adams is doing recently. Not only are his stats looking better in the box score, but he's more active ad generally looks like he belongs out there. Adams is definitely improving and the team has been better for it.