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Dillon Brooks is a Unique Player

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In today’s NBA game, teams are putting more of a premium on players who can do it all. Versatile guys who can play multiple positions on the court are assets. Oregon’s Dillon Brooks is someone who fits that mold. It’s no surprise that the two guys he currently enjoys watching the most in the NBA are similar all around players.

“I like Jimmy Butler and Draymond Green,” Brooks told reporters at the NBA Draft Combine on May 11. “They play hard, very versatile two-way guys that I want to be like and I play like.”

As the top player on an Oregon team that lost by only a single point in the Final Four to eventual champion North Carolina, Brooks excelled in a point forward type of role. He led the team in scoring at 16.1 points per game on a career best 48.8 percent from the field. He was one of the best players on the team at getting to the free throw line, and one of their top outside shooters at 40.1 percent from beyond the arc.

Although he was one of the better all-around players in college basketball, there were concerns about how his small wingspan might affect his ability to score at the NBA level. It’s a concern that he believes, due to his versatility, is not an issue.

“That doesn’t really faze me, I got long guys guarding me all the time,” Brooks said. “I go at them the same way. Usually, bigs are guarding me. It’s just more fuel for the fire.”

In addition to his length, questions also arose regarding his on-court emotions. Throughout his time at Oregon, he was often a very vocal leader on the court. It’s a trait that, according to Brooks, didn’t quite resonate with some teams at the combine.

“Every team has said something about it,” Brooks said. “Some teams like it, some teams don’t. I found ways to channel it and use it as good energy and positive energy to help myself and my teammates.”

One of the players whom Brooks admires, Green, has also found himself at the center of attention in the NBA regarding his own on-court antics and emotions. Green was famously suspended in last year’s Finals after a confrontation with Lebron James.

As Brooks himself said, however, turning those emotions into positive energy is something he has worked on. It’s something he believes Green has been able to do and he aims to emulate that.

“You see Draymond Green, he’s full of energy,” Brooks said. “He’s always ready to play and that’s what I want to be.”

This year, the Ducks built off last season’s 31-7 campaign that ended in an Elite Eight loss to Oklahoma. With Brooks at the helm as the veteran leader, they went 33-6 and made it one round further.

Despite their success, Brooks, as well as teammates Jordan Bell and Tyler Dorsey, seem to be getting overlooked as prospects as the NBA draft draws near. All three have hired agents and have forgone their remaining college eligibility. Yet most mock drafts have the trio getting drafted in the second round despite being key pieces on one of the top college teams in the nation.

Brooks is hoping that his performances during Oregon’s deep tournament runs since he’s been there will make teams think twice before passing him up.

“You don’t get a lot of national attention over at Oregon,” Brooks said. “Going to a Final Four and going to two Elite Eights in my time, winning a PAC-12 tournament and all those things show a lot. When I got in those games and got in those times, I performed pretty well.”

While it won’t be clear where Brooks ends up being drafted until draft night itself, what is for sure is that whoever drafts him will be getting one tough competitor and a unique player.

During his time at the combine, Brooks was hopeful that he made it clear to teams just exactly who he is.

“I’m energetic, a winner who loves the game of basketball, who plays his heart out,” Brooks said. “I can shoot the ball, do a lot of everything. I’m a very versatile 3/4 man.”

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About David Yapkowitz

David Yapkowitz