Freshman Preview: Adam Simons

Freshman center Adam Simons is adjusting to life on the court, in the classroom and in the weight room at NC State. TSW interviews Simons' high school coach Tommy Cole about his former player's initial days in Raleigh.

NC State has not had a seven footer on scholarship since Jim Valvano ran the Wolfpack show in the eighties. A Greek named Panagiotis Fasoulas (7'0" 220) suited up for the Pack in 1986. The recruiting of a seven foot center is a college recruiting milestone of sorts. The Wolfpack ended the drought for a cloud lurker in 2002 when they signed Adam Simons from Burlington Williams. Or did they?

During the annual NC State media day, Coach Sendek proclaimed his new 6'10" (6'11" with shoes on) center would have a bright future with the Pack. That's right, Adam Simons has shrunk a full two inches since his arrival on the Raleigh campus. When, TSW saw the quote, we raised our eyebrows. If for no other reason, Coach removed a talking point that NC State fans have on Adam, his towering height.

Now, folks, I am not one to cross a coach, especially one with the integrity of Herb Sendek, but I have seen Adam Simons stand beside Josh Powell during a Chavis league game and let me tell you, the Reynold's maintenance people need to recalibrate the measuring stick used to check the height of NC State players. Either Josh is 6'7", which would make Julius Hodge 6'4" (which we all know is not true) or the stick cannot be trusted. Powell standing beside Simons is at least three inches shorter, shoes or no shoes. The tale of this tape just rings of a deception.

We asked Williams Coach Tommy Cole if he thought height sandbagging was going on by Sendek. "I don't know for sure, but let me ask you, has Sendek sandbagged before?" said a laughing Cole.

I guess he has a point. I think Archie Miller grew an inch every year in the pre-game program. I think the final program listed him 6'4" . So for NC State fans, it looks like "Adam Simons' height" has taken a red shirt year. But, you know, Sendek likes to leave room for improvement.

The height controversy set aside, TSW asked Cole what kind of player Wolfpack fans would see when Simons hit the RBC center for the first time in November. "He is a tremendous guy with great personal character. He is a hard worker. Literally, when he first came into our program, he had a hard time walking (referring to Adam's growth spurt where the muscles were yet to catch-up). He has worked on his game and has developed a great shooting touch and now he just plays extremely well."

Simons went back to Williams to attend the homecoming festivities. That was the first time Cole had seen his former player since his departure for Raleigh during the summer. "He looked pretty good. He has gained weight and is bigger. He is real excited about being there." said Cole.

If Adam's height has been a top topic of interest by Wolfpackers, the top rumor about Simons is the possibility of the freshman taking a red-shirt year. Cole told TSW the two of them talked about it during their visit. " Coach Sendek has not told him what the plans are for him yet. He has been in the weight room and is getting physically stronger."

Simons averaged 19.4 ppg and 15 boards his senior season at Williams. He also averaged over 4 blocks per game against some pretty tough competition, which hints of a player taller than his current NC State media guide reputation.

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