For the better part of the last year, Jaylen Adams has lived under the microscope, with many of the faces on the other side belonging to NBA scouts.
Since the end of his sophomore season, when Adams was named to the first team All-Conference by the Atlantic 10 coaches, to last summer, when he participated in the adidas Nations camp in Los Angeles, Adams' profile has risen. Throughout his junior season, when he averaged over 20 points per game and led the A-10 in assists, scouts attended most St. Bonaventure games.
As the April 14 deadline to submit his name for evaluation by NBA teams approached, the opportunity to work out and receive feedback firsthand was too good for St. Bonaventure's junior point guard to turn down.
"The rules now kind of made (deciding to test the waters) a no-brainer," Adams said. "(NBA scouts) have been looking at me throughout the year, so this seemed like the right thing to do."
The NCAA rules Adams referred to allow student-athletes to declare for the draft in order to participate in pre-draft workouts and receive feedback from NBA teams. Adams will not sign with an agent, meaning he can return to St. Bonaventure next season provided he removes his name from draft consideration by May 24.
Since that decision was made, Adams has turned his attention back to what he loves – playing the game. "From here, it's all basketball … that's the fun part," he said.
Still, the next month could be hectic for Adams. He has academic obligations to complete, culminating with spring semester final exams May 5-10. He is also preparing for the rigors of the workouts themselves with increased training and extra attention to his conditioning.
For St. Bonaventure, Adams' rise is another step in the progression of the program under Mark Schmidt, who recently completed his 10th season as head coach.
"It's good for Jay, it's good for our program. It shows that he's made strides," Schmidt said. "It's a no-lose situation. Jay will go and work out for teams, and he'll find out what he's good at, and what he needs to work on. It's a positive for him and a positive for our program."
Since Adams does not have an agent, NBA teams must contact Schmidt to schedule workouts. As there are now over 100 underclassmen who have declared for the draft without hiring agents, Adams is not guaranteed anything. If he does receive offers to visit with NBA teams, Adams will be tested mentally as well as physically.
"Jay could get one phone call, he could get 20 phone calls. It depends how (teams) feel about him," Schmidt said. "He'll interview, they want to know about him as person … (the team) will do background checks to find out how he is, get to know him, and then he'll have a workout."
Adams feels he will be a better player for the experience.
"I am just trying to make the best decision possible for me and my family, and that includes my Bona family. I have a lot of thinking to do," he said. "I'm prepared to make the best decision and if that's returning (to St. Bonaventure for his senior season) then so be it."
"I'm blessed to be in this opportunity. I just want to get better, and I feel like this will help my game whatever ends up happening."