Myles Dread’s senior season at Gonzaga came to a close with the conclusion of the Alhambra Catholic Invitational Tournament earlier this month, and the Eagles’ emotional leader is now turning his attention to Penn State, which won last night’s NIT championship game over Utah and where Dread will be bringing his arsenal of skills next fall.
The four-star guard and 2017-18 Gatorade Player of the Year for Washington, D.C. committed to Penn State back in July 2016, the first player of the Class of 2018 to commit to the Nittany Lions. Dread said Penn State Coach Pat Chambers was one of the first college coaches to contact him. Dread officially signed last November.
Dread emerged as the main senior leader for Gonzaga this year following the departure of Miami freshman Chris Lykes, and a torn anterior cruciate ligament to Prentiss Hubb, a four-star Notre Dame signee. Dread led the Eagles to runner-up finishes in the WCAC and DCSAA championship tournaments.
What kind of a player will the Nittany Lions be getting?
“He is kind of a do-it-all guy,” Gonzaga Coach Steve Turner said. “He’s had to play for us in a lot of different roles and that is what makes him who he is and being versatile.”
The 6-foot-4, 205-pound guard, averaged 14.1 points per game for the Eagles during his senior year. Before the ACIT quarterfinals, Dread had knocked down 42.9 percent of his three-point attempts (75-for-175) and entered the tournament with 1,397 career points. During his junior season, Dread averaged 10.4 points and 4.9 assists during a WCAC championship campaign for Gonzaga.
Before the summer of his senior year, a lot of recruiters saw Dread as a hybrid player, or a “tweener.” He emerged as more of a pure guard during his summer with Team Takeover, a D.C.-based AAU squad. Turner said Dread had been working more on his shooting in the past year and a half, extending his range to the perimeter after already proving his ability to score off midrange jumpers and drives to the basket.
“As a young kid, he was a big, strong kid as a forward and played at the post at times,” Turner said. “He’s expanded his game to guard with improvements with his shooting and ballhandling.”
Dread describes himself as a versatile defender, able to guard positions 1-4 on the court, still as a true wing. A floor general on the court for the Eagles, Dread said he believes he can come to Happy Valley and lead early as a freshman. A “glue-guy,” Dread’s game revolves around the intangibles he brings to the court, including taking charges.
Dread sees similarities in the Nittany Lions’ style and Gonzaga’s, setting him up for what he hopes is a seamless transition to the next level. Penn State plays a gritty, stingy style of defense, and on offense plays very open with a lot of movement as it keys in on players who can make plays in isolation situations and down low in the post for mismatch opportunities.
Dread will join fellow Class of 2018 signee Rasir Bolton, a point guard from Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, Va., at Penn State. The extent to which Dread sees playing time as a freshman could depend upon whether sophomore guard Tony Carr, who led the team in points (19.6) and assists (5.0) per game, decides to leave school early for the NBA. But Dread says he’s willing to take on any role for his new team.
“They just want me to compete as hard as I can, whether that be for 40 minutes or two minutes,” Dread said. “I don’t expect any amount of playing time and will fill whatever role.”