Adrian’s agenda: 1. Hit the weights 2. Hit the jumper
IT APPEARS THAT Nathan Adrian, Tom Yester and Bob Huggins are all on the same page.
That’s important since Adrian has one year left to play high school basketball for Morgantown and the Mohigans have a legitimate shot to win a state championship.
That’s also important because after just one more year, Adrian will become the first Morgantown native to play basketball on a scholarship at WVU since Jay Jacobs, in 1956.
Committed to WVU since September, Adrian no longer has to worry about being recruited, so he opted out of AAU basketball this July. The break’s got nothing to do with laziness, though.
“I already have my scholarship and really, I just need to focus on working out by myself, improving my skills and getting bigger lifting and stuff, so I’ll have more time for that,” he said.
He has MHS head coach Yester’s approval. “He played a lot this spring and he’s gonna work on his game. There will be plenty of games in the fall. This will give him a little time to actually work on things.”
WVU head coach Huggins weighed in too. “It was my decision more than anything, but I asked him about it and he said it doesn’t really matter.”
What does matter to Huggins is what Adrian does instead.
First up on the agenda: Hit the weights.
The 6-foot-9 forward said the WVU staff would like to see him go from 195 pounds to 225.
“That’s what I need to do. I gotta put on a lot of weight,” Adrian said. “I’ve been lifting three or four times a week every week, so hopefully it plays out.”
Yester said he would just like to see at least 10 of those 30 pounds this year. “I think you’re gonna see him block more shots this year. I think you’ll see him get more dunks this year because he’s gonna be strong to the rim.”
On the high school level, tack 10 pounds of muscle onto a guy who could already get to the basket at will and that guy has become an unstoppable force. And if he could already swat at least one shot a game, opponents should no longer even bother to enter the paint.
But that’s not all that’s on the WVU checklist. “He’s a smart kid, he’s driven and he knows what he needs to do,” Yester said. “He knows how these kids are at WVU and what he needs to do if he’s gonna play there.”
So next up: Doctor the jumpshot.
“We want his jump shot a little better,” Yester said. “Not the floater but the jumpshot, so I think you’re gonna see that improvement in Nate’s game.
Add a smoother mid-range pull-up to a high schooler who last year scored 486 points by shooting 51 percent from the floor, and we’re talking ridiculous scoring potential.
“He’ll be a better 3-point shooter than he was last year, and certainly a better foul shooter, even though at the end he shot real well,” Yester said.
With an increased ability to get to the rim, there will be more free throws in Adrian’s future. A higher percentage on more opportunities — obviously, more points for the Mohigans. And the high school 3-point shooter who poured in 32 treys last year? Better?
No wonder Yester’s beaming about his standout’s collegeaimed improvements.
“Basketball’s basketball,” he said. “Any prep you do to improve your game, it will lend itself.”
KRISTIN KURELIC is a sports reporter for The Dominion Post. Write to her at .