Pinetown, N.C., is something that happens when you least expect it, a rural outpost on a small road that meanders lazily toward the coast. And as talented as he is, even blue-chip power forward Edrice Adebayo will struggle to draw much media attention in such a remote setting.
But Adebayo — also known as "Bam" — emerged last year as a freshman in time for the Carolina Challenge, where he proved to be the second-most impressive sophomore at the event. He doesn't look like a young big man due to a physique that's already prepared for the most competitive rigors, and he doesn't play with any timidity, either.
He combines his power with determination, and the result is hard-nosed, hard-working forward who competes for rebounds, blocks and slams. He runs very well thanks to high, looping strides and down the road could become a prime transition finisher. His long arms make him an interior defensive threat despite the fact that he stands 6-8.
In terms of polish, well, that's where he needs to work. Few sophomore big guys have refined scoring tools, and Adebayo is no exception. He actually wields mechanically sound form on face-up jump shots, and he has range to 15 feet. In the post, however, he'll need to build almost completely from scratch. Still, given his physical dimensions and athleticism, he should become a formidable inside/out presence.
Adebayo's recruitment is gradually picking up momentum. N.C. State has offered, and he also is fielding interest from North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky and other heavyweight programs. One question at this juncture is whether he and Giles will evolve into closer friends or rivals. They don't compete for the same travel team program and might even become opponents on the EYBL circuit, depending upon how the AAU machinations resonate.
As such, and given that they play a similar position, the duo may embark on differing college journeys. But it's also possible Adebayo could grow into a center, or Giles could become a plausible wing forward. However that shakes out, Adebayo certainly has inserted himself into the conversation on his own terms both locally and nationally.