A broken foot limited Noah Dickerson to just eight appearances last season, but his senior year wasn’t completely lost. The 6-8, 245-pound big man — rated the 52nd best prospect out of high school, according to ESPN.com — posted averages of 14.6 points and six rebounds at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Nationals, helping Montverde Academy to its third straight title at the event.
Dickerson originally committed to stay in state and play for Florida, but he backed out on the agreement when Billy Donovan bolted for Oklahoma City. He will now attend Washington, where he is expected to earn minutes immediately due to the departures of Robert Upshaw and Shawn Kemp.
Dickerson played center during the national championship run. Logging most of his minutes with Ben Simmons as the other big, he was the one responsible for manning the interior — protecting the lane on one end and providing a threat close to the basket on the other.
On offense, Dickerson’s role was a post player or filling the baseline when Simmons posted up on the opposite side of the block. He was able to establish deep position against the big men at Greensboro Day, Findlay Prep and Oak Hill thanks to his strength advantage.
Dickerson has good touch on his turnaround hook and turnaround jump-shot but is methodical and mechanical with his moves, giving opponents the opportunity to block his shot. He has flashed the ability to pass with his back to the basket but isn’t a polished shot creator for others at this stage of his development.
As an option on dump-offs, Dickerson can catch the ball on the move, use his body to bump the opponent and create separation, and exhibits good touch to finish around the basket. His best work below the rim was as an offensive rebounder, though. He is physical working to establish inside position and has a 7-1 wingspan to rebound the ball outside of his area. According to Max Preps, Dickerson averaged three offensive rebounds per game, which was his average during Montverde’s national title run.
Dickerson hasn’t shown a lot of explosiveness out of a standstill position to transform these second chances into putbacks, yet he tends to draw shooting fouls, as his large frame often leads to contact.
Defensively, while Dickerson didn’t prove to be a difference maker, he played with effort and has physical skills to potentially develop into an impact player on this end. He does not play above the rim as a constant shot blocking threat coming off the weak-side but stepped in to protect the front of the rim with good timing in many instances — sometimes using verticality, more often proving willing to sacrifice his body and draw charges.
Dickerson makes up for not being a high volume defensive rebounder by boxing out diligently, the sort of dirty work that doesn’t go on the box score but was essential for Simmons to get his numbers.
Dickerson was coached to guard the pick-and-roll flat and moving in space did not seem like a chore to him. Nevertheless, he doesn’t have the sort of agility needed to pick up smaller guards on switches or contain them in the in-between area. He did show enough quickness for his length to be effective closing out on mid-range shooters, though.
Dickerson has flashed ball skills that make him interesting as a potential stretch-five. He hit a couple of 3-point shots at the Dick’s Nationals, elevating in balance and showing a nice touch. Dickerson is only a so-so foul shooter, though, which makes you question whether he’ll develop into a legit threat as an outside shooter. He converted just 52 percent of his 31 free throws during the season and 14 of his 21 attempts in the national tournament.
Montverde often pulled him outside the lane and asked him to play high-low with Simmons, but they tended to end in turnovers rather than assists because Dickerson lacks the needed touch. His ability to handle in transition, taking one dribble and making a hard push to the rim on a straight line drive, was a little more promising, though he didn’t have a chance to show that skill in a half-court setting.