Friday, July 6, 2012

Hard work the ticket to KU for freshman guard Anrio Adams

Kansas University freshman guard Anrio Adams says he’s put in the work to overcome academic eligibility issues and is looking forward to showing the same dedication on the court at KU. Adams arrived on campus Wednesday, July 4, 2012.

Kansas University freshman guard Anrio Adams says he’s put in the work to overcome academic eligibility issues and is looking forward to showing the same dedication on the court at KU. Adams arrived on campus Wednesday, July 4, 2012.


Anrio Adams talks about why he chose KU and discusses the position he'll play

Anrio Adams talks about why he chose KU and discusses the position he'll play during a press conference on Thursday, July 5, at Hadl Auditorium on the KU campus.

Anrio Adams’ high school coach has compared the 6-foot-3, 185-pound Kansas University freshman combo guard to Miami Heat phenom Dwyane Wade.

It’s a likening that Adams likes ... a lot.

“When I was in high school for my senior year, I actually tried to copy some of his moves and I watched him a lot. That’s who I really like in the league, so ...” Adams said with a smile during a Thursday media session in KU’s Hadl Auditorium.

Adams, the country’s No. 98-rated prospect out of Seattle’s Rainier Beach High who arrived on campus Wednesday for the second session of summer school, of course has a long way to go to rival the accomplishments of the powerful, 6-4, 220-pound, 30-year-old, two-time NBA champion Wade.

Yet those in the know say he has the tools to be a special player.

“I really think Anrio ... based on what we’ve been told and what we’ve seen, has a chance to be one of the very best ones to come out of there,” KU coach Bill Self said of Rainier Beach — a school that has produced Ryan Anderson, Doug Christie, Jamal Crawford, Nate Robinson, Lodrick Stewart, plus former KU players Rodrick Stewart and C.J. Giles.

“He can handle like a one (point guard). He can score like a two (shooting guard),” Self added of Adams, who averaged 21.0 points, 6.0 assists and 5.0 rebounds a game for last year’s 27-3 state champs.

“His mindset will be more to score. He’s a really good athlete. I think he’ll give us an element of toughness, too. He’s a good player. He’s capable of being an elite guard,” Self added.

Adams, the Associated Press Class 3A player of the year in the state of Washington who said he’ll play “whatever position the coach needs me to,” is a good buddy of ex-Jayhawk Stewart.

Stewart’s dad, Bull, in fact, is Adams’ godfather.

“I’ve known him since I was in fifth grade,” Adams said of Rodrick.

“I was following them (Jayhawks) since my freshman year in 2009. That’s when they started recruiting me a little, showing me a little bit of attention. Rodrick was telling me a little about it — that it (Lawrence) is a family based city and basketball — you really can’t beat it. It’s a basketball state. This is where I wanted to be,” Adams added.

Adams committed to KU back on Nov. 19.

“A lot of schools were involved in the Pac-12,” he said. “I felt like I was a little bigger than the Pac-12. I didn’t really want to stay home.”

Before reporting to KU, he had to first become academically eligible, which entailed taking the ACT test a couple times in the past couple months. It’s believed Adams’ test scores and core course grades will qualify him for a scholarship, however he will have to be given the OK (like all players) by the NCAA Clearinghouse.

While awaiting a ruling, he’s clear for full participation with the KU team, including playing on the upcoming European tour.

“Hard work and dedication. It was on me if I wanted to be here or not. So I worked as hard as I could,” Adams said. “The toughest part for me was politics. A lot of people that shake your hand you don’t know are working against you. I didn’t realize it until I went back home (to Seattle after short stay at St. Pat’s in New Jersey) that was playing against me. That was my hardest thing.”

He’s still waiting on some academic materials from Seattle’s Franklin High, which he attended two years before moving on to Seattle Garfield, then on to Rainier Beach.

“He has gone as far as everybody else from an eligibility standpoint. Whether or not they (Clearinghouse) put the final stamp on him or not remains to be seen. They have all the information. All indications are he will be cleared and all that stuff,” Self said.

“I’m really proud of him of how hard he worked in getting some things done late. With all the stuff we went through last year (eligibility cases of Ben McLemore, Jamari Traylor and Braeden Anderson), we weren’t going to bring him here until we were totally confident he’d done everything. If he were to come here and find out there’s a problem, you can’t go back to fix it. If he never got here, you can go back and fix it. We’ve been very deliberate on him coming to make sure he dotted all his I’s and crossed his T’s. I feel good about that.”

Adams — he prefers the name Rio over Anrio — said he’s just happy to be here with KU’s other five scholarship freshmen, two walk-ons and two red-shirt freshmen.

“I put a lot of emotion in the game because this is what I want. I love this game. It’s gotten me this far. I’m hoping it continues to let me go further from here,” Adams said, noting he’s been “taking time to make sure I’m getting better at the things I’m not good at.”

Those things? “My range. My shot, defense. College level is a lot bigger than high school,” he noted.

Of Adams, Rainier Beach coach Mike Bethea noted: “Anrio’s best basketball is ahead of him. He has a ton of talent and with him going to KU and listening to coach Self and the coaching staff, the sky is the limit.”


RockChalk26 9 years, 10 months ago

I think the kids are calling that "swag" :)

Jeremy Wilhelm 9 years, 10 months ago

Totally agree. Very laid back, but self-confident - and he seems to have good communications skills - all traits that I think can develop into good leadership with a little effort.

tbbucboy21 9 years, 10 months ago

too good for the pac 12 is right. (pac 12 <<<<<<) this kids gonna shine at KU, seems to have natural ability to score, probably going to have to work on his d to get PT this year from Coach Self. good future

Chris Shaw 9 years, 10 months ago

My 3.5 year old's basketball game is greater than the Pac 12.

David Leathers 9 years, 10 months ago

I like Anrio better. Rio (MaRIO Chalmers) just won himself an NBA 'ship. Hit threes and become a thief (on the court of course) and we might just petition for a name-share certificate.

All jokes aside, I really like this kid and think he's going to do great things at the University of Kansas (KU). He seems to have a good head on his shoulders and a winning mentality. Note to Self (haha): Have fun, this is going to be an exciting ride!!!

Ted Hume 9 years, 10 months ago

Agree. Anrio is a hip name; why lose it?

Robert Brock 9 years, 10 months ago

He likes to be called Rio. Get used to it.

JHAWKSWAG 9 years, 10 months ago

If you have to mention you are joking or put haha after a punchline, chances are it wasn't funny.

nuleafjhawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Make no mistake about it, I'm very glad that this young man is now a Jayhawk - but.....

This is only food for thought - no more, no less.

I never - wait, let me do this, now that I can - NEVER (bwahahahaha) talk about a players Rivals rankings, until now. What am I missing? I just don't understand why he's only rated at #98 if he's being compared to D-Wade and others of his caliber.

Are those rankings based off of results of some drunken, smoke-filled room game of darts? If he's as good as what we're hearing, shouldn't he be at least in the top 10? And we've heard of others the past few years that were ranked in the top 10 (or 1, or 2) that really didn't help us much at all.

Like I said, glad he's here - just don't understand the system.

kellerman411 9 years, 10 months ago

He has a high ceiling but is still rough around the edges. That's why he isn't in the top 40.

april28 9 years, 10 months ago

There is no system. Rivals makes the BCS look like a well-conceived plan. I'm not saying that I know anything about Rio Adams, and I'm not a blind Bill Self follower, but I put a lot more credence into his evaluations than a bunch of goofs playing on computers in their moms' basements.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 10 months ago

I prefer the ".. drunken,smoke filled room game of darts" image that nuleaf planted in my mind!

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

nuleafjhawk - His coach is comparing him to Wade, no one else. That's like a father comparing his son to Brett Favre, or Roger Clemens. It simply means nothing.

Jim Jackson 9 years, 10 months ago

You're the same kid that stated Zach Peters being an All State WR didn't mean he was tough.

You must have been a synchronized swimmer.

RJ King 9 years, 10 months ago

J28. I think you're projecting. Hi Elite is no kid. He's no Hayakawa either. HEM pretty much likes his facts.

Jack Wilson 9 years, 10 months ago

Thanks, Bay

Jayhawker28: I would re-check that. In response to a poster that was prognosticating Peters' future accomplishments and who noted that he must be "tough" because he played football, I said that simply because Peters played football does not mean that he is tough or will be tough on the basketball court.

I do agree it (football) is a good indicator that he is likely a tough, but from what I saw in his games on TV, I didn't get the impression that he's a tough, blue collar, Jeff Graves/Darnell Jackson, do the dirty work type guy. But that was just an impression.

I take it you believe that because Adams' coach says he compares to Dwayne Wade, it must be so. Or because Adams' coach says he should be the starting point guard this season, it must be so. Or because Adams' coach says the tooth fairy is real, it must be true (sorry, I threw that in).

Now, off to the pool.

Danny Hernandez 9 years, 10 months ago

I believe Rio didn't play AAU ball his Junior year so that he could concentrate on his academics. That might have contributed to his rival ranking of 98. When kids don't play AAU ball as much, they're really penalized in the ranking system because high school ball doesn't seem to matter much.

Marcia Parsons 9 years, 10 months ago

Apparently the Associated Press thought a little more of him making him #1 in Washington Class 3A high schools. Sometimes I think Rivals' problem is that they don't actually see everyone and just wing it on many of them.

Jeff Kilgore 9 years, 10 months ago

Kids get in under the radar such as the CU player a year or two ago from KC.

ku1otaku 9 years, 10 months ago

What was Wade ranked by Rivals coming out of high school? Wasn't there only two schools really recruiting him?

ku1otaku 9 years, 10 months ago

I found this information online regarding Wade's ranking:

G DWYANE WADE, MIAMI HEAT Rivals ranking: No Rivals ranking at the time High school: Oak Lawn (Ill.) Richards College: Marquette Draft: No. 5 overall pick of the Miami Heat in 2003 The buzz: Wade sat out 2000-01 as a partial qualifier at Marquette. It was the last time Wade was a non-factor, as he led Marquette to the 2003 Final Four. He was something of a transformational player for Marquette, as the Golden Eagles have reached the NCAA tournament in eight of the 10 seasons since Wade became an active player. Marquette reached the tournament only four times in 18 seasons before Wade's arrival. He now is teammates with James and Chris Bosh, meaning three of the top five picks in the 2003 NBA draft now play for the Heat.

KJD 9 years, 10 months ago

Now that Adams has been announced, I've got to share these thoughts that have been brewing on my mind for the last several months.

Johnson // Tharp

McLemore // Adams // Doyle

Releford // White

Ellis // Young // Traylor

Withy // Wesley // Peters // Lucas

This will be fluid, changing, a battle, except for 4 of the starting spots. Non-conference will probably have all sorts of fluctuation in the rotation. It will be fun to watch the minutes develop as HCBS sharpens this group for Big XII play.

I do think that McLemore is going to be the starting 2 with all of his talent and the redshirt year behind him. With all the things that Russell Robinson said about Tharp, he should have the edge on Adams and Doyle though they are both going to push him hard. I also keep thinking of the times Tharp would get stripped in the backcourt and then get yanked after a minute of play. I'm very interested in how White and his size fits into the mix in the 2/3 slot. When Self eventually shortens the rotation any of the four guards not starting on this list could be the first sub with double digit minutes. My hunch is that it won't be Doyle though I wouldn't rule him out until we start seeing them play and they get a chance to compete. If Tharp can establish himself then Johnson could play some more 2 like he did last year and Releford could take a breather while McLemore played the 3. So many possibilities, so much competition on the bench.

The front court rotation is just as interesting. Young gives us so much energy off of the bench, he's going to get his minutes at power forward again this year. Ellis seems like the kind of guy to step in and start as a Freshman. He's got McDonald's All-American talent plus the smarts of a valedictorian. Wesley is sure to see some time at the 4 early on too though it's Traylor's impact that has me most curious. They call Traylor a smaller Robinson and he's had extra time to work out with Hudy as compared to the other Freshmen.

Lucas has stated that he wants to be Withy's back up and is ready to work hard to earn those minutes. There seems to be a lot between him and that goal, which includes Zach Peters. I like all of the touchdowns that Peters caught down in Plano, Texas last fall and he's been away from the AAU circuit so his recruitment was pretty quiet for a guy who signed as a High School sophomore.

I've been keeping a list like this for years and the bench is as wide open as I can remember it. I don't doubt any of them, they all come in with a wide variety of backgrounds, and sure is going to make the non-conference schedule an interesting ride.

AsadZ 9 years, 10 months ago

It is really exciting to see so many options and potential combinations HCBS can really work his magic on opposing teams Having said that I see at least one red shirt this year, perhaps Lucas

Ted Hume 9 years, 10 months ago

Good take. I would add that, as Bill has stated a few times, our guard spots are very interchangeable (like with TT & Johnson "whoever gets it brings it up" - BS). So then we're really talking about this big guard pool for 3 spots, with diff. combos on the court at diff. times, as long as one of the three has a handle- it can be any of a 5 or 6 different combinations this year (it's going to be a fun to watch it develop). BS has used this system brilliantly in recent years. Can't wait

Ted Hume 9 years, 10 months ago

Also, my take is that Anrio and Doyle will be really fighting for basically one spot in the development guard pool rotation. This is about as clear of a 1st chair/2nd chair situation as I can remember with incoming players. Whichever of those two rises will get some PT (but still only very limited action this year), and unfortunately, one of them won't see the court, period. I think that's pretty certain with so many young guards- and anyone who thinks BMac isn't a starter from day one is substantially high). Now, which of them will it be? My money is on Anrio to win out- as a gut feeling, but nobody knows anything at this point.

Mike Barnhart 9 years, 10 months ago

There simply isn't room for this many guys ... and that'll be just fine with Coach Self!

He's proven over the past couple of years that he's pretty darn good at developing players under the pressure of competition and now he has 10 FRESHMEN! Wow! There'll be more position battles in Coach Selfs workouts at the Horejsi Center than Coach Weis will have in training camp at the football complex.

Let the fun begin!

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 10 months ago

I'm truly on overload thinking about the potential of this new team as a whole, forget individuals. The chemistry is unbelievable. We have a rare opportunity to be described as having the "youngest, but deepest team" in the country. Forget about the Kentuckys, North Carolinas and Dukes. We will be able to put three lineups together this year that will be seamless. If we can only get these new guys to check their egos at the locker room door, HCBS will coach one of his easiest, yet hardest teams yet. Hardest in the sense of figuring out which lineup to use and for how long. Substitutions will not be easily made. Starting lineups will change more than we've seen in the past. Foul trouble probably will be less of an issue this year, except in the paint. I feel a little sorry for some of these teams coming into AFH this year. They're gonna get beaked real bad!

Mike Barnhart 9 years, 10 months ago

Hmm, I think I'll disagree. That may be the case for a few weeks but once the league games begin, he'll have it down to an eight man rotation. By February, four or five of these guys will never see the floor!

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

With a 16 man roster, it may be more like six or seven will never see the court!!

Ted Hume 9 years, 10 months ago

True. We'll see most of the minutes going to 6 guys, with one other playing a solid 15-20 minute, and two others playing the "Wesley role"- ~8-10 minutes a game in relief.

The SIX gobbling up most of the minutes: EJ, BMac, Rele, Ellis, JW (starters) plus one in the frontcourt rotation (Traylor or Young).

The TWO playing regular relief minutes: White and either Tharp or Adams (TBD)

everyone else fights to log some development minutes in their first year (plus a few for Wesley)

That's your PT breakdown...or something close to it

David Brown 9 years, 10 months ago

Coach Self will be the focal point of this coming season. How he mixes the chemistry of the team by experience, skill, and position will be fun to watch. I'm thinking he'll produce a product that will be exciting to watch and will add to the trophy cabinet. Self will prove, again, why we are lucky to have him at KU.

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Considering future scholarship numbers vs. the possibility of attrition, it is difficult to predict if any of these recruits will be offered the opportunity to red shirt. By November, if they are absolutely sold on staying for the long haul in Lawrence, and if their future looks bright, one guard and one big man might seriously consider sitting out this season. Preseason injury might be a deciding factor. This squad appears to be overloaded with current and future talent. A real bonanza for Bill Self's coaching!

REHawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Speaking of Self's coaching and eye for talent, his Illinois recruit Deron Williams just inked a 99 million dollar five year contract with the Brooklyn Nets. Tyshawn will get the opportunity to learn from an All-Star.

Tony Bandle 9 years, 10 months ago

Kansas Nickname Team: 1] Travis "TR" Releford 2] Elijah "The Prophet" Johnson 3] Jeff "The Wall" Withey 4] Kevin "KY" Young 5] Ben " BMac" McLemore 6] Zach "Attack" Peters 7] Justin "Time" Wesley 8] Naadir " Warp" Tharpe 9] Perry :The Tower of Power" Ellis 10] Jamari "Semi" Traylor 11] Landon "The Load" Lucas 12] Anrio "Rio Da Jammero" Adams 13] Niko " Nitro" Roberts 14] Andrew "Wrecking Crew" White 15] Christian "Lions" Garrett 16] Milton "Popeye" Doyle 17] Evan "I'm Not Danny" Manning 18] Tyler "Be True To Thy" Self

CrimsonBlue22 9 years, 10 months ago

My favorites from this list:

Elijah "The Prophet'' Johnson Zach "Attack" Peters Jamari "Semi" Traylor Milton "Popeye" Doyle Tyler "Be True To Thy" Self


Thomas Matlock 9 years, 10 months ago

Maybe we can petition the Big 12 to have two bb teams this year. We could finish 1-2. That would be a hoot.

Martin Rosenblum 9 years, 10 months ago

Anrio "Rio Da Jammero" Adams ! That alone qualifies for the PHOF!

Thomas Matlock 9 years, 10 months ago

What is happening with Doyle? There seems to be a blackout on him. Haven't seen anything fresh for quite awhile now.

RJ King 9 years, 10 months ago

Rio and Frankamp are the new flavors of the month. Doyle already ran through the gauntlet of fan scrutiny.

With everyone is on board now, the rotation of attention should even out, perhaps even to include a few more football conversation.

Ron Franklin 9 years, 10 months ago

Welcome, Anrio.

It's exciting to see a youngster so excited to want to play for Kansas. I think you can tell he's grown up a fan, as many of us have.

IMO,the class of 2012 has been one of the least dramatic we've had in a while. It's a breath of fresh air. The fact that Self is bringing in top notch athletes that also excel in the class room makes me incredibly proud of the program and institution.

To another point:

Last year after the Davidson game, Coach Self said he needed depth to use as a motivator for his players. Later in the year, he recanted. If there is cream that rises to the top this year his job will be somewhat easier than I am expecting. But if the talent level is as even as it appears, I am really excited to see how Self manages this squad.

lothario64118 9 years, 10 months ago

Let's not forget about Andrew White. I believe he is going to be 1 of 2 top guards for KU.

Steve Gantz 9 years, 10 months ago

I don't have time to even read this article right now but I'll comment anyways on the first line. DWade, really? He's comparable. How many times have we heard these types of comments from coaches, scouts etc. through the years. Puts a lot of unnecessary thoughts in a kids head. I just hope he's the next KU player who helps us win a championship.

Jeeveshawk 9 years, 10 months ago

Anrio Adams may be a star eventually, but this season he will have to compete with Naadir Tharpe for the back-up guard spot.

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