Saturday I got a chance to see one of Purdue's top targets for the 2015 recruiting class when Davon Dillard and Bowman Academy took on Greensburg in the Class 3A state championship game. This was the second time I have seen Dillard play. The other time was last season in the Class 2A championship when Bowman defeated Linton-Stockton. In that game Dillard has 24 points to lead Bowman to the title.
With much of the same team back Bowman was playing up in class, and it was expected to be the game of the day at the state finals. Bowman had defeated both of the teams that played in the Class 4A game, while Greensburg had three D-I prospects on a team that had won the 3A title the year before. Greensburg went on to win the game 89-76 and showed that they were probably the best team in the state this year.
In the title game Dillard had 21 points on 10 of 20 shooting from the field to go with five rebounds and three steals. The game was played at a helter-skelter pace as Bowman was playing a full court press for most of the game. It led to 22 turnovers, which was good, but unfortunately for Bowman it was a feast or famine defense. Either Bowman got the turnover or Greensburg scored on nearly every possession. Ryan Welage repeatedly cut to the basket for points and Sean Sellers had a monster game of 27 points and 16 rebounds as Bowman had no answer for both 6'7" forwards. If they did clamp down on them it was Collin Rigney who hurt them with 23 points on seven threes. Bryant McIntosh, who is headed to Northwestern and was recruited by Purdue, played them masterfully with 11 assists.
For good or bad, Dillard's game was most similar to Terone Johnson. He scored on a variety of drives and runners and was 1 of 4 from three-point range. That was pretty much on par with his regular season averages of 17 points with 57% shooing from the field and 30% from long range. He is best described as a scorer and a slasher, but he can hit the midrange and the three on occasion.
One thing Dillard has going for him is size. He is listed at 6'5", so he has the size to get to the rim and absorb contact more than some of Purdue's other slashers. It did not lead to a single trip to the free throw line and he even sat a good portion of the second quarter after getting his second foul. He was also getting his shoulder worked on:
Dillard, however, played just 20 minutes. He sat out most of the second quarter with what appeared some sort of shoulder injury. A trainer spent most of the quarter working the injury. Dillard played 11 minutes in the second half.
Bowman coach Marvin Rea said he didn't know if Dillard was hurt or not.
"The bottom line is it's the state championship," he said. "Hurt or not, you have to play. You have to suck it up for your guys. I can't tell you if Davon was hurt."
I can't say If Dillard was hurt or not, but I did see the trainer working on his shoulder twice because my seat was directly behind the Bowman bench. This was part of the reason Dillard had just six first half points. Most of his coring came in the second half as Bowman was playing catch up. Much of Bowman's trouble was simply from a lack of defense in the halfcourt. Once the press was broken Greensburg was virtually perfect in the half court offense.
If you want to watch the 3A game the replay can be streamed here. Having seen Dillard play I think he is a good player. I do think other players eclipsed him on Saturday though. Welage, a 2015 uncommitted forward, was solid in taking advantage of the cracks in Bowman's press. Ryan Fazekas, a 2015 6'8" commit to Providence put on a show in the 1A game with 34 points on 13 of 22 shooting that included 7 of 11 from three. From the 2015 class they played better, but this was only a one day sample.
Of all the 2015 targets Dillard seems to be the closest to committing. Purdue is his only major offer, thought Michigan State and Indiana are reportedly showing interest.