Dyshawn Pierre at Saint Louis. David Jablonski/Staff
The 2015-16 college basketball season is just around the corner. In honor of the Flyers winning 53 games the last two seasons (and because I couldn’t come up with 2,015 reasons), I’m counting down 53 reasons (in no particular order) to look forward to the season.
Follow the blog between now and the season opener against Southeast Missouri State on Nov. 13. I will have four to five updates per week.
I’ll post links on Twitter (@DavidPJablonski) and on my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DavidPatrickJablonski.
No. 45: Chart-climbing Pierre
Dyshawn Pierre, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, has the fiercest basketball face you’ll ever see. Every time I take a photo of him driving to the basket or fighting for room to take a shot in the paint, he’s scowling as if someone keyed his car. It never fails. No one else on the team wears a look like that. It’s ironic because it contrasts so much with his demeanor off the court.
Pierre, a 6-7 forward, enters his senior season as the highest-scoring Canadian import in UD history. OK, he’s also the only Canadian to play for the Flyers. I doubt he’ll be the last because he’s represented Canadian basketball as well as anyone could the last three seasons.
Pierre scored 3,566 career points in high school at Anderson Collegiate in Whitby, Ont. That’s an amazing stat. Ohio’s all-time high school scoring leader, Jon Diebler, scored 3,208. Not even LeBron James reached 3,000.
This quote from Pierre’s high school coach, Dean Hutchcroft, in 2012 sums up Pierre quite nicely then and now. Gentleman is just a great word to describe Pierre.
“I’ve known him since he was about nine years old,” Hutchcroft told DurhamRegion.com. “He’s an incredibly hard worker on the court, his focus, this gentleman is just a great kid all around and I think when it came down to it, the number of schools who were after him, were of that character: high class, good programs, solid coaching, solid schools.”
As impressive a person as Pierre is on the court, he’s on pace to finish his Dayton career as one of the top scorers in program history. He ranks 34th in career scoring with 1,145 points. He has increased his average from 8.8 to 11.2 to 12.7 over the last three seasons. If he averages 14 points as a senior and the Flyers play as many games as they did last season (36), he will add 504 points to his total and finish 12th in UD history with 1,649.
That would make Pierre the highest-scoring Flyer since Brian Roberts (1,962, 2004-08). He will likely pass the likes of Damon Goodwin, Ed Young, Chip Hare, Brooks Hall, Chris Johnson, Keith Waleskowski and Chris Wright this season.
In May, I asked Archie Miller how good Pierre can be this season.
“When you go into your senior year, you’re a lot different,” Miller said. “The game has slowed down for you. You’ve been through 300 practices and (more than a hundred games). Dyshawn’s goal is to become the premier player in our conference. Can he be the player of the year in our conference? Can he be first team all-conference? If he is, we have the chance to have a good year. In watching him grow, watching him this offseason and in the summer, he’s setting himself up personally to have the best year he can have. That’s sort of the mindset for a guy like that as he comes into this year.
“The biggest thing for him is how good can he be shooting the ball. The better shooter he is, it opens up the rest of his game. Last year because of his injuries in the fall, he really started off heavy. He was slow. You could tell even at the end of the year, he didn’t have the bounce that he normally has. We’re regaining that. We’re really working his lower body in conditioning. If he wants to play his more natural position on the wing, or he wants to play both positions, it’s going to be about how he can guard those two positions.”