Player Profile: Freshman Forward K.J. Adams
Who: K.J. Adams
Class: 2021 (Freshman)
Ranking: No. 93
Hometown: Austin, Texas
High School: Westlake HS
Why Kansas: For whatever reason, there was very little drama or excitement when it came to the four high school prospects that signed with Kansas. Coming out of Westlake High School in Austin, Texas, K.J. Adams, the 6-foot-7, 220-pound forward, who committed to Kansas over heavy interest from Arkansas, Baylor, Florida, Georgetown, Iona, Iowa, LSU, Miami (FL), Minnesota, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Oregon, SMU, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCF, Washington, and others, didn't spend much time, if any at all, talking to the media throughout his recruitment. In fact, it wasn't until Adams released his commitment video, which featured the four-star forward standing beside an exotic sportscar, that Kansas fans were able to see his outgoing personality, charisma, and smile. In all, Adams did take some visits, but during his commitment announcement, he made it clear that Kansas was always the team-to-beat.
The Skinny: K.J. Adams was a four-star recruit from Westlake High School in Austin, Texas. In 2020-21, Adams guided Westlake to a 30-2 record and a state runner-up finish. He averaged 25.0 points, 7.5 rebounds, and 4.1 assists his senior season earning 6A all-state honors. Westlake is coached by Robert Lucero.
Following the 2020-21 season, Adams won the American Family Insurance Slam Dunk Championship in conjunction with the 2021 Final Four on CBS.
As a junior, Adams averaged 22.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 3.5 assists and shot 61.3 percent from the field for the Chaparrals. Westlake went 33-2 in 2019-20, including 16-0 in district play.
When the final Rivals150 for the 2021 was released, Adams checked in as the No. 93 ranked player in the class and the 17th best power forward
Bill Self on K.J. Adams: “KJ is a jack of all trades,” Self said. “I think KJ is a big guard that can play inside. He’s definitely strong enough. He’s a physically gifted youngster that can defend the five too. KJ is a guy that can play with the ball in his hands.
"He can play without the ball," he added. "He can be a tremendous physical presence in the game and certainly he is well beyond his years in that regard. I look forward to coaching is versatility.”
What to expect: Much like with Zach Clemence, it will likely take a little time for K.J. Adams to make the adjustment from high school hoops to playing, competing, and being successful at the highest level college basketball has to offer. Adams has a great attitude, is very coachable, is an amazing teammate, and plays with a great deal of energy and passion. He's one of those guys that is going to make the extra play, steal you a cou0le of possessions each game, fight for every rebound and loose ball, and has the desire and drive to get better each and every time he takes the court. With established guys like Jalen Wilson, Cam Martin, David McCormack, and Mitch Lightfoot on the roster, the battle for significant playing time is going to be as intense as any in recent memory. Adams and Zach Clemence will be given every opportunity to play a role, but, as was mentioned earlier, it might not happen as soon as both would like.