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Former Science Hill duo pair up in Rocky Top League

Trey Williams • Jul 22, 2014 at 10:04 PM

Former Science Hill basketball players Hunter LeVeau and Will Adams were Rocky ’Toppers this summer.

After returning from a trip to Myrtle Beach, LeVeau and Adams played in the popular Rocky Top League in Knoxville until early July. It was a gratifying change of pace for the pair that’s spent most of the past eight summers playing AAU together.

LeVeau was the Carolinas Conference Freshman of the Year this past season at King University. Adams averaged 11 minutes per game and made three starts as a freshman last season at Presbyterian.

The 8-year-old Rocky Top League, which began when Bruce Pearl was coaching at Tennessee, was played at Knox Catholic. Much of the talent new UT coach Donnie Tyndall has brought in was on display.

Among the 6-foot-5 LeVeau’s teammates were Tennessee’s Armani Moore, Derek Reese and Rob Murphy and Marquette’s Dominic Wright.

LeVeau shot 44 percent from 3-point range and averaged 13.3 points per game. He mentioned Moore, Wright and Tennessee’s Josh Richardson, as well as former UT players Bobby Maze and Cameron Tatum while noting the league’s impressive players.

“I went into it thinking it was gonna be a little tough to even score,” LeVeau said, “because I mean, some of these guys are or have been top Division I athletes. It was a great experience — letting me know where I’m at with those guys and what I kind of need to work on to start this next year.”

Adams also missed the beginning of the league’s season due to the beach trip. He scored nine points in two games while playing in a backcourt that included Maze and Tennessee signee Detrick Mostella, who initially signed with Oklahoma State.

Mostella led the league in scoring (39.0 ppg) and Maze was fifth (34.2). Adams shot 42.9 percent behind the arc, though it was hard to get a shot in edgewise.

“It was fun playing with those guys,” Adams said. “They like to score. ... It was basically one or two passes (per possession).”

LeVeau and Adams played against each other in a league game, and the long-time teammates each made a 3-pointer over the other. Adams stressed how much improvement LeVeau has made — “an unbelievable change” — since they played together at Science Hill when Adams was a junior and LeVeau was a senior with an ailing back in 2011-12. (LeVeau played the 2012-13 season at Massanutten Military Academy.)

“I always knew Hunter could play,” Adams said, “but even just working out you can tell he’s gotten a lot better. ... I think he’s a Division I player, but King’s a good spot for him. He said he’s happy there ... and that is what’s important.”

Indeed, LeVeau said he enjoys playing for veteran coach George Pitts, whose still intense and meticulous with instruction.

“Sometimes we call him Poppa Pitts, because he’s like a father on the court,” LeVeau said. “I don’t know, there’s just something about him that I don’t want any other coach. There’s something about the way he is that you just can’t seem to not like. ...

“I can’t wait to start this next year. I’m ready to take the conference championship home this year and go to the D-II Big Dance and see what we can pull out from there.”

Adams anticipates marked improvement from Presbyterian, which won six games during a rebuilding year last season. He said a year of experience for the nucleus and a promising incoming class could make a run toward the top of the Big South Conference conceivable.

LeVeau said Adams looked right at home in the Rocky Top League, which was knee deep in guards. The league’s leading scorers included UT signees Devon Baulkman and Kevin Punter. East Tennessee State’s Lester Wilson averaged 17.3 points per game.

Among the big men in the middle were Vols Kenny Hall and Wayne Chism. And the orange flavor helps the streetball-like league maintain appeal.

“I liked the setting, because that guy was announcing all the time and he kept the crowd into it,” LeVeau said. “The crowd, every play, was ‘ooh’ and ‘ah.’ I mean, about every possession there was a good play from anybody. And it was packed every time, so it was loud. It was a great experience for us.”

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