(Originally posted at Upside & Motor)
A broken foot held Noah Dickerson to just eight appearances last season in the state of Florida but his senior year wasn’t completely lost. The six-foot-eight, 245-pound big man – rated the 52nd best prospect out of high school, according to ESPN.com – posted averages of 14.6 points and six rebounds at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Nationals, helping lead Montverde Academy to its third straight title at the event.
He originally committed to stay in state and play for Florida but Billy Donovan bolted for Oklahoma City, so Dickerson backed down on that agreement and will enroll at Washington instead, where he is expected to earn minutes right away due to the departures of Robert Upshaw and Shawn Kemp.
Dickerson played center during the national championship run. Logging most of his minutes with Ben Simmons as the other big, he was the one responsible for manning the interior – protecting the lane on one end and providing a threat close to the basket on the other.
On offense, Dickerson’s role was a post player or filling the baseline when Simmons was posting up on the opposite side of the block. He was able to establish deep position against the big men at Greensboro Day, Findlay Prep and Oak Hill thanks to his strength advantage.
Dickerson has good touch on his turnaround hook and turnaround jump-shot but is methodical and mechanical with his moves, which allow opponents the opportunity to try blocking his shot. He has flashed the ability to pass with his back to the basket but isn’t a very polished shot creator for others at this point.
As an option on dump-offs, Dickerson has proven able to catch the ball on the move, use his body to bump the opponent and create separation, and exhibits good touch to finish around the basket.
His best work below the rim was as an offensive rebounder, though. He is physical working to establish inside position and has a seven-foot-one wingspan to rebound the ball outside of his area. According to Max Preps, Dickerson averaged three offensive rebounds per game in the state of Florida, which was also his average during Montverde’s national title run.
He hasn’t shown a lot of explosiveness out of a standstill position to transform these second chances into putbacks but tends to draw shooting fouls in a lot of instances, as his large frame often leads to contact.
Defensively, Dickerson didn’t prove to be a difference maker but played with effort and has physical skills to potentially develop into an impact player on this end.
He does not play above the rim as a constant shot blocking threat coming off the weak-side but stepped in to protect the front of the rim with good timing in many instances – at times using verticality but more often proving willing to sacrifice his body and draw charges.
Dickerson didn’t grab a lot of defensive rebounds but excelled protecting the glass by boxing out diligently, the sort of dirty work that doesn’t go on the box score but was essential for Simmons to get his numbers.
Dickerson was coached to guard the pick-and-roll flat and moving in space did not seem like a chore to him but he doesn’t have the sort of agility needed to pick up smaller guards on switches or contain them in the in-between area. He did show enough quickness for his length to be effective closing out to mid-range shooters, though.
Dickerson has flashed ball skills that make him extremely interesting as a potential stretch-five. He hit a couple of three-point shots at the Dick’s Nationals, elevating in balance and showing a nice touch on these makes. Dickerson is only a so-so foul shooter, though, which makes you pause on assuming he will definitely develop into a legit threat as an outside shooter. He converted just 52 percent of his 31 free throws during the season in Florida and 14 of his 21 attempts in the national tournament.
Montverde often pulled him outside the lane and asked him to play high-low with Simmons, but Dickerson lacked touch on these passes and those tended to end in turnovers rather than assists. His ability to handle in transition, taking one dribble and making a hard push to the rim on a straight line drive was a little more promising, though he didn’t have a chance to show that skill in a half-court setting.
Editor’s Note: Rafael Uehara is the managing editor of ‘Basketball Scouting’. More of his work can be found here or at Upside & Motor, where he is a regular contributor. He can be followed on twitter as @rafael_uehara