The report card is fresh off the presses for Dewayne Dedmon, one day after USC officially announced that he would be foregoing his senior season to declare for the NBA Draft. Dedmon watched the end of the season from his home, as he and senior James Blasczyk did not travel to the Pac-12 Tournament following their involvement in the Spokane bar-fight altercation.
Dedmon showed tremendous growth for only playing organized basketball since age 18 out of respect for his mother, who wanted him to focus on church. During his second season of organized D-I basketball, Dedmon averaged 6.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in a more balanced effort overall than last season.
The areas that Dedmon showed greatest improvement was on the offensive glass, ranking tied for 10th in the conference, and at the defensive end blocking a solid 2.1 shots per game. Over the course of the season, Dedmon improved his vision on the court, and worked tremendously hard to fight for loose balls keeping possessions alive. Dedmon’s active play also propelled the Trojans second-highest block total in the conference.
Dedmon can be best described as a man willing to go all out when given the opportunity on the court. The Trojans were 5-6 when Dedmon played more than 25 minutes in a contest, allowing the active seven-footer to patrol the paint. Dedmon scratched and crawled for eight games with double digit rebounds, outshining his one such performance in an injury-plagued 2012 campaign.
While Dedmon possess NBA-level athleticism, the raw talent struggled to develop the fundamental skills that would of put his game over the top. Dedmon was the biggest wart to his own development, constantly fighting off foul trouble to earn minutes on the court.
In the minutes Dedmon played, he resorted towards taking fade-away jump shots instead of attacking the brunt of the defense. While his departure will be difficult for this team in terms of emotion and tenacity, the immaturity Dedmon exhibited on the court will certainly not be missed next season.
The seven-foot junior wreaked havoc blocking shots, but his type of play backfired numerous times throughout the season. Dedmon struggled in the pick-and-roll, as he constantly got beat at the top of the key hedging screens. The Trojans were burned especially in zone defense because despite his length and athleticism, Dedmon struggled with court spacing and help defense at the collegiate level.
Like many athletic big-men, his offensive game lived and died by the easy feed from point guard Jio Fontan making him only a finisher and not a creator. Despite the flaw, Dedmon was starting to refine his game quite nicely down the stretch shooting over 50-percent in seven of his last nine games. This was a product of better shot selection and patience on the offensive end.
Best and Worst Dedmon Moment:
The best and worst Dewayne Dedmon moment actually come from the same game, which should honestly surprise no one, given his inconsistent play all season. In a non-conference game against New Mexico, Dedmon posted strong numbers offensively, but then went quiet when it mattered most.
Dedmon started the game red hot from the field, scoring six points in the first half on 3-3 shooting while also blocking two shots. The problem with his performance though, was that they came up short in the second half, only putting up four shot attempts after being red-hot in the first half.
It was the type of performance that showcased Dedmon’s activity posting three offensive rebounds, one block and two steals, fueling the Trojans near upset effort in New Mexico. The Trojans needed a solid leader to fuel the offense in the second half, and Dedmon could not provide the intangibles on offense to propel his team to victory.