Former School: Clemson
New School: Seton Hall
Years Remaining: Two
Recruiting Ranking: 108th
2021-22 Stats: 11.3 ppg/2.8 rpg/2.3 apg/29.7 mpg; 40.5%/39.8%/84.7%
Newark, NJ native Al-Amir Dawes took four visits in the fall of 2018. Three of them were to Big East schools - Seton Hall, St. John’s and Providence - but the consensus four-star chose to play in the ACC at Clemson.
After three seasons down south, Dawes chose to come back to his hometown Seton Hall Pirates.
Dawes made 26 starts as a true freshman at Clemson and averaged 9.0 points, good enough for fourth on the Tigers. His playing time dipped a little as a sophomore, but his scoring remained the same. Dawes saw his shooting improve from his first year to his second, jumping from 38.1 to 42.1 percent from the field.
As a junior, his playing time returned to his freshman year levels and he embraced his role as a perimeter player. The result? A jump to 11.3 points per game, second-best for the team, and an average of 2.5 made threes a night.
What’s His Game?
Dawes is a pure shooter through and through. More than 65 percent of his career shots have come from beyond the 3-point line; that number got as high as nearly 72 percent last season. Dawes led Clemson in 3-point field goals made in each of his three seasons at Clemson. He made 84 threes last season, more than any Big East player for next season other than Umoja Gibson.
The veteran guard hit multiple 3-pointers in 27 of his 33 games last season. Twice he knocked down six in one game, both on ten attempts and on the road against conference foes.
Dawes (2) is a true perimeter threat who requires the attention of the defense. If you leave him alone, he will make you pay. pic.twitter.com/JEx7ORZAyO— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) August 1, 2022
He 43-of-109 attempts from deep as a sophomore, good for a 39.4 percent shooting mark. Dawes then doubled those numbers as a junior while retaining the efficiency, finishing with 84 makes on 211 attempts. That’s 39.8 percent.
Dawes is primarily a catch-and-shoot guy on the outside. Two-thirds of his made threes last season came off assists.
Dawes had no issues hitting those shots with a guy closing out, either.
Dawes does not need a lot of space to be dangerous. Defenders will have to close out on him and quickly. pic.twitter.com/N03PizR7WY— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) August 1, 2022
Inside the arc, Dawes is a fine finisher. He has a small frame and he doesn’t create much off the dribble, so you won’t see him attack the rim too often. That said, he’ll hit the open looks he does get.
Only 28% of his attempts came inside the arc last season, but he is more than capable of hitting those looks when given space. pic.twitter.com/m232eHJwbo— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) August 1, 2022
Turnovers can be an issue for Dawes - his assist rate has never been higher than his turnover rate. He does have good awareness of the defense, though, and he can both move well off the ball and create as a secondary ballhandler.
Dawes has never had high assist rates, but he's more than capable as a secondary ballhandler and he can read a defense well. pic.twitter.com/hHeqNcLEkN— Matt St. Jean (@mattstdream) August 1, 2022
For more analysis on Dawes, check out this piece by Brian Geisinger. He does a great job of using clips to showcase what Dawes can do well.
What’s His Role?
Dawes should be a two-year starter for Seton Hall should he use both remaining years of eligibility. He and Jamir Harris both rank in the top-ten for most three-pointers made last season by next year’s Big East players, and that duo should be productive for an offense that struggled down the stretch last season. A backcourt with both of them and Kadary Richmond should be effective next season with the potential to be one of the better units in the Big East.
Defensively, there will be question marks given his size. However, the energy is clearly there, and Dawes is a veteran now playing under a head coach that led a very successful defense last year.