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A rough summer with Team USA may positively impact Adreian Payne.
Adreian Payne, the Spartans' towering, 6'10" forward/center, didn't play as well as expected during the University Games.
Team USA placed ninth in the tournament, which was disappointing, and Payne didn't put his double-double skills on display. Averaging just over 10 minutes per game, Payne averaged 5.1 points and 3.1 boards.
A lackluster summer doesn't mean Payne's stock fell. If anything, playing against the best international competition makes him more valuable. Now a senior, Payne got a dose of different coaching styles. Izzo can't coach Payne forever, and learning a new approach to the game should prove beneficial.
Izzo said the following about Payne's performance to MLive.com's Mike Griffith:
When he goes to the NBA, that guy (new coach) might stick him in the post, or he might have teammates that are harder to deal with. My thing to him is, 'so now you've had a little adversity. Did you deal with it well?'
I think there's going to be some good out of him struggling. He will have a better appreciation and understanding of things. One of the reasons he didn't leave (school) early, his high school coaches felt he had to mature, and that's adjusting to fouls, officials and teammates.
In the NBA, you never know who you will play for, who is coaching you, what the general managers are like.
Getting knocked around may have been the best thing for Payne, who is projected as a first-round pick in the 2014 NBA draft. Suffering a letdown could only make him more ferocious and determined this season. That's great for him, and probably not so great for his opponents.