May 18, 2011

Dunn Heating Up

The class of 2012 is a loaded class both in New England and nationally. Although that class has taken a little bit of a hit in recent months with a few players opting to go to college a year early, it's still a strong group and mainly in one key area: size. The backcourt, on the other hand, isn't as deep. But one of the best prospects in that group is New London High School's Kris Dunn, who has emerged over the last year.

A 6'3" combo guard, Dunn has clear physical gifts and his body has barely begun to develop. He's very athletic, and uses that to get in the lane as well as lead and finish the break. Late last spring and into the summer, he really came on as he played up with his travel team, the Connecticut Basketball Club, more often, and had a chance to show his skills alongside Andre Drummond, who most rank as the top player in the class in the nation. Dunn showed that he can both score and pass well enough to play both spots, although the skill package is still a work in progress right now.

Having Drummond as a teammate has certainly helped, but Dunn is showing that he's a good player in his own right, while appreciating what a good big man can do.

"Playing with Andre just makes the game easier and opens up spots for other players," said the junior guard. "Seeing what he does gives us confidence to show what we can do."

While he doesn't have a true position, Dunn is fine with that and isn't gearing his game more towards either position as he continues to work. He likes the development he's seen with his mid-range jumper and is trying to get better using his left (off) hand, and is trying to cut down on mistakes, which will come into play if he were to play more of a point guard role. While playing that spot is a possibility, right now it seems likely that he will play some of both guard spots.

"I like being a combo guard," said Dunn, who is also an excellent student. "It probably fits me the best right now."

Dunn led New London to a Class L state title this past season and racked up the honors along the way. He was named the New Haven Register Player of the Year, Connecticut Player of the Year and Eastern Connecticut Conference Player of the Year, among others. New London went 24-0, knocking off powerful Northwest Catholic in the championship game in front of well over 9,000 spectators. He has scored over 1,000 points in three years and could surpass former Rhode Island guard Tyson Wheeler as the school's all-time leading scorer next season.

As he continues his play with the Connecticut Basketball Club this spring, Dunn has picked up more interest from colleges. He has offers from Connecticut, Providence and Rhode Island among nearby schools, and one report noted that Marquette has offered him as well. A number of schools have shown interest without offering as of yet, including Boston College, Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Virginia Tech and Harvard.

Dunn has been to Connecticut unofficially and has seen some other campuses from playing in tournaments held there during his career. He plans to take his official visits late in the summer and have his college decision made before the start of his senior season. Once that is out of the way, he would focus on trying to win one more state title before heading off to college.

As he looks more and more towards his eventual college decision, Dunn has an idea of what he wants in a school. From the schools that have shown interest, the academic component should be taken care of since a number of very good schools are in the mix. It's from a basketball standpoint that the differences will come in to play.

"I want to play with an up-tempo team, one that likes to score, likes to press," said the junior guard. "I'd like to go to a place where I can get a lot of minutes."

Like most newcomers to college, he will surely have to earn the minutes right away. With the development he has shown in the last calendar year, there is reason to believe that can happen, and that a lot of good basketball is in his future.

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