Adams had an even better sophomore campaign, emerging as one of the best scorers in college basketball, being both extremely prolific (23 points per-40, 9th among Top-100 prospects) and efficient (60% TS%, 15th best) in the way he put points up on the board.
Adams is slightly undersized for a shooting guard at around 6-5, but makes up for that with an extremely long wingspan and a strong frame that he will need to continue to tone. He's not a great athlete in terms of sheer quickness or explosiveness, but finds a way to be productive thanks to terrific scoring instincts and strong anticipation skills.
Adams scored his points in a variety of ways this season, be it in transition, posting up, moving without the ball, coming off screens, or making spot-up jumpers.
Mostly a straight line ball-handler, Adams can overpower opponents en route to the rim and is able to absorb contact and finish strong using his length, strength and creativity, despite not possessing great athleticism. He ranks as one of the better finishers inside the paint among wing players in this draft, converting an outstanding 64% of his attempts around the basket. He also gets to the free throw line at a solid rate (7 times per-40), and knocks down 84% of his attempts once there.
In perpetual motion offensively, Adams has a knack for finding scoring angles instinctively, and will regularly back-door his opponent with a well-timed cut to get an easy look at the rim. He's also a prolific rim-runner, despite not being overly fast, knowing when to leak out in transition and scoring a significant amount of his points there (27% of offense—Synergy) at a relatively efficient clip.
Adams' tremendous anticipation skills really shine through with his work on the offensive glass. He ranks first by a wide margin among DX Top-100 shooting guards with the 2.5 offensive rebounds per-40 minutes he averages.
Not a prolific ball-handler (just 8% of his offense this season came in pick and roll or isolation situations), Adams lacks great pure explosiveness, and doesn't do a great job of changing speeds or directions with the ball either. He's also not a great off the dribble shooter, making just 29% of his attempts this season (8/29), as he lacks the speed or leaping ability to create separation from his defender and get his jumper off effectively.
For that reason, Adams' ability to space the floor will likely be a major key to any success he finds at the NBA level. He was somewhat streaky in that area in his two seasons in college, making 36% of his catch and shoot attempts as a sophomore and 32% as a freshman. Adams has a quick release and consistent mechanics, even if he tends to pull his head back and get sloppy with his follow through at times, which hurts his accuracy. Better shot-selection should help, as he's a bit of a gunner at times, but his scoring instincts leave a lot of room for optimism regarding how his shooting will evolve in time.
Defensively, Adams is a real mixed bag. On one hand he ranks among the most prolific ball-thieves in college basketball, averaging 3.5 steals per-40 minutes, tied with Fuquan Edwin and Marcus Smart for #1 in this draft class. He's got long arms, quick hands and terrific instincts for knowing when to swipe at the ball to poke it away from opponents, and also excellent anticipation skills for getting in the passing lanes and igniting the break.
On the other hand, Adams' fundamentals are fairly poor, as he's rarely in an actual stance, gets lost off the ball frequently, and gambles incessantly. His lateral quickness is average at best, and his effort-level leaves a lot to be desired at times as well. He'll have to improve his intensity level and focus to make up for his lack of athleticism on this end of the floor, even if his length and instincts give him a chance to develop if he's willing to put the effort in.
Getting on a real strength and conditioning program and improving his body will go a long ways in maximizing his physical tools. He looked extremely out of shape to start his sophomore season, and even if he slimmed down as the year moved on, NBA teams could have some concerns due to his thick body type which looks prone to gaining weight in the off-season and could make him susceptible to injuries. With that said, he's one of the youngest players in this draft class, not turning 20 until July, so time is certainly on his side in that regard.
We've taken a more visual look at Adams' strengths and weaknesses thanks to game film from UCLA in the following video scouting report, courtesy of Mike Schmitz.
All of our video scouting reports this season can be found here.