Nathan Adrian, a 6-9 forward with an excellent outside shooting touch, plays basketball pretty much year round. Between the regular season, AAU play and the allowed three weeks of team activities during the summer, he takes every chance to improve his game. He knows he needs to do that if he's to make his mark in The Big 12, which West Virginia entered last week.
"This camp has really help me build chemistry with my high school team," he said after a recent game. "The teams we play aren't as good as those we play on the AAU circuit, but it does me a lot of good to play with my high school team.
"This gives us game time looks, and lets us adjust during practice and games," he continued. "This is the first time we could play together since the end of last year, so it's a good chance to improve."
Adrian will face a transition when he gets to WVU, primarily in that he'll be a perimeter player. While he often goes down on the blocks for Morgantown, he doesn't figure to be an interior power player in the Big 12. Still, he's been working on all aspects of his game.
At the team camp, Adrian displayed a jump hook from the blocks that he's been working on. While he didn't hit all of them, he saw enough progress to be encouraged. He sees it as another weapon in his offensive arsenal, which is based on jumpers both long- and medium-range.
His primary goal is to improve on the other end of the floor, where he'll be guarding foes on the perimeter as well. He spent a couple of games at WVU's camp chasing six-foot guards around the floor.
"I have to get a lot better at perimeter defense," he confirmed. "I won't be playing a lot [on the inside] in college, so I need to get better. Speed, effort, there's a lot of things that I have to improve on, but I think I will get there."
As a native West Virginian and a hometown guy, Adrian obviously will have a lot of eyes on him during his upcoming senior season. Every game, every performance will go under the microscope of 'How will that translate to the Big 12'? However, the laid-back Mohigan doesn't see that as a problem.
"I don't feel much pressure," he said. "I don't worry about that stuff."