Dillon Brooks Sets Career-High, Gunning For PAC-12 Freshman of the Year

PAC-12 Freshman of the year? NBA Draftee after freshman season? Orgeon’s leading scorer at season’s end?

Dillon Brooks in Warm Ups | Photo Courtesy: Ronnie Mexx
Dillon Brooks in Warm Ups | Photo Courtesy: Ronnie Mexx

These are all realistic bars that are within reach for Dillon Brooks.

In his freshman season at Oregon, he is averaging 15.7 ppg, 6.3 rpg and 3 apg. To add, he is the only Duck to score in double figures in every game this season.

His first two career double-doubles came against Portland State and Concordia.

Brooks didn’t stop there. In Oregon’s non-conference game against Illinois (7-3) at the United Center, the Ducks picked up a W on the road and he would set a new career recording 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists in 27 minutes, on an efficient 9-of-15 from the field.

“Coming into the season I didn’t think I would be producing this well, this quick, but I’ve been putting in the work so it makes sense that it’s happening.”

This is my fifth year tracking the Mississauga native, and after this game he left me with the impression that he is just warming up.

Gunning For Freshman of the Year – Pac 12

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that we’ve been high on Dillon Brooks since he was a ninth grader. His mental drive and toughness have always given him the edge over opponents and fueled him, helping him thrive in all enviornments. GAMER.

In high-level NCAA basketball, these traits are shared by most and simply are not enough to get by. Dillon has added to his game and transformed his body; having shed the baby fat and now starting to look more like a legitimate wing.

Dillon Brooks pull up jumper | Photo Courtesy: Ronnie Mexx
Dillon Brooks pull up jumper | Photo Courtesy: Ronnie Mexx

Brooks’ foot speed and ball handling are steadily improving. Development in these areas have put him in position to take quality shots.

This Duck is shooting an efficient 48% from the field.

He’s always been a goal oriented student-athlete and has always drawn out lofty goals; his coaches have done the same.

“There’s no questioning his talent, there’s no questioning his instinct. I believe he could be special if he remains consistent with his work ethic.”

The words of Oregon’s Head Coach, Dana Altman in the post-game.

In the conversation for conference Freshman of the Year early in the season are Brooks (14.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 2.9 apg), Kevon Looney, big man for UCLA (13.9 ppg, 11.2 rpg, 1.8 apg) and Arizona’s Forward, Stanley Johnson (13.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.4 apg).

One might say that Johnson is ahead right now because of where Arizona stands in the conference which is numero uno with a 10-0 record.

“Yes I’m going after it. When Coach and I spoke at the beginning of the year he told me that I could be freshman of the year if I wanted it. I think us winning games will help me get there.”

NBA Potential Rising

Dillon Brooks dunks his 16th point | Photo Courtesy: Ronnie Mexx
Dillon Brooks dunks his 16th point | Photo Courtesy: Ronnie Mexx

The NBA has grown fond of young talent in the past decade while making draft choices. With many teams, potential is factored in and holds significant weight in the selection process.

Now, normally potential is something that dies down over the years; as a prospect ages, their overall ceiling is taken less seriously. In the case of Dillon Brooks it has been the opposite.

His physical strength has always been utilized in the post since he was in the ninth grade. Over the years, he has become more versatile and is now building a resume on the wing, but not yet fully proven as shooting guard or small forward.

Production against in-conference teams begins on January 3rd, starting with Oregon State.

If this type of production continues we may be seeing Brooks’ name in mock drafts sooner than expected.

Witnessing Brooks’ evolution over the years has been a pleasure; from power forward to small forward and we’ll hault there. There’s still work to be done.

Added explosiveness, improved ball handling and three point shooting will better prepare another Mississauga product for the NBA.

Oregon and Illinois Recruiting Canada Hard

Oregon has enjoyed having Canadians on their roster in the past and are looking forward to keeping the pipeline open.

Canadians at Oregon in recent years include; Olu Ashaolu, Jason Calliste, Devoe Joseph & Richard Amardi.

Coach Altman expresses to me after the game that the Ducks will continue to actively pursue Canadian prospects.

“The Canadian kids have come in worked really hard and been really coachable for us, so yes absolutely we’ll be in Canada often. Mike (Mennenga) has some ties in Canada so we’ll continue on with that.”

Illinois’ assistant coach, Dustin Ford has spent a lot of time North of the border already this year, and spent his summer tracking numerous Canadian prospects.

Coach Ford was heavily involved in recruiting Harouna Mutombo out of Pickering to Western Carolina, when he was coaching in the SoCon.

Now he is investing time and energy on 2016, 2017 and 2018 prospects like Jamal Murray, Nolan Narain, Christian David and Simisola Shittu to name a few.


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