Tyler Adams: Playing with a top 10 big like Johnny, it's really nice because we can both carry the load at different times. It's nice because I've got a lot of help on the inside with this team. So, it's always good.
It seemed like you deferred more in the 1st half and then you really got it going in the 2nd half. Was that by design?
I just play however the game is going and what is needed. In the first half I didn't feel like I had as much, but then in the 2nd half, I wanted to come with it and be more aggressive.
It was noticeable. Is that a typical Tyler Adams approach?
Oh yeah, that's for sure, you know, if I see that my team needs me to be more aggressive, I'm going to do that.
What's the evolution process been like coming from being a lesser known guy last year to having schools like Duke and other high majors recruiting you now?
The main thing I've been working on is just getting in better shape. There was a lot of skepticism about recruiting me because of all that weight I had, so I started working out and toned up. I got rid of all that baby fat and tried to be more competitive, and it looks like it's working out for me.
We've heard about a pretty strong workout and skills development program. Can you elaborate?
My AAU Coach, he used to train Al Jefferson who's playing in the NBA now, so I do a lot of the workouts that he used to do and even some ones that he's doing now, during spring, I'm doing agility drills and other workouts like every single day.
Having a big man like Al Jefferson as a part of the Jackson Tigers program, do you talk much with him now that he's in the NBA?
Yeah, we've talked a few times, he'll come through Mississippi every now then during the summer.
As a likely center at the next level, are you watching a lot of college basketball to see how you would fit in?
I love watching college basketball, but it's kinda hard for me as a big, because I feel like there's not a lot of posts like me in the game, you know, I like to bang, let guys know that I'm going to be bringing it that game. But basically, I really like watching Duke.
Did you make a specific effort to watch some teams during the tournament?
Yes, I for sure made an effort to watch Duke because they are recruiting me and I like them a whole lot.
There has been speculation that you could be getting close to making a decision. What are the important factors in your and your family's mind?
I just want to go to a team that really shows me that they need me and that they love me. I really want to feel like I'm a part of the team wherever I go and that I can make a difference through what I do.
Speaking of showing love, Duke's been reported as coming hard after you. Can you talk about their approach they've taken with you?
You know, they came a bit later than other schools, but when they came, they were all in. Coach Nate James is primarily recruiting me, and he's cool. When he first started calling me, he was coming on real strong, he's been trying to get me on campus for a little while, I'm gonna be getting up there soon to check them out.
Have you talked with Coach K yet?
Yeah, we've talked two or three times. He's also called my dad, and they've talked a couple times too.
Given your comments about watching how programs use their bigs, what were your thoughts on Duke's use of their big guys in the tournament? They seemed to play a decent amount of big guys. Does roster size impact you?
Not really, because the way I look at it, whoever works the hardest that's who's going to play. It's like my AAU team basically playing alongside other bigs, that's actually a good thing in my book.