Monday, August 4, 2008

TKR 2009 Recruit Breakdown: Sam Dower

TKR is excited to begin a new series that will focus on the 2009 recruiting class. As the AAU summer season has finally finished up, TKR felt it was appropriate to take an in depth look at the main targets that GU are currently pursuing. For this series, TKR will be giving a very detailed breakdown of Sam Dower, Anthony Marshall, Joe Burton, Angus Brandt, Anthony Stover, and Devonte Elliot. Each player will have a 2-3 part series that will include a player breakdown, a review of their summer, and hopefully an interview with our correspondent. We hope everyone enjoys this series, and we will be kicking it off with Sam Dower.

It is often said, that the hardest thing to find in the basketball world is a skilled and motivated big man. With most of the highly rated 09 bigs flying off the market early on, the staff focused in and discovered highly skilled big man Sam Dower. The 6'10, 220 pound PF/C from Osseo, Minnesota, is an example of a classic late bloomer. The lefty has really come into his own this summer, and has developed into one of the more coveted bigs remaining in the 09 class. Dower has already visited Gonzaga, as he was a participant in the GU elite camp this summer, and has an official visit scheduled for September 6-8 (the 1st weekend anyone can take an official visit to GU).

Scholarship offers- Dower currently holds offers from Gonzaga, Penn State, Cal, Iowa, Saint Louis, Drake, Illinois State, George Mason, and numerous other mid-majors. There has been reported interest from Indiana, Minnesota, Marquette, Miami-Fl, but none of these schools have offered.

Rankings- Rivals- 130th ranked player overall/ 35th ranked PF
Scout- 3 star recruit/ 25th ranked C
Scouts Inc.- Currently ranked a 40, which means that they have not watched him enough to make an evaluation

Teams- Dower plays his high school ball for Osseo high school in Minnesota, and is coached by Tom Theisen
Dower plays his AAU ball for Net Gain Sports, and is coached by Marquise Watts

High school stats- This past season Sam averaged 13.8 pts, 5.9 rbs, 0.9 block per game. Osseo went 26-1 on the season, which included an undefeated regular season. Sam set a season high of 23 points against Coon Rapids, and had a season high of 11 rebounds twice, against Redwood Valley and Elk River.

Strengths- What makes Sam such an intriguing and highly sought after prospect his versatility. At 6'10, Sam has the height to be a dominant player in the post, and has already developed a very good turnaround jumper, as well as a nearly unstoppable left handed hook shot. He runs the floor very well, and has good hands that allow for him to catch the ball in the post where he either makes a quick post move, or kicks the ball out to a shooter. Sam also has range out to the 3 point line, where he can consistently hit the 3. Sam is also blessed with terrific potential. I know that a lot of people cringe when they see this word, but Sam is not a project, and has already started to reach some of his great potential. According to his coach, Sam is still growing and getting longer. He has also put on lots of weight over the past 6 months, and has greatly improved his conditioning. Although these seem like small things, you could not name 3 more important aspects for a big man. Conditioning and strength are often hard for young big men to achieve, and the fact that Sam is already improving in both areas is very encouraging. Coach Watts also mentioned that Sam realizes he can be great and is starting to dominate on the court, and put in the effort to maximize his potential.

Room for Improvement- Typical of any high school big man, the main area where Sam needs to improve is his strength. While Sam can use his outstanding height and length to dominate at the high school level, he will need to get stronger in the upper body to be able to play at the college level. It is clear that Sam has realized this, as he has added over 10 pounds of muscle in the past 6 months. Sam must continue to get stronger, as he will face much stronger players in the post once he gets to the DI level. A strong upper body is vital for Sam to be able to guard many of the posts that he will face at the next level, and with his length, he could be a great post defender and rebounder. I am very impressed and encouraged to read that Sam has put in the time to get stronger and improve his conditioning, as this is typically where many freshman bigs tend to struggle.

Recruiting Forecast- After a terrific summer, Sam has become one of the more sought after bigs across the nation. There is strong interest going both ways between the Zags and Dower, and the Zags were able to secure an official visit from Dower very early in the school year. TKR really likes the Zags chances with Dower, and it should be fun to follow Dower's recruitment in the next month. Dower has long stated that he plans to commit prior to the start of his high school basketball season, so we should have an announcement sometime before November.

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