NBA teams have told Adams he still needs work

Updated: April 6, 2005, 7:34 PM ET
Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Even though junior forward Hassan Adams has considered leaving school early and declaring for the NBA draft, Arizona coach Lute Olson expects to have him back next season.

"We have been doing a lot of checking to see where he would go," Olson said Tuesday. "Where I felt at the end of the year it would be a done deal, I don't think it is. I think the chances are far greater he will be back."

Not long after Illinois beat the Wildcats 90-89 in overtime in the Chicago Regional final, the 6-foot-4 Adams expressed an interest in applying for the draft but did not sign with an agent -- leaving himself the option of returning for his final year of eligibility.

Olson said NBA teams contacted have been unanimous in letting Adams know that more seasoning would be a good idea.

"They feel he made great progress this year in terms of his perimeter play, but they still feel he needs to handle the ball better and he needs to develop a consistent outside shot," Olson said. "He needs to continue to work on his mid-range game. There has not been one pro team that hasn't said he shouldn't come back. This system prepares guys for the next level.

"They don't feel like he is ready yet, and he would be taking a lot of chances where in a year from now he would be one of the premier guys coming out."

Adams was third on the Wildcats in scoring, averaging 12.7 points per game. He also averaged 6.0 rebounds and 1.8 steals.

Arizona is already losing seniors Channing Frye and Salim Stoudamire, key players along with Adams in the Wildcats' Pac-10 championship and 30-7 record.

Adams, despite his lack of size, played mostly inside his first two seasons, but was asked to play more on the perimeter this season.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press