HPU’s Weary feels at home
Made to feel welcome while being recruited by High Point University last year, freshman guard Adam Weary is playing as if he is right at home back in Memphis.
Weary, who helped Memphis Ridgeway to a 31-2 record and national recognition, had offers from at least eight schools, Purdue among them, and visited Austin Peay and Cleveland State along with High Point before deciding to play for coach Scott Cherry after his third visit.
“There was a better atmosphere than on my visits to other schools,” Weary said. ”Most every team is guard heavy. The other visits, the people didn’t welcome me. On my other visits, when I was hanging out with the team, they didn’t really like me because they thought they were bringing in guards to play over them. When I came here, it wasn’t like that. They were nice to me and took me everywhere. That helped me with my decision.”
More than the fact than the Panthers were losing their top two scoring guards, Nick Barbour and Shay Shine.
“That kind of let me know I was going to have a chance play a lot,” Weary said. “But it was mostly even though I was coming to play guard and play the same positions some of the guys, they still welcomed me and there wasn’t hard feelings or anything like that.”
Weary certainly has made an early impact. He moved into the starting lineup early in the season and is expected to start for the 11th time in 16 games when the Panthers face Liberty tonight at the Millis Center (7 p.m., WMFR) as they shoot for fourth win in five games and third win in four Big South contests.
He is averaging 9.2 points and three rebounds, ranks third on the team with nine double-figure games and can play either point guard or shooting guard.
“He’s keeps getting better and better,” Cherry said. “He’s a great talent and has a good mind for the game. He studies basketball. He’s a great defender. He can guard and make shots and drive to the basket. Sometimes, he looks as if he is out of control but that’s his thing. I try to keep him on the floor as much as possible.”
Weary is coming off a performance against Gardner-Webb in which he tied his career high of 15 points.
“I’m thinking the game better,” Weary said. “I’m locking in. My focus is better on the offensive end and defensive end. I’m practicing more at game speed. The practices are harder than the game so the games are easier. I think I’m adjusting pretty well.”
Tonight, Weary and the Panthers will face a team that is 5-12, but is 1-2 in the Big South after edging Coastal Carolina. Liberty has just one other win against a Division I foe, that against Western Carolina.
Junior guard Davon Marshall leads the Flames with an 11.8 points per game average, but sophomore forward Tomasz Gielo led the offense against Coastal, hitting all four of his 3-point attempts and scoring 19 points.