NBAPA: Tyler Adams Q&A

Measuring out at 6-foot-10 and nearly 260 pounds as a rising high school senior, Duke bound big man Tyler Adams has all the physical tools. So what does he need to do to take his game to the next level? TDD spoke to him at the NBA Camp to find out.

TDD: Your aggressiveness seems to have increased dramatically in watching you here as opposed to a few months ago at Boo Williams. Is that a conscious effort?

Tyler Adams: Oh yes sir, it's a conscious effort. I've been working a lot harder since Boo. I've been trying to have some better offensive skills. Duke wants me to be more aggressive on the offensive end, so I've been working on a bunch of stuff, step back jumpers, drop steps, spin moves, all kind of stuff.

Is Duke offering you any advice in an effort to help you improve as a player?

Mainly they've just told me to not be afraid to be aggressive out there, and just try different things on the court whether it be taking my man off the dribble around the paint, finishing through contact, I've just been trying to be more aggressive on offense.

Has Duke talked with you about the role they want you to play once you get to Durham?

They want me to be a lot more than just a rebounder and defender. They want me to be a good back to the basket player; to be able to take guys off the dribble; finish through contact; and take the open jumper if it's there.

Do they talk about past Duke bigs and what those guys did at Duke?

Yeah, they say I play a lot like Boozer and Elton Brand in certain ways, but I don't know, those guys were really great players.

Do you not feel the same way?

When Boozer was at Duke, he was more back to the basket and he was just a great player, I'm just trying to work hard, get better as a post player.

Oh, so you watched Boozer when he was at Duke?

Yeah, I've been watching Duke since back then, I've been watching college basketball since I first started watching as a kid.

So was Boozer someone you tried to pattern your game after?

To be honest I really didn't like Duke a whole lot when I was younger. I just really started like them a whole lot this year. I watched them a lot as I was growing up, and you know, as you get older, you learn how to play the right way, and Duke was a school I've come to appreciate because they play the game the right way.

How did the perception change for you with Duke?

As you get older you learn to appreciate playing the game the right way and Duke is just one of the best schools who plays the game the right way. I think that's why my perception changed of them. It's great to be a part of that now.

How much are you talking with the coaching staff?

I'm still talking with Coach James quite a bit, and Coach K called me last Thursday I believe it was. He was just catching up with me see how things were going with everything.

How'd school end up for you?

It's been going really good, this year in my core classes I had 2 A's, 2 B's and 1 C, so it's been going solid. I took the ACT on June 12th, but I'm not sure what the results are as of yet, haven't received them.

Every time you're on Facebook it seems you've got a status of either just got done with a workout, or getting ready to go to a workout. Do you have a trainer, or is it just self motivation?

I don't have a trainer, but ever since I committed to Duke I've just been working hard because I want to play well when I go to college. I try to do anything I can physically to get better. I'll go for runs, I'll jump rope, lift weights, try to tone up. Even if it's not a basketball skill workout, I can always work on my body, try to be in the best shape for when I go to Duke. I've been hitting the weights hard, I'm at around 255 right now, and I just want to be really strong when I go to college.

Are you talking with any other Duke recruits?

Yeah, me and Amir Williams are pretty cool. We've been roommates at different events. There's this program the NCAA puts on each summer called NCAA First Team that Amir and I go to each summer for academics and life lessons and such. He and I have been roommates at that the last two or three years.

How do you feel about Duke recruiting Amir?

I really like it, he's a different player from me and we're really good friends now.


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