Snyder a pleasant surprise in first year of program

    In last weekend’s games against Chico State and UC Davis, men’s basketball’s Adam Snyder proved to be the Tritons’ standout freshman after scoring 12 points in just 23 minutes of play on Jan. 24 and earning his third career double-double on Jan. 25 with a team-high 10 rebounds and 13 points.

    Rebecca Drexler
    Guardian

    Snyder has played basketball for fun for as long as he can remember.

    “”It was when I was 8 that my parents enrolled me in a league, because I had always been a tall kid,”” Snyder said.

    Until high school, Snyder was a three-sport athlete.

    Courtesy of UCSD Athletics
    Adam Snyder

    “”I was a pretty decent pitcher in baseball, and played a little tight end and wide receiver in football, “” he said. When he entered Rocklin High School, Snyder made the decision to quit football and eventually decided to concentrate all his efforts on basketball.

    This commitment to the sport landed Snyder on the Triton men’s basketball team.

    “”It’s tough to come into one of the few D-2 schools without scholarships, but the outstanding academics and location make it worth it,”” Snyder said about his decision to attend UCSD.

    Snyder has learned that the move from high school to college basketball requires a great amount of adjusting.

    “”The pace of the game is a lot quicker and the physical strength of players is quite different; you have to learn to play against men,”” Snyder said.

    Many college sports teams are known to haze their freshmen, making the first year of college even harder. Snyder has noticed this is not the case with the UCSD basketball program.

    “”Being a freshman here is not hard,”” Snyder said. “”We have to do embarrassing things all in fun, and the guys are great at giving tips when I do something wrong.””

    Fellow freshman Zach Zanolli has also appreciated the environment that the experienced players provide for the freshmen.

    “”The guys are great; there is no hazing and it has been an enjoyable experience,”” he said.

    Triton head coach Greg Lanthier has been as impressed with Snyder’s performance as Synder is impressed with the Triton program.

    “”Most true freshmen are inconsistent,”” Lanthier said. “”Adam has tremendous ability which already shows, and he has a bright future.””

    Additionally, Snyder has gained the respect of his older teammates.

    “”He is one of the better freshmen, and shows it in practice by working hard,”” said UCSD’s Sean Crawford.

    Snyder posts stats that back up the approval from his coaches and teammates; he completes 46.9 percent of his shots, and the 6′ 6” forward averages eight points per game. Additionally, he is third on the team with 83 rebounds for the year.

    Even with these stats, Snyder is not satisfied.

    “”I would like to personally average 10 points and seven rebounds per game, and raise my free-throw average,”” he said

    Snyder makes these personal goals with the hopes that they will help with the ultimate goal of “”bringing more wins to the team.””

    Each game, Snyder prepares to work toward his goals, and even his pre-game ritual is a little different than most others.

    “”A lot of people get intense, but I try to relax by listening to music,”” he said. “”I don’t want to be anxious.””

    Snyder is just one of seven true and red-shirt freshmen on the team.

    “”He is a great, unselfish player and has a good understanding of the game,”” Zanolli said. “”It is good to be a part of a group of freshmen who share a passion for the game and can turn the program around.””

    Being the most successful of the freshmen group thus far, Snyder says his greatest strength is his “”versatility, [he] can play post or forward and even guard.””

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