When the Centenary basketball program announced its plan to drop from Division I to Division III, former Mount St. Joseph point guard Chase Adams began to look for a new place to finish his college career.
Earlier this week Adams found that place. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior has transferred to Pittsburgh, where he'll be eligible to play immediately.
Adams averaged 14.6 points, 4.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game last season, earning Summit League defensive player of the year honors. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review noted that Adams averaged 18 points and seven rebounds in games against Texas Tech, LSU and Mississippi State.
"He's feisty, a great playmaker and he always got everybody involved," said Duane Davis, Adams' former AAU coach with the Baltimore Stars. "He made everyone around him better. I had him since he was 12 or 13, and it's just a joy to see him grow. We thought he could play on that level when he first left Mount St. Joe. He led his team to a 38-1 record at Mount St. Joe, and we always thought he would play at the high-major level. But his heart is as big as a lion."Me personally, I think he's going to go there and just have an awesome year. I think he's going to surprise a lot of people. Those same kids he's going to be playing against in the Big East, he already played against them on the AAU circuit when he was playing with us. Now he's stronger, a little bit more mature, and his game is a little different. I think he's going to shock a lot of people."
Adams' move to Pittsburgh reunites him with another Baltimore native. Senior Jermaine Dixon will be back as the Panthers' returning starter at shooting guard. Davis said he's excited about the all-Baltimore backcourt's potential.
"I coached Jermaine ... when he was 10, 11, 12 and 13," Davis said. "Jermaine, at one time, wasn't one of the starters. But Jermaine just developed every year. So it's going to be a joy to see both of them playing together on the same team. They're like family with each other. Jermaine has developed into a great scorer, and Chase has developed into a great point guard."
Davis expects Adams to distinguish himself immediately in Pittsburgh as a lock-down defender. Making the transition from the Summit League to the Big East shouldn't be a problem, Davis said.
"Don't be shocked if he leads the Big East in steals now," Davis said. "I'm telling you, don't be shocked if he starts having some big games. If he did it against LSU and Texas Tech, he's going to do it in the Big East."
Briscoe to Charlotte
Freshman year couldn't have gone much better for Jamar Briscoe.
The former Cardinal Gibbons point guard immediately stepped into North Carolina Central's starting lineup, and promptly led the Eagles in scoring with 17.8 points per game. Now Briscoe, the second-leading freshman scorer in the nation, is moving on. The 5-foot-10, 155-pounder has transferred to Charlotte. He will sit out this year, per NCAA transfer rules, and have three years of eligibility starting with the 2010-11 season.
"It's a great opportunity," said Darrell Corbett, Briscoe's AAU coach with Team Melo (now known as Nike Baltimore Elite). "He worked hard last year at North Carolina Central. The kid was playing 35 minutes a game. He can obviously score the basketball. He worked hard and this is a great opportunity."
Briscoe made the Baltimore Catholic League first team and was a Sun second-team All-Metro selection as a senior at Cardinal Gibbons. Despite his high school and AAU success, Briscoe didn't have many Div. I options to choose from. But Corbett said the relative lack of interest in Briscoe just forced him to work harder.
"I think he truly believed he would go higher, but he took advantage of the opportunity," Corbett said. "He liked [North Carolina Central] and he thought it would be a great opportunity to come in and play. But he worked hard and got a better opportunity this year. ... I knew he could play on that level. He just needed that shot; his chance to shine. He's just a talented basketball player."
Robinson finds a home
Two years at Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College have paid off for Jeremy Robinson.
The former Northwestern point guard signed an athletics grant-in-aid with Radford yesterday. Robinson, 5-10, 170 pounds, will have two years of eligibility with the Highlanders.
Robinson, a two-time Baltimore Sun second-team All-Metro selection, earned all-conference honors as a sophomore in Tallahassee. He joins a Radford team that earned an NCAA tournament berth last season after winning the Big South tournament and regular-season championships.