Kris Dunn, a junior from Providence and one the Big East’s best players, has put together an interesting season so far. The six-foot-four-inch guard has proven that’s he’s an incredibly dynamic player. Dunn’s dynamic nature leads him into a wild play style at times, and while he’s great at making plays, there are times he makes mistakes that leave you confused. He’s dazzling on offense and a fierce defender but turns the ball over a lot. Some could argue that it’s because of a lack of experience; despite being a junior, Dunn was hampered by injuries in his first two years.
Regardless, Kris Dunn is still a very intriguing prospect with a great set of skills and potential.
Physicals & Athleticism
Kris Dunn has a great frame for a point guard. At the 2015 Nike Skills Academy, Dunn measured 6’4″ in shoes with a 6’9″ wingspan, and weighed in at 205. His frame right now is very similar to Russell Westbrook or John Wall, who’re in the 6’3″/6’4″ range and weigh around 200 pounds. Both are just far superior athletically. As far as Dunn’s athleticism goes, he’s not a tremendous leaper or sprinter. He separates himself with his ability to change speed and direction, and his quickness off the bounce.
While Dunn isn’t the best scorer in the country — or his conference for that matter — he’s an exceptional playmaker. He’s currently leading the Big East in assists per game with 6.7 and led the conference last year as well with 7.5. Dunn’s tight handle and quick first step allow him to get into the lane almost at will, enabling him to finish himself or dish to a teammate.
The defensive end of the floor is where Kris Dunn shines more than anywhere else. He’s a ballhawk with the physical tools to lock down almost any guard he matches up against. Quick hands make him a tremendous pick-pocketer, and his 3.1 steal per game average is first in the Big East and the second closest player is Roosevelt Jones from Butler, who averages 1.8.
Dunn has four games of six or more steals, giving him the most in college basketball; this includes eight against Harvard in his first game.
Solid Rebounder And Outside Shooter
Averaging 5.8 rebounds per game this year, Dunn has displayed a willingness to attack the boards, and consistency to boot. Of his 23 games played to date, only in five has Dunn failed to record more than five rebounds. Like other guys in his class, Buddy Hield and Denzel Valentine to name two, Dunn’s rebounding ability lets the Friars get out and run, and showcase his outstanding playmaking ability.
Although not a lights out shooter by any means, Dunn’s outside shot has come a long way. He’s shooting a career-best 37% from outside, including 41.5% in conference play.
Overall Shooting Ability
Outside of Dunn’s three-point shooting, he’s quite mediocre when it comes to everywhere else on the floor. In conference play overall, Dunn boasts a field goal percentage of 41.8%, this includes 42% on two-point field goals. For the great playmaker that he is, it’s shocking how low his percentages are. He is adept at getting to the basket but doesn’t seek out contact; if he’s not avoiding contact, he’s prone to throwing up wild attempts.
His percentage gets even worse when he’s placed at the foul line. 68% is remarkably low for a guard, and could be the reason that Dunn doesn’t seek out contact on drives; his low FT% is affecting his confidence.
Kris Dunn has a hard time holding onto the basketball. He turns the ball over a lot, at the rate of almost four times a game. This season his TOV/g average is 3.6, down from 4.2 last year. Fortunately — if there’s anything fortunate about turnovers — this is a part of Dunn’s game that we’re used to and isn’t too shocking to draft experts.
He’s guilty of trying to force things and is a bad decision maker at times. As mentioned earlier, it seems because of his lack of experience.
Kris Dunn is a very exciting and talented player with unlimited potential. His physical tools and defensive energy are second-to-none, but he lands in an awkward position. We’re at a time where the point guard depth in the NBA is insane, and Dunn is at risk of not getting the time he deserves until he fixes his problems. Not to knock him, but there are very few teams in the NBA who would give Dunn minutes over their starting point guard.
He’s one of the top players in the draft and is a definite high lottery pick. Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram seem like locks for the top two spots, but if I’m sitting in the three spot, I have no issues with taking Kris Dunn.
His ceiling is so high it’s almost impossible not to want to pick him.
*All data courtesy of Sports-Reference*
*Photo Credit: Danny Wild / USA TODAY Sports*