AAU coach Mark Adams on Matt Roth

“I’ve been telling people for two years that he’s the best shooter in the class of ’08. There’s no one else to even compare him to.”

Mark Adams, who coached the dominant Indiana Elite 17-under team chocked full of top-flight D-1 players, knew Roth was special when he met him at the beginning of last summer. He was already a polished shooter who could play defense and had a high basketball IQ.

But as Adams watched his team evolve into one of the best in the nation — he still marvels at the chemistry and humility these guys showed — he could tell that Roth was being overlooked. He didn’t have the size to physically dominate the way centers Tyler Zeller (who will pick from Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame and North Carolina) and Beas Hamga (UNLV) or forward Emmanuel Negedu (Arizona) do. And he’s not flashy like guards Lewis Jackson (Purdue), Walter Offut (Ohio State) amd Deandre Liggins (Kentucky).

All Roth did, in Indiana Elite’s system, was score the ball. Which is, after all, the point of the game.

“A lot of people say he’s a role player,” Adams said. “I don’t think you can call him a role player because he led us in scoring a lot of the time.”

Adams dismisses critics who say Roth lacks athleticism.

“We played everybody in the country and against the best players in the country,” Adams said. “Matt always kept his man between him and the basket. It’s not like he was being left behind.”

“He can jump up and dunk the ball behind his head. I hate to make comparisons, but you didn’t see Steve Alford doing that.”

Roth picked Indiana over Bradley and had previously considered St. Louis. According to Adams, though, Roth received offers from Illinois, Purdue and Notre Dame in July but didn’t want to open the process back up that late.


  1. Great article, I’m glad he’s going to be a Hoosier. However I really hope he doesn’t always “keep his man between him and the basket”…. That’ll give up a lot of easy buckets….

  2. Awesome! The “pure-shooter gym rat” archetypal player has always been a staple of Indiana basketball — see Todd Leary, Pat Graham, Tom Coverdale, etc. Nice to see another player in that mold coming to IU.

  3. I should have logged on her last night, Josh already beat me to what I was going to comment on. LOL

  4. Great! It sounds like we’re getting a pure consistent shooter. With all the athletes we have coming in, that is one guy who can make a big difference. By the way, whats wrong with being a role player? Last time I checked, all championship teams need them.

  5. Karl Malone like little white shooters that run around shootin threes and set me favorite pick and roll. Karl Malone think Matt Roth could be the next John Stockton.

    Karl Malone

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