Evaluating Adam Simons

Last Friday, some of the TSW Staff ventured out to Chavis League to take in a "Garner Road" game in our effort to provide quick evaluation of the freshmen. Adam Simons as well as Justin Flatt and Dom Mejia play for Garner Road. While the competition for Garner was not that good on this night, I do feel I was able to get a good view of NC State's next big man.

Perhaps it was all this talk of "red shirt" and "project" that made me expect to see some uncoordinated player who's greatest asset was his abilty to see the top of a door jam while looking down. What I actually saw excited the Wolfpack fan within me and made me believe that those who labeled him a "red shirt project" are "nuts".

Adam Simons is a true center who looks to fill a major void that NC State has sorely missed the last few years. He will be one to sit down low with the main objective to alter and block opposing players shots and will look to add strength to the rebounding game. He has nice hands which will be able to feed the likes of Flatt, Scooter, and Hodge from the low post. This new offense which works the inside/outside game will take on a new dimension with Adam in the game.

Adam, along with his classmates (Mejia and Flatt) were late getting to the game and missed the tip-off. After a few stretches (I must say NC State Director of Sports Medicine Charlie Rozanski would not of been impressed) Simons hit the floor and quickly made his defensive presence felt by altering a driving player's shot that clanged off the side of the rim. He finished the game with six rebounds, two blocks and three alters.

Offensively he has nice form (contrary to what has been written by others) on his three point shot. Although he went 0-3 beyond the arc, you can see why he has a reputation as an outside threat. He is smooth when he releases the ball and the only awkward thing I saw was the fact that he is a seven footer shooting the three, which looks different from the average 6'3" shooting guard.

Down low he showed me a sweet move from about 12 feet out. Mejia was driving from beyond the arc to just left of the foul line. The defense was drawn and he kindly passed the ball to Simons who was just outside the three second area and right of the foul line. With one bounce of the ball with the left hand, he drove to the hoop while switching to the right hand in mid-air to thwart off a defender and quickly slammed the ball down for a 2 point statement. The speed in which he made the move was very impressive and again a bit surprising after all I have read about his slowness.

I think the thing people need to realize about Adam is that he is a true center. He is not a versatile small forward or a bruising power forward.

If you evaluate Adam and take him for what he is, you see great potential. I have seen people be critical of a 300 pound offensive lineman for a 5.5 40 time. In fact, what good is this 40 time when the farthest a big OL has to move is about 10 yards with the primary area defended is about a 3 yard radius. Same principles apply here. If Adam's job is to block shots, rebound, pass to the big guns outside, and get the easy put backs, then I have no doubt that he will be a very good center for NC State. How good is "very good"? I believe he is better than Todd Fuller when I first saw him make his debut in Reynolds in 1992 as a top 100 prospect. I also find it rather amusing that Todd was also criticized that his game was hindered by the slowness and lack of agility which characterizes many younger big men.

Like all freshmen Adam needs to add strength, but he has the foundation to be a solid player whenever he hits the floor. With the depth of Powell, Melvin, Collins and Watkins to play down low, Coach Sendek does have the option of holding Simons for the extra year to help strengthen his body and his game. If he is redshirted, it will not be because Simons lacks the necessary skills to play in the ACC. He can contribute now in much the same way Todd Fuller did as a Freshman. Let us all hope he has a solid career at NC State similar to the one Todd enjoyed.

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