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Transfer Analysis: What LSU gets in Hunter Dean

4 min read
Transfer Analysis: What LSU gets in Hunter Dean

LSU added Hunter Dean to fill the final spot of its 2023-24 roster and filled a significant need in doing so. After the departure of KJ Williams and Shawn Phillips over the offseason, the Tigers added Will Baker, but still needed more frontcourt help in the ultra-physical SEC.

A Mandeville, Louisiana, native, Dean spent one year at Southern Miss, before transferring to Georgie Washington, where he spent the last three seasons. Now, Dean heads to Baton Rouge for his final season, hoping to provide depth for LSU at the five.

Here an in-depth look at his game and how he can help the Tigers next season.

Offensive game

At 6-foot-10, Dean clearly has the size to help LSU at the five and his athleticism shows as a roll man with his two-footed dunks. He has some vertical ability, but wasn’t used as a lob threat, instead catching the ball then exploding up.

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

His primary use on offense is as a screener. He set at least one ball screen on virtually every possession I watched. After he screens, and when he’s not screening, he plants himself at the dunker spot, waiting for the ball to come to him. He shot 64 percent from two this past season and it’s because he only takes five shots per game and does not force the issue.

In the limited times I watched him dribble or post up and attempt a post shot, it was not effective. His arms aren’t quite long enough and he’s not strong enough to get separation in these scenarios. If he’s taking jump hooks, your offense is not flowing how it should be. Not saying he can’t make them, but it’s not efficient enough. 

via GIPHY

I love the fact he shot 73.5 percent from the free throw line this year, after going 34-of-69 in his first three years. In the film I watched, I never saw him take a jumper, which makes sense when seeing his field goal percentage. His offensive game is very simple, but in the A10 it was fine. A bit worried that if he has to gather then takeoff in the SEC he’s going to get his shot blocked a lot more. Still, I like his overall awareness and feel for the game on this end.

Defense/Rebounding

The rebound percentages are encouraging. The block percentages are also something that show promise. When I watched him, I didn’t feel that sort of presence at the rim, though. He’s not strong enough in the post, which is concerning considering the level of competition. I never felt like his presence was a huge deterrent for opposing teams and the overall defensive intensity wasn’t where I wanted it to be.

via GIPHY

On the glass, he’s excellent at boxing out. Legitimately, I would love him as a coach because he eliminates opposing bigs from the play as soon as a shot goes up. As a result, he comes down with a lot of defensive rebounds and that should translate to the SEC. He’s not a huge offensive rebounder, but had some nice put backs last season. George Washington’s offense was also stagnant at times, which makes it hard to offensive rebound.

Ultimately, I’m not sure he’s quite physical enough to stop or out rebound starting fives in the SEC, but he should be able to hold his own against backups or forwards. He played drop coverage in the pick and roll, which didn’t encourage me in terms of mobility, but it helped eliminate the roll man.

How much can he help LSU?

On the surface level, I’m glad LSU added a backup five instead of another scoring guard. Joe Girard out of Syracuse was their top choice, and would have been a good player, but this team needed another big. Entering the season with only Baker, Derek Fountain, Jalen Reed, and Corey Chest over 6-foot-6 would have been a really tough year. Once you get this late in the portal cycle and don’t have a starting spot to offer, your choices dwindle.

I acknowledge it’s not easy and that’s what made the departure of Phillips even more difficult. Dean is an experienced big who is coming back to Louisiana and at least gives McMahon another body if he needs it at the five. Ultimately, McMahon might opt for Reed and Fountain lineups when Baker is out of the game, but it’s good to have a guy like Dean ready to contribute.

Dean will not decide the fate of this season, but I think he knows what he signed up for. If he can step in, play his role, and be a professional to help this group stay on track, I like the pickup.

The post Transfer Analysis: What LSU gets in Hunter Dean appeared first on On3.

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