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Dewayne Dedmon, 7'0, Senior, Center, USC
Suspended for USC's Pac-12 Tournament opener, Dewayne Dedmon watched from the bench as his junior season came to a close against Utah. Touted as a first round pick by former Head Coach Kevin O'Neill before playing a single game for USC, Dedmon's junior season was often a struggle, as he showed little improvement in his skill level offensively and consistently found himself on the bench hampered with foul trouble.
Despite his lack of production on the floor, the crux of O'Neill's sentiments about what makes Dedmon a prospect are accurate. A legit 7-footer with exceptional length, tremendous foot speed for his size, and a frame with plenty of upside, the California native certainly looks the part of a NBA center. At this stage, the 23 year old junior who only started playing basketball five and a half years ago has yet to develop the skills to consistently make the most of his rare physical tools.
On the offensive end, Dedmon's 12 points per-40 minutes pace-adjusted is a representation of his limited consistency as a scorer and the complementary role he plays for the Trojans. The teams' fifth leading scorer, Dedmon didn't see all that many touches this season, and is unlikely to develop into a major offensive focal point later on in his career.
The redshirt junior sees more possessions in the post than in any other situation, but is a largely unrefined scorer with his back to the basket. Lacking polished footwork or a go-to move, and often settling for turnaround jump shots or sweeping, off-balance hooks going away from the rim, Dedmon converts just 40% of his post-up shot attempts according to Synergy Sports Technology. He will make an impressive move on occasion, but will need to develop better footwork and more counter moves to better exploit his size and athleticism closer to the rim if he wants to emerge as a more dynamic one-on-one threat.
Dedmon attempts a surprising number of jump shots for a big man at the college level, with nearly a quarter of his total field goal attempts coming from the midrange. A bit ambitious with his shot selection, Dedmon is still developing the consistency of his mechanics. Despite that, he made 37% of his jump shots this season, and a decent 68% of his free throw attempts, so his reliability from the midrange is worth keeping an eye on as he continues to gain experience and polish.
As is the case with most raw, athletic big men, Dedmon does his best work on the offensive end as a finisher at the rim. Lacking a natural feel for scoring inside, but having little issue elevating to dunk the ball around the basket, Dedmon shoots a solid 56% as a finisher, even if it pales in comparison to the 74% he shot last season.
Where Dedmon has always stood out is as a rebounder. He was not quite as productive crashing the offensive glass as he was last year, but showed significant improvementon the defensive end. Improving his overall per-40 minute rebounding average from 10.2 to 12.1, Dedmon ranked as the 11th more prolific rebounding center amongst BCS-conference players.
Dedmon also showed significant development on the defensive end. Though he is the most foul prone player in our top-100, he showed significantly better awareness as a weakside shot blocker, averaging an above average 3.8 blocks per-40 minutes pace adjusted and doing a better job making crisp rotations to erase the mistakes of his teammates.
Making strides as a shot blocker and rebounder, two aspects of the game he struggled with a year ago, the name of the game for Dedmon moving forward is polish. If he can be a more disciplined individual defender and develop a more efficient offensive repertoire, he could certainly give scouts something to think about in addition to his physical tools and solid motor should he return to school. Possessing many of the tools teams value in a third center, it's not difficult to see Dedmon ending up on a NBA team's roster, even if he may not have progressed as quickly as some may have hoped considering he turns 24 later this year.