Last week the news came out that Griz spring JC guard recruit Idris Lasisi was ruled a “non-qualifier” by the NCAA Clearinghouse and as such would not be able to move to the D-1 ranks until he earned an associate degree from an accredited junior college program. As a result the former Sheridan junior college player transferred to North Idaho Junior College, where he will play and finish up his associate degree next year. Unfortunately Lasisi – a German national- ran into the some of the same problems former Montana State Marc-Antoine Bourgault ran into last year.
This left the Grizzlies with a gaping hole in their plans and roster for the upcoming 2010-11 season, and not a lot of time to do something about it. The Griz, though, got a great pick up – regardless of time of the year- when Chase Adams of Bakersfield junior college took an official visit to Missoula, last week end and committed.
Adams has taken the long route to get to the D-1 ranks, but in a couple weeks will finally get there. He originally hails from Tucson Arizona where he played his high school ball for Salpointe Catholic High School. His season at Salpointe, in 2007-08, he averaged 21 points, 2 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals while shooting 54% from the field, 32% from the three point arc and 72% from the free-throw line. He was named First team all conference both his junior and senior year. Out of high school Scout.com rated him with 3 stars, Rivals.com 2 stars, and ESPN gave him a 50 rating.
As a senior, he received recruiting interest from Northridge, Albany, Long Beach State and quite a few Big Sky schools, before committing to Air Force in 2008.
Air Force though had different plans for Adams.
Air Force like to shuffle off many of its recruits they think need a little more seasoning to their Air Force prep school that is also located on it’s campus. In doing so this allows them to sign a few more players since these athletes do not count against their scholarship limit, and it lets the athlete time to adjust to the Air Force lifestyle. This is really not a bad deal for recruits, because their NCAA clock does not start while they are at the school and if they decide the Air Force life style is not to their liking they move on and sign with another D-1 school with no penalty.
Adams spent the 2008-09 school year at the Air Force prep before both deciding that this was not a good fit for him. He had a couple D-1 offers I am told in 2009, but mainly from east coast team and he wanted to stay on the west coast so he decided to go the JC route. He committed/signed to Pima JC in Arizona, but eventually landed at Bakersfield JC in California.
Last season at Bakersfield Adams averaged 15 points and 4 rebounds while shooting 48 % from the field, 77% from the free throw line and 39% from beyond the 3 point arc. I am told he was available at this date, because he considering coming back to Bakersfield next season in a hope to improve his recruitment, but changed his mind. He became quite a hot summer prospect when it was learned that he was a D-1 qualifier. In addition to the Griz, Stephen F. Austin, Idaho, University of Detroit, Illinois-Chicago, Austin Peay and Cal-State Bakersfield were all on him pretty seriously the past month with more schools in the wings.
My understanding is that he is a combo guard who can play the point or shooting guard spot. He has really improved his jump shot since high school, and has a reputation as a hard working gym rat. He does not have blazing speed but has very good lateral movement and sold defensive ability that allows him to keep faster guards in front of him.
Here is an evaluation from Anthony Ray of ArizonaPreps.com
Arizona Preps Scouting Report: As a combo guard, Adams has a strong physical frame that allows him to play both guard positions well. Adams is bigger than most point guards, and also has the strength and athleticism to compete with most shooting guards – his best position on the floor. He has a very good ability to score the basketball, which he likes to do, and is tough to defend when driving to the basket, where he is a very good finisher. His toughness as a competitor also allows for him to draw physical contact often and get to the free throw line. Adams is a solid ball handler and a good scorer in transition, where he likes to push the ball and finish plays. A solid passer, Adams sees the floor well, although he has much more of a scorer’s mentality. Defensively, Adams can guard either guard position. He has solid lateral quickness and competes at a high level of intensity on both ends of the floor.
BTW: Keep an eye on Adams teammate 6-4 Nick Markovich. Markovich from Basha high school in Arizona, I am told is the main reason Adams attended Bakersfield and are good friends. Markovich will need to spend on more year at Bakersfield before moving on to D-1, but the Griz were recruiting him pretty hard out of high school.