As Penn State regroups for what should be an intriguing 2020-21 season, the obvious question marks surround replacing all-time program great Lamar Stevens.
While Stevens prepares for his professional basketball career, he leaves a team that has some talented pieces who, as a unit, are more than capable of securing Pat Chambers first ‘official’ berth in the NCAA Tournament.
One of those players staying in Happy Valley is junior guard Myles Dread who will be asked to increase his scoring and continue to do what he does best: shooting perimeter jump shots.
While Dread may not have the most diverse offensive game out of the returning players for Penn State, he will be crucial to its flow on that side of the floor with his pure catch and shoot ability.
Dread, though, like most shooters, has had a somewhat streaky college career so far, with hot and cold stretches throughout his first two years as a Nittany Lion.
But like Chambers often preached during last season, Dread needs to continue to find his stroke if Penn State wants to be successful.
When the Nittany Lions shot over 35% from beyond the arc last season, they were 11-0 with an average margin of victory of just over 14 points per game.
But when they shot under 30 percent, they were just 5-6 and struggled mightily to score.
This is likely due to the defensive style that Chambers has run with his team since he got to Penn State.
If shots are falling and the Nittany Lions handle their business on the defensive side of the floor, they become a tough two-way opponent to compete with.
But when the offense becomes stagnant and shots aren’t falling, someone will need to step up with the lack of depth in the frontcourt.
Dread will have to become the primary catch and shoot three-point specialist for Penn State, with Myreon Jones being more of a threat off the dribble.
Once Jones went out for Penn State due to an undisclosed illness last season, Dread struggled to find that rhythm he had early in the season, and the team ended up paying the price with a cold streak late in the year.
But with both guards back together for the upcoming campaign, there should certainly be reason to believe that the shooting numbers for Dread will bounce back.
With the fact that the other team’s primary defender likely on Jones coupled with the distributing skills of point guard Jamari Wheeler, the wing should be open for catch and shoot chances whether it's on a designed play or a drive-and-kick opportunity.
Dread has also shown the ability to come up big in the clutch, which won Penn State multiple games last season and gave him valuable experience in late-game situations.
In wins over Yale and Rutgers, Dread, despite some struggles, rose to the occasion and hit clutch game-winning shots, showing a glimpse of the ability to be Penn State’s most important scorer come 2020-21.
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