Olson feels Adams will stay

Assumed that after his great run in the NCAA Tournament that Hassan Adams was gone? Join the crowd, but that may not be the case. According to at least one important person, the Cats could get the 6-4 sky walker back for his senior season.

"As of this point I don't think Hassan will go," Lute Olson admitted.

Olson has been calling his contacts in the NBA and while all love Adams' athleticism, none seem to think he is ready.

"There was not one pro team that has said he should not come back," Olson indicated.

Adams was the Wildcats' leading scorer in 2003-04, but that was playing out of position at power forward. While playing this season at small forward his scoring slipped a bit as he adjusted to being purely on the wing.

"Hassan made great progress for his first year on the perimeter," said Olson. "He played great the last 10 games of the season with one exception."

That exception was the finals of the Pac-10 Tournament where he had just five points and five rebounds before fouling out after just 26 minutes. In the NCAA Tournament Adams averaged 16.5 points and 8.3 rebounds a contest.

"Where I felt at the end of the year that it would probably be a done deal, I don't think it is (now)," Olson confessed. "I think the chances are far greater that he will be back than he will go."

Part of the reason that Adams is not a sure fire first rounder is that his offensive game still has some huge gaps. He has really improved his ball handling skills, but they are not at the level they need to be for him to play the two in the NBA. He needs to be able to create off the dribble, especially from mid-range and he also needs to work on his three-point shooting.

Adams can choose to go to the Chicago pre-draft camp and Olson stated that he has no problems if he wants to go. His only fear is that Adams will struggle at the camp the way Jason Gardner did after his sophomore season when he attended the camp. Gardner struggled that year and Olson believes that experience was part of the problem Gardner had in trying to interest NBA teams two years later.

"The only negative is if he had a camp like Jason did, that would put question marks in other people's minds."

Adams does have the potential to get noticed in Chicago. He will surely be one of the best leapers in the camp and has become a well rounded player that can fill up the stat sheet. The NBA is notorious for drafting on potential and all it takes is one team to guarantee that he will go in the first round and the Cats could lose him.

Olson suggested that Adams loves it at Arizona and would be happy to return. He would be the team captain and be a front runner for conference and national awards. It would also give him a chance to further work with the Wildcat coaches, something NBA teams put some stock in.

"It has always been his goal to be national player of the year," said Marlon Moore, a close family friend of Adams.

Olson has had several meetings with Adams and has told the Los Angeles native that he will be one of the top options for the team. This year he has to watch Salim Stoudamire and Channing Frye be the top-two options on offense, next year he would be the guy. He also seems to relish the leadership role he would be assuming. Olson said that on several occasions Adams mentioned that he's like to mentor the young Wildcats as Gardner, Luke Walton and Ricky Anderson did his freshman year.

"I think the chances are far greater that he will be back than he will go," said Olson.


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