Woodbury Excited for the Challenge

Iowa freshman center Adam Woodbury is eager to begin his next challenge

Iowa CITY, Iowa - Recruits that stature of Adam Woodbury don't often come along, literally or figuratively. The 7-footer from Sioux City chose Iowa ahead of North Carolina and Ohio State offers.

"A very impressive freshman who a lot of people might expect more from offensively right off the bat," Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said. "He's going to be really good, but I think that will be something that continues to improve, whereas the rest of his game will be solid right off the bat."

Scout.com ranked Woodbury as the 14th-best center nationally and No. 47 overall in the 2012 class. He broke through after winning MVP honors at the NBA Top 100 players camp in June of last year.

Woodbury has not let pre-college success get him complacent.

"I've been trying to work on everything," he said. "I'm trying to polish my post moves and continue to step out farther (away from the basket with his shot)."

The obvious knock on Woodbury's game at this point is free throw shooting.

"I've worked on it a lot over the summer, the last couple of months with Coach (Kirk) Speraw," he said. "I think they've really improved a lot. I've changed up my rhythm of the shot, my release. Hopefully I can make them at a higher rate this year."

With publicity comes responsibility, at least on the basketball court.

"I've got a great support staff with my coaches and my family," Woodbury said. "I think I'll stay level-headed; try not to get too high or to low.

"If I can be happy at the end of the day, that's all that matters."

Woodbury has been in the spotlight for a while as it pertains to the state of Iowa.

"He is mature beyond his years with taking care of his business," McCaffery said. "You watch him in development sessions. You watch him in strength and conditioning sessions. Is he able to push himself? Is he able to really push through discomfort and get himself physically ready to play because he is a running seven-footer.

"He is a guy that can move his feet and trap a ball screen and continue to point guard and get back to his man. He can run consistently, and more importantly he can run effectively."

The transition from high school to college for big men can be eased with a good point guard relationship. Woodbury has that going for him with four-year AAU teammate Mike Gesell expected to start the season as Iowa's No. 1.

"Our chemistry has been really close," Woodbury said. "I think we mixed in well with the other guys. We really don't have any attitudes on the team. That makes for great workouts and a great locker room time and just being together.

"We've obviously got a great group coming back. They're pretty young, but they're pretty experienced. They know what' going on and hopefully we can just fill in where we need to."

One of the main people helping to prepare Woodbury is sophomore big man Gabe Olaseni (6-10, 229).

"We're going at each other every time we can," Woodbury said. "We've got a great mutual respect for each other. I watched him play last year and he's really taken great steps in his game. I hope that I have, too."

McCaffery thinks Woodbury will elevate the team in two important areas.

"On the glass, he's tremendous," the coach said. "He's a two-handed rebounder, goes from both ends. From that standpoint he's going to be able to rebound the basketball.

"Defensively, he knows where to go. He's the kind of guy that's in the back telling people where to go. He's pointing, communicating, he talks. He was coached in high school so he does that. That's another step."

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