Class of 2011: Tyler Adams

Junior-to-be Tyler Adams of Brandon (MS) High School and AAU powerhouse Jackson Tigers is one of the top big men in the class of 2011.

"I first started playing basketball when I was in the 2nd grade," said Tyler. "I was about 5-9 in the 2nd grade. I played in the church league. I was always taller than everybody else but I wouldn't call myself good back then. I dominated the games but I wouldn't have called myself good. I was uncoordinated."

He started showing signs of the type player he would become six years later.

"I started becoming coordinated the middle of my 8th grade year," said the 6-9, 250-pounder. "(And) in my 8th grade summer when I went to the freshman All-American camp and I got top 20 in the camp. I guess it took my body a long time to develop because I'm a big guy."

Playing AAU ball helped him develop his game.

"I started playing AAU basketball in the 7th grade," said Johnny, who is ranked the 15th best center in the class of 2011 by "AAU ball is different than playing school ball because it's more physical and everybody is on the same level, so I had to get used to playing against people who were on the same level or better than me."

His current AAU coach, coach Thandi Wade of the Jackson Tigers, sees a lot of potential in Tyler.

"Tyler Adams is a beast in the paint," said Thandi. "He is a low post warrior. When he catches it, he's looking to score. He's strong, a great rebounder, great shot-blocker. He's a kid who is beginning to realize his potential. Tyler, with a good work ethic, I think he has a chance to be a top-10 guy in his class."

Tyler agrees with his coach's assessment of his game, but he also knows what he needs to work on.

"I am good off the dribble, rebounding and blocking shots," said Tyler. "(But) I still need to get a little more athletic."

College coaches have definitely liked what they have seen from the talented youngster.

"I'm receiving interest from Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Baylor, USC, Texas, Wake Forest, Florida, Kentucky and Memphis," said Tyler. "I've received offers from Kentucky, Florida, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Wake Forest, USC and Baylor."

His first offer was extended early on.

"My first offer was in the 8th or 9th grade from, I think, Mississippi State," said Tyler. "I was at a camp. I really didn't expect it."

As of now, he's wide opened recruiting-wise.

"I'm still pretty much open," said Tyler.

Something that could factor in his choice of a school is another big man on the Jackson Tigers team - Cleveland East Side's Johnny O'Bryant, also a member of the class of 2011.

"I really like playing with (Johnny) because when I play high school ball I usually have to get every rebound but in AAU I have another big man to help me out with rebounds and block shots," said Tyler. "He also helps me when he's killing it inside or when he plays on the perimeter that opens things for me and vice versa for him.

"We talk about going to the same school a lot. If he went to a school that has offered both of us, I would really consider going to that school. We are real good friends. We talk about more than just basketball."

Despite all the interest from colleges and all the media hype surrounding him and Johnny, neither one has let it affect them personally. Tyler explains how he stays so down to earth.

"I just try to stay humble," said Tyler. "My dad has always told me to keep a level head. And I just don't think about it. I know I'm in a lot press clippings but I don't read them. I just play ball."

And he plays it well.

Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the website, the source for Mississippi State sports on sports network. You can contact him by emailing

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