Adams happy to be healthy

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 17, 1999

Alcorn State’s basketball team began practice for the 1999-2000 season Saturday morning at 12:01 a.m.

And you would have had a hard time finding anyone more eager to start the season than senior forward Brian Adams.

Adams suffered a third degree sprain of his right foot during preseason basketball drills last season. He saw limited action during Alcorn’s run to the Southwestern Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships. He was just starting to get to 100 percent during the Braves dramatic run at Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

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Adams averaged 8.3 minutes per game and 3.3 points last season. He pulled down 1.9 rebounds a game.

&uot;It bothered me the whole year off and on,&uot;&160;said Adams, who did not start a contest last year, even though he played in 22 of Alcorn’s 29 games. &uot;I knew it was severe because that’s the first time I’ve ever hurt like that. I figured it would take a while.&uot;

Adams said the foot felt completely healed in Alcorn’s final regular season game. The Braves lost to Stanford 69-57, after pulling even with the Cardinal 55-55 late in the game

Adams said he has had no problems with the foot this year.

&uot;It doesn’t bother me anymore and I don’t think about it happening again,&uot; he said.

Adams said it was tough watching from the sidelines.

&uot;But we were winning, so that helped,&uot; he said. &uot;I just cheered on the guys. I wanted to be out there, but we had other people contribute.&uot;

Alcorn figures to be a favorite to win the SWAC&160;again. The biggest loss is guard Reuben Stiff, but Wallace Harris and Terrance Cameron, both juniors, came on strong last year, as well as freshman Marcus Fleming.

&uot;I think we have more depth at point guard this year,&uot; Adams said. &uot;We only had two last year. Reuben was a great leader, but I think the coaches brought in some players who can step right in.

&uot;I believe we have to be one of the teams to beat,&uot; Adams added. &uot;Everybody is going to be gunning for us, but we want to be the team to beat. I feel like we can step up to the challenge.&uot;

Needless to say, Adams expects to have more production this year. The former SWAC Freshman of the Year averaged 11.7 points a game as a freshman and 11 as a sophomore.

&uot;I&160;know I have to step it up,&uot; he said. &uot;I don’t put any pressure on myself, though. I just go out and play the game.&uot;

Adams said it seems like just yesterday when he was the state Player of the Year at tiny Piney Woods High, where he averaged 24.7 points a game and 8.3 rebounds for his state championship squad.

&uot;I have no regrets about coming to Alcorn,&uot; Adams said. &uot;I’ve had a great experience. I just happened to get injured last year.&uot;

Last year was the first winning season for the Braves (23-7) in six years. It was the first 20-win season in 13 years.

&uot;We knew had a pretty good team, we just had to play together. We’ve got a lot of confidence now,&uot; Adams said. &uot;We just have to come back and work hard to get back to the tournament.&uot;

But just getting there won’t be enough this year.

&uot;Our goal is to get back and not just play, but instead try to take it all. We don’t want to come home early this year.&uot;

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at