Chase Adams hails from Chicago Heights and is about to embark on his sophomore season at Marian Catholic High School (IL). Utilized as a side-show his freshman season with a dazzling display of drives and dimes, the "Little Giant" is poised to be the main attraction this year.
Sound familiar? Tyler Ulis graduated from Marian Catholic two years ago and now is a "5' 9" sophomore point guard for Kentucky. As a freshman, he was primarily used as a role player off the bench. After the Wisconsin loss in the tournament, Kentucky head coach John Calipari handed Ulis a note. It read in so many words, be prepared to start next season and let's get this thing going again.
Adams is no hidden gem or diamond in the rough. He has been well-documented in the Chicagoland area since the fourth grade. The problem is, he hasn't been well-received by college coaches because of his size.
Big Mistake. This kid has crafted the art of dribbling and passing. His no-look, behind-the-back passes and up-tempo, playground-like style is poetry in motion. The bouncing ball weaves itself between his legs as he mixes the pace - stopping, starting, darting, spinning, reversing. The rock is his dance partner, never causing him to break stride. Those trying to defend, the level of frustration surpasses embarrassment. It's fun to watch.
Playing in the Big Ten's backyard, Adams has drawn very little interest from any of its 14-member schools. Illinois has shown some interest, but that's about it, other than Bradley's lone offer October 28, 2014. One advantage to his recruitment, he will always be a point guard. Coaches won't have to worry about positioning him at shooting guard or small forward down the road.
Adams' size may be a hangup for coaches, but it doesn't affect his psyche, "I don't worry about my size or whether how much more I will grow. I am more concerned with getting better and getting stronger."
His high school coach Mike Taylor added, "Skill-wise, his skills are far advanced. And probably the biggest thing is his passing and vision. A lot like Tyler (Ulis). It was clear from the beginning how creative he is, what great vision he has on the floor."
When Adams was a seventh-grader at Chicago Ariel Community Academy, he played on the eighth grade team. He helped guide the team to a 56-3 record. The following season, Ariel Community Academy posted a perfect record en route to its first-ever Chicago City Title. Adams was the catalyst with his unconscious play-making ability.
Last season as a freshman, he logged limited minutes on a varsity team which was senior-laden with talent. Taylor expects Adams to start his sophomore season.
The odds are stacked against Adams. Less than a handful of diminutive guards have played Division I basketball. At "5' 3", Tyrone "Muggsy" Bogues played for Wake Forest, "5' 4" Earl Boykins played for Eastern Michigan, "5' 6" Monte Towe played for NC State, and "5' 4" Charles Webb (no relation to "5' 7" Spud Webb) played for University of Denver. Perhaps, the "5' 4" Adams will be added to the infamous (short list) three years from now.
Regardless, the little "Floor General" still has plenty of time to develop into a starter at the Division I level. If not, the straight "A" student and devout Christian would make a great spark plug off the bench or be a perfect insertion as a press-breaker. Many teams from the Big Ten could use a player of his caliber to generate some excitement and pack the stands.
During the off-season Chase plays AAU ball for 15-U Mac Irvin Fire.
Check out Chase Adams' AAU human highlight reel as he entered high school last summer, playing for Chicago's Mac Irvin Fire, coached by his older brother Drake Adams. Drake was a former college player and 17-U AAU National Champ. Sad to say, the 26-year-old died unexpectedly of Epilepsy this past January. Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls was in attendance at his funeral.
The upcoming July evaluation period is one of the most important stretches on the college basketball recruiting calendar. Hopefully, several coaches will take notice and watch # 9 break down defenders with no remorse. And who knows, maybe Chase Adams will be performing Houdini acts at a Big Ten Arena near you.
Overall Breakdown of Chase Adams
His court vision and ball handling skills are second to none. His basketball IQ ranks up there with Albert Einstein. His flashy floor play definitely passes the eye test. And his razor-sharp quickness isn't an issue. However, Chase needs to work extra hard on two areas due to his size: Cardio and Core.
What he lacks in height, he needs to make up for in core strength. Presently, he weighs about 120 pounds with a golf bag on his shoulders. He needs to pack about 140 pounds of muscle with extensive weightlifting. That way bigger guards can't push him around or try to post him constantly. Plus, that added weight and strength will favor a jump shot over a set shot, not to mention, increase his vertical. Once accomplished, he may look "5' 4", but will be able to play like he is "5' 9" or taller.
A good yardstick to measure cardio is a sub five minute mile. That should be his goal. If he can accomplish that, nobody will be able to keep pace with him. The key is to utilize that endurance to his advantage. In other words, non-stop, perpetual motion on both ends of the floor. Defenders will wear down and lose sight of where he is on the floor.
Defensively that endurance can flourish with full court pressure on the ball and deny, deny pressure off the ball. In addition, guess who comes up with all the loose balls and hustle plays? Another advantage of stamina is help and recover issues. A little guy can cause havoc by constantly pouncing on the ball side, double team and then recover in time to guard his man or floor position.
These areas are realistic goals Adams can accomplish in order to play at the next level. Yes, he will have to work twice as hard, but it sure beats hoping to grow into a "6' 4" shooting guard body.