Home finale for Morgan's little big woman

'Tiny' Adams is Bears' all-time leading scorer of either gender

March 04, 2010|By Ken Murray | ken.murray@baltsun.com

For Corin Adams, the math was simple. Play at talent-laden Syracuse and get limited minutes off the bench. Or play at depleted Morgan State and get all the minutes the petite 5-foot-5 guard could crave.

"Instead of playing 12 minutes, I wanted to play 38 minutes," Adams said, reducing her 2006 decision to come to Baltimore and play for the Lady Bears to its lowest common denominator.

It was the best signing decision Don Beasley has gotten in five years as Morgan's coach. Adams was a slick ballhandler, quickly became a scorer and essentially has run the show for four straight seasons.

The Hill Field House portion of her career will formally close tonight with a 5:30 matinee against Coppin State. Known by her nickname of "Tiny," Adams will leave a giant footprint on Morgan State basketball. She not only surpassed Marvin Webster's all-time school record for points scored (1,990), but on Monday she also became the first basketball player of either gender to score more than 2,000 points at Morgan.

With at least two games left, Adams already owns school career records for assists (449), steals (395), points (2,012) and games played (120). She was the recruiting exception when she came to Morgan, and she made the best of it.

"We recruited kids that can play, but she's the only one with some skills that wanted to come," Beasley said. "We offered her a scholarship because when I first got here, we just needed somebody to handle the ball. We actually brought her in just to be a ballhandler. Then we found out she could shoot. ... She makes some incredible shots."

Adams was a revelation to a program coming off a 5-23 season (Beasley's first as coach) in 2006. Since then, the Bears have gone 70-50, had four straight winning seasons and reached the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference tournament championship game in 2007.

"She's the best guard we've ever had in women's basketball," assistant athletic director Joe McIver said. "Not even close. She's very intelligent and an outstanding student."

Adams, who will graduate in May, carries a 3.57 grade-point average. Not only that, but she also carries a full load this semester, working as a student teacher at Northwood Elementary during the day and attending night classes at Morgan - around practice and games. A physical education major, Adams wants to work with kids after she takes her shot at professional basketball.

"She gives a lot of attention to the kids she mentors," said Alicia Clarke, an assistant coach at Morgan. "She has a good head on her shoulders and is always humble. She's a coach's dream."

Adams' mother, Gwendolyn Youngblood, will make the trip down from Brooklyn for tonight's finale, happy for Corin's success but wishing there had been more help on the court.

"I'm very proud of what she's accomplished, but it's sad they couldn't do more [to help] her," Youngblood said. "I think she has made their basketball program more than what it ever has been, and they need to acknowledge that. That's the way I feel."

Adams says she got the best she could out of her situation, even if it lacked big-college atmosphere and postseason play.

"As far as exposure, I think about it," she said. "But I figure the accolades will speak for themselves. I don't have any regrets about [coming to Morgan]. I would do it again."

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