Friday, March 17, 2017

High-Scoring Starks Proved His NCAA Value in PG Season

Adam Starks connected on his first four shots of the game--all 3-point field goals--in kick-starting TCA's scoring engine against Game on The Rise.

He had 20 points by halftime, when the game was deadlocked at 40-40.

In the second half, Starks gave an accurate account of his capabilities.

While he continued to display a deft left-handed stroke from beyond the arc, the 5-foot-10 guard blew past defenders on baseline drives and found his way to the rim, drawing fouls.

 Ultimately, the shortest player on the court proved to be the gutsiest. He poured in a game-best 37 points, including a pair of game-winning free throws with six seconds remaining, to lead to TCA to a wild overtime victory.

Starks' engine, ability to get hot in a hurry, and proclivity for hitting big shots during pressure-spiked moments made his one-year stay at Conrad Academy memorable.

His expectations rose considerably after the first few weeks, when he registered his presence as a dependable scorer and playmaker who may have slipped under the NCAA radar.

"Adam had a number of games in which he went over 30 points and really took scoring matters into his own hands," said Nik Cicic, Starks' coach at TCA.

"One of the best attributes of his game is his ability to take over the game after getting a few shots down. At times he might try to even do to much, but it's all in the confines of the system so he has a green light with me. He's a great creator off the dribble and there were times where he was near unstoppable in some games."

Cicic, once the sharpshooting guard at Rise Academy (PA) and a Division-1 guard at Arkansas-Little Rock, has been instrumental in finding underrated talent and acclimatizing them to Florida's SIAA conference.

At Arlington Country Day School, he was instrumental in cultivating a stretch four in Damir Hadzic (Arkansas Little Rock signee). This season, he worked with a promising 7-foot-1 prospect in Milan Stakic.

At Conrad, he found a gritty guard capable of carrying a young and inexperienced core.

"He just goes into a zone at times," Cicic explained.

Starks (rhymes with sparks) was the engine that propelled TCA in games against Game on the Rise (47 points), Combine Academy (35 points), DME (27 points and 28 points, respectively), and Clearwater Prep (24 points including game-winner).

Starks took the advantage of the prep year to focus on around-the-clock training and earn better opportunities at the ensuing level of play.

In becoming his team's surefire go-to-guy option, he develop a knack for producing in crunch time as well.