The 2015-16 season represented a changing of the guard for Butler basketball. The Bulldogs went 22-11 and went to the NCAA Tournament, reaching the Round of 32 before losing to top-seeded Virginia. It looked like a typical year for the Bulldogs as they continue to shed the label of being a "top mid-major school" despite being in a big time conference like the Big East.
NBA Draft 2016
NBA Draft 2016
Coming into this season, Butler was supposed to rely on some senior talent to help guide them throughout the season. However, that wasn’t exactly the case. Last season saw sophomore Kelan Martin turn into a star. The expectations for Martin coming into this year was he could provide some spark off the bench as a key sixth man but nobody could have predicted the outburst that happened in terms of his production level. Martin led the Bulldogs in rebounding and second in scoring with 15.7 per game.
The most impressive part was that he was playing less minutes than any of the Bulldogs’ other top scorers. Martin’s rise took a lot of the spotlight off some of BU’s other talents, particularly guard Kellen Dunham. Although the sharpshooter led the Bulldogs in scoring with 16.2 points per game and shot almost 43 percent from the 3-point line, he was not talked about much when it came to the Bulldogs.
Dunham still has skills that can help him make it at the next level though. Let’s take a look at the scouting report for the Bulldogs’ top scorer of the 2015-16 season.
The good part about his game
Standing at 6-foot-6, Dunham is very big for a shooting guard and that creates matchup problems for many teams when trying to guard him. He can rise and shoot over defenders with ease at his height, which is the bread and butter of his game. Coming off screens for a simple catch-and-shoot three is what made him so good at Butler. His movement off the ball allowed the offense to flow and allow the likes of Martin and Roosevelt Jones to run the offense and get their touches because Dunham doesn’t always need the ball in his hands to make plays.
He is an extremely efficient shooter (43.8% from the field and 42.9% from three) and his shooting ability made him such a dangerous threat whenever he touched the ball. He’s not just a spot up shooter, as Dunham showed that he has a pull--up jumper game as well. It was extremely beneficial for Dunham to develop this game considering he could just pump fake off a catch and shoot, go right past the defender, and pull up for a simple mid-range jump shot. He has insane range and can hit a shot from anywhere on the court.
Dunham is one of those "microwave" type shooters as he gets hot in a hurry and doesn’t stop when he gets going. His ability to create space between him and his defender, whether it is off a screen or not, is what makes him such a good shooter. When you give him space on a jump shot, it’s usually going in. Dunham is also a very good free throw shooter and it allowed him to stay on the court during late game situations when Butler needed to knock down key free throws to seal a game.
Defensively, Dunham has the size at 6’6 to guard and he is an okay defender. Known more for his offense, defense wasn’t his biggest concern at Butler but it’s not like he was abhorrent. He was able to stay in front of guys and his length allowed him to contest space and close out quickly.
The bad part about his game
What Dunham struggles with offensively is the fact that he is just a shooter. That’s it.
He really can’t take a guy off the dribble, break him down, and score over him. His handles are okay for a guard but it is not good enough to lose defenders. His ability to finish at the rim needs to improve, as Dunham seems unable to do so over bigger defenders when he gets near the hoop. Being one-dimensional on offense really hurts Dunham when it comes to his draft stock, as offense is his calling card and will be the reason why gets on an NBA team.
He needs to become a better finisher at the rim and show the ability to put the ball on the floor. If not, then some teams will take the risk of playing off him and hoping he misses his shots. All it takes is one shooting slump for Dunham to have no impact on the game. His shooting ability is good enough to get him on the floor, however he has some way to go when it comes to becoming a more polished player. His passing also needs some more help as it will add to his playmaking skills.
Defensively he needs to improve as well, more so than offensively. He needs to bulk up and get stronger in the offseason. He is not the quickest guy on the floor and cannot really deal with a matchup that is quicker than him. His basketball IQ is great but it hurts if he’s not fast enough to stay in front of his man.
Other than that, Dunham really doesn’t struggle with much defensively other than that. He isn’t the best rebounder, but at the ‘2’ spot, he won’t be put in those positions much.
Where does he go in the draft?
The ideal spot for Dunham will be a late round 2nd pick or an UDFA. Him being drafted at all will depend on if he falls to a team that needs more shooting help at the guard spot, which every team really does so that puts him on everyone’s radar.
He is good enough to get a spot on a team during preseason and summer league. If he can improve on his other skills mentioned above, Dunham could make a roster and maybe make an impact. It’s a stretch, but Kellen just needs to show that he can play in the league. His shooting has gotten him this far and he will need that and some more to become an NBA player.