Abdul Ado doesn’t shy away from contact in the paint. It’s almost as if he craves the physicality and punishment in the post and isn’t one to complain about it.
The Scout five-star center is up for just about anything on the basketball court, so it’s no surprise he views the coaching change at Tennessee as something that simply happens sometimes.
Ado, the No. 1-rated center in Tennessee who was originally recruited by Donnie Tyndall, was loud and clear about whether Tyndall’s ouster and Rick Barnes’ hiring would impact his interest in the Vols.
“No, it hasn’t (impacted) it at all,” Ado told InsideTennessee. “Wherever you think about going, you should go there with or without a coach. It shouldn’t matter at all … It doesn’t affect anything from Tennessee.”
The Hamilton Heights Christian standout visited Knoxville twice with Tyndall at the helm but has yet to come back since Barnes took over at the end of March. Ado, who was most impressed by the number of Vols fans on campus, is admittedly still getting used to the fame and adulation that accompanies being a bluechip recruit.
“It’s just crazy. It’s amazing how you just get calls from different people. Reporters, coaches — it’s amazing,” Ado said.
“I never knew I would be that kind of person where I would have reporters all over because I’m not really a social media person. It’s kind of cool, and it’s also a blessing at the same time.”
The Nigeria native plans to announce his decision during this upcoming basketball season and hasn’t settled on a frontrunner at the moment.
“No, I really don’t have one,” he said. “Right now I’m just trying to stay focused and trying to decide first. I will have to make the right decision.”
Despite Tennessee’s need for a big man to loom over the paint, the prospect of immediate playing time isn’t a draw for the five-star center. Whether he has a shot at serious minutes right away or starts his career coming off the bench won’t much matter in schools’ sales pitch to him.
“I’m really not a playing time person,” Ado said. “My coach, even back at home, he’s like, you don’t have to have playing time. Even if you have a minute, you can still go into the game and do something good … I try to have that as a mindset.”
What will draw Ado to a program is the family atmosphere it embraces around him. If Barnes and his staff can connect with him on a personal level and extend an offer, the Chattanooga native could wind up heading down I-75 to play in Knoxville.
“I just want to go to a school where they see me, not just as a basketball player, but also as a great person,” Ado said. “Also, I just want to be with somebody who’s like a family in good or bad times.”