Sleeper Report: Kevin Dillard (Dayton)

By James Blackburn

Kevin Dillard (G, 6’0”, RS JR)

Game Scouted: Dayton @ St. Louis

Stats

2-10 FG, 7-9 FT, 3 reb, 2 assist, 11 TP, 1 steal, 1 TO, 30 min.

Box score

St. Louis wins 58-50

Kevin Dillard Dayton Basketball
Photo: DaytonFlyers.com

Strengths

Lightning quick guard who uses his size to his advantage to get to the rim. Very difficult for defense to stay in front of. Has the ball on a string and is an above average ball handler- effective right to left crossover move that froze several St. Louis defenders this game. Excellent P/R player with ball in his hands- seemed to always make the right decision off this action- knew when to turn corner- which he has the ability to do, knew when to shoot pull-up, and knew when to hit screener with pass either when he rolled or popped.

Excellent passer who keeps his head up when dribbling- makes the right pass. Very explosive going to his right- especially the P/R. Has an above average pull up jumper. Can get to the rim and paint area at will, where he can pull up, lay it in with contact (draws contact and fouls at high rate) or kick to an open teammate. Split the double team and had an old fashioned 3 point play for a much needed basket with about 3 minutes to go in the game. Gets to the line and makes defenses pay- shoots over 80% from line- automatic FT shooter- shots rarely hit rim. Makes good decisions overall- 2 to 1 assist to turnover ratio. Leads team in assists with over 6 a game. Only had 2 today but should have had many more- gave teammates a lot of open looks, but Dayton had a tough time shooting the basketball- at one point in first half, they had only made 2 FG in an 11 minute stretch. He really distributes the ball well- throws passes all over the HC set- knows spacing and where teammates are.

Good defender. Excellent help defender- is aware where his man and where the ball are at all times- not once did I see him out of position. Leads teams with 38 steals for the season.

Weaknesses

Shooting is still inconsistent, especially from 3 where he is shooting barely over 30% for the year. Gets good elevation on shot and has decent form, but tends to fade at times and his misses are erratic and he often misses short. Needs to improve ability to go left. Not near as explosive going left as he is going to his right off the pick, is a bit hesitant. In 15 P/R situations that I tracked, he went to his right 9 of the 15 and he shot or went for a lay up in over half of those. Of the 6 times he went left he passed the ball or pulled it out 4 times and shot it the other 2- only once did he completely turn the corner and get to rim going to his left (got fouled on this play). Tends to pull up or pass going left and get to paint going right. Tends to jump in air to make passes at times, does so because of size and he is not able to see over bigger defenders- got caught in the air on baseline once this game for his lone TO. Even though he has over 68 TO’s for the year, he has over twice as many assists and if you account for the fact he plays over 30 minutes a game and he has the ball in his hands more then anyone on the team, that number does not seem as bad. Though he is a good defender- he is a better off ball defender then on ball- at his size in order to show he can play in the NBA, he must hound the ball more and keep his man from getting by him- did not see that from him today.

Overview

Kevin struggled for the most part today shooting the ball against a very good defensive-minded Rick Majerus team that has held 5 teams under 50 points so far this season. He still showed the ability to get to the basket almost at will and got to the line where he hit 7-9 FT’s. His teammates did not help with his assists numbers as they struggled to hit shots, many of which were open looks set up by Dillard. Dayton relies heavily on Kevin for his scoring and his playmaking skills, putting the ball in his hands the majority of the time and allowing him to create off of picks. He is leading the team in points and assists in a very deep A-10 conference that boasts 9 teams with an RPI of 100 or better. Has 1 year left of eligibility. Turned his ankle with 30 seconds to go in game and did not return. Was Mr. Basketball in state of Illinois coming out of HS in Chicago.

As far as Kevin’s NBA prospects, he has several things going for him. For one, he has an ability that transfers from college to the pros and that is speed. NBA GM’s love PG’s that can get into the paint, because that is what NBA offenses are predicated off of and Kevin can do that. Dayton also runs an NBA style offense by spreading the court and setting a lot of ball screens which the NBA does a lot of. His size will hurt him some but not a ton. His game reminds me of other smaller framed PG’s who are quick and can get to the rim- names like Ty Lawson, Ish Smith, and Kemba Walker come to mind. He is not the explosive scorer like Walker, but is almost as quick as these players. I believe with another year of playing at a high level, he would be a good mid second round pick for a team needing a solid back up PG.


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