|This probably went in.|Sam Dower
, Gonzaga, Senior, 6'9 243lbs2013/14 stats:
27.0 mpg, 14.4 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 0.7 bpg, 1.1 apg, 0.4 spg, 2.4 fpg, 1.6 TOpg, 57.1% FG, 82.5% FT, 31.6% 3PT
He's not the highest scorer on it, but Dower is possibly the smoothest offensive player on this list. He is a finisher, pretty much only a finisher, and yet such a good finisher that this is no pejorative. Every mid-range jumper he takes - and there's a lot of them - feels like it's going in. He seals and finishes in the post, he drops a nice lefty hook, and, given smart guards and a system which can get him the ball in good positions to score, he finishes remarkably well. Leave him uncontested and he'll make the shot. Contest him and he'll probably make it anyway. Foul him, and he's one of the best foul shooting bigs in the game. Even if he only scores when on the court - he is a player with poor rebounding instincts, and little intent to do anything about them - Dower scores so efficiently and consistently that he's worth it anyway. He can drive from the mid range and in, loves a baseline jumper, shotfakes well, and is a consistent half court option, something so few big men are.
He is however a limited scorer, and it need not be the case. On a Gonzaga team that runs more pick and roll plays than most college teams, Dower still never got especially good at his end of the play, despite five years of being in a system built around it. With his fluid if not explosive athleticism, combined with his good strength (as an upperclassman, Dower refined his unconditioned body and replaced fat with muscle), you would think Dower would have gotten quite good at the pick and roll game, or at least been more heavily featured as a pick and pop player taking advantage of his quality jumpshot. It never really happened, however. Nor did developing a right hand or fully adding three point range. And while Dower's strength and 7 foot wingspan translate to some post finishing at the NBA level - as well as his ability to take contact and finish through it, which he started poor at but certainly improved upon - he nevertheless is a rather basic finisher down there. He's going left, then he's going left again, and if you take the away the left hand, there's little chance of him coming back right or passing back out, so that's all you need to do.
Furthermore, for all the positives that come from his affability and easy going nature, Dower is a weak defensive player and a normally poor rebounder who tops out at mediocre. Dower doesn't attack the glass, nor seem interested in it, nor have a great instinct for reading the ball off the rim, and nor does he play tough enough in his post defense. Not a rim protector and a mostly below the rim player, Dower projects poorly as a defender at any level, especially the NBA one, where only incredible toughness and effort can counter the size disadvantage. Sam Dower has never demonstrated those things.
Sam Dower has the style of Sam Perkins, has the body type of Sam Perkins, and has the coolness of Sam Perkins. He even plays like Sam Perkins, especially so if he can bring back that straight away three pointer he briefly flashed as a freshman before locking away. I wish I could say Sam Dower would be the next Sam Perkins, and I wish I could say that he will make the NBA, that he could bring his smooth and effortless scoring game to the highest levels, and go on to have the career of Sam Perkins. Sam Perkins, however, was simply a lot better. So I can't say that about Dower. He's more likely to be the next Ricardo Marsh. But at 6'9 with those scoring instincts, Dower should have a fine career around the globe, just as Marsh has. And that's fine.