By Joe Pinter, @JPinter93
It took until the last day of the regular signing period for Mark Schmidt to see the ink dry on Jalen Adams’ National Letter of Intent.
Fittingly, it took until the last minute for St. Bonaventure Bonnies fans to be notified that Adams wouldn’t be participating in the 2013-14 season.
Adams drew serious interest from USC, DePaul, Villanova, Iowa and Nebraska but chose to sign with the Bonnies. He won’t, however, get to help the Bonnies win any games during this upcoming season.
Bonaventure’s athletics department sent out a press release the morning of the Nov. 2 exhibition game vs. Mansfield informing fans of Adams’ ineligibility.
“Jalen will use this ‘redshirt’ year to get stronger physically for the rigors of Atlantic 10 basketball, to learn our system and to develop his game,” Schmidt said. “Long term,this is the best thing for Jalen.”
Adams will be a redshirt freshman next season, so he will still have four years of basketball left.
The Saginaw, Mich. native realizes the challenges that lie ahead. Yet he believes the upcoming season may help in the long run.
“I think it’s going to be a real adjustment,” Adams said. “My whole game will have to improve. My teammates: I will try to make them better. Come closer, knowing the system more before we get on the court. Basically practice is my game.”
Adams said he needs to improve on his shooting. He believes he has come a long way since high school, but he said he still can get better at it.
While Schmidt may have lost a contributor for this season, Adams’ potential is still there.
“In terms of athleticism, Jalen is arguably the most explosive recruit we’ve signed during my tenure,” Schmidt said over the summer. “His vertical leap has been measured at 40 inches. He can slash to the basket, but also has the ability to elevate for highlight dunks. He’s a high-major athlete who needs to continue to develop his skill set.”
The best vertical jump at the 2012 NBA Pre-Draft Combine was 38 inches by Harrison Barnes. The next best was 34.5 inches by 2013 NBA Rookie of the Year Damian Lillard.
Adams, a 6-4 guard, averaged 25 points and 13 rebounds per game last year for Arthur Hill High School. The team ended the year 19-4 and Adams was named to the Associated Press Class A All-State Team. Additionally, he was named The Saginaw News Boys Basketball Player of the Year after the Lumberjacks won the Saginaw Valley League title last year.
Adams won’t get the chance to contribute to any victories this season. But he will try and make his teammates better, he said.
Bonaventure fans should be excited at the opportunity to watch Adams for four full seasons.
An independent media outlet, Metro Detriot High School Athletics, spoke highly of him.
“Jalen would be an absolute steal for any team that can land him. He might be the most athletic unsigned senior in the state. Adams has the ability to make a highlight whenever he takes flight. Once he gains more confident in his jump shot, it will make him a much more complete player, only making him more difficult to guard.”
A steal that was worth waiting until the last minute for.