Mar 20, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs player Sam Dower, Jr. is interviewed during practice before the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at Viejas Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

WCC NBA Draft Profile: Sam Dower


Mar 20, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs forward/center Sam Dower shoots during practice before the second round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament at Viejas Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

After five great years at Gonzaga, it was Sam Dower’s time to move on to the professional ranks.

Dower was a key cog in the Gonzaga basketball machine the past few years, serving as more of a spark off the bench. The 6-foot-9 forward will definitely be known for a few signature moments.

The first is a breakout performance in 2011, where Dower came off the bench to score 20 points (7-11 shooting) and grab 10 rebounds in a key Zag victory over Xavier. The second was during his senior year, where Dower nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to avoid an upset against Santa Clara this past season.

Dower was a reliable college player, but will that trait land him a gig in the NBA? We take a closer look at what the former Gonzaga post has been up to this offseason, his strengths and weaknesses and his chances of making it to the league.

His Preparations

Dower has been the most active of all the WCC NBA draft prospects, based on what is the public realm of knowledge.

He has been hosted by a number of NBA teams across the country for workouts. The Lakers, Clippers, Wizards, Jazz, Raptors and Celtics have all worked out Dower, and those are the only ones we know about. There could very well be more.

It hasn’t just been workouts. Dower has reportedly lost 20 pounds since the season, losing some unneeded body fat and adding on muscle.

Dower has been in Los Angeles during the process, training and working with his agent, Greg Lawrence.

 

Strengths and Weaknesses

 

Strenghts:

+ Shooting

Dower has always been a great shooter, possessing a smooth lefty stroke. The former Zag is a career 32.8 percent 3-point shooter at Gonzaga.

+ Ball Security

Unlike many big men, Dower is conscious of the way he handles the ball well. He averaged only 1.1 turnovers throughout his career at Gonzaga. -

+ Body Frame

Dower recorded a height of 6-foot-9 and six inches and a 7-foot-2 wingspan at his Clippers workout. Combined with his weight loss, Dower could have a nice body composition as a power forward in the NBA.

Jan 16, 2014; Malibu, CA, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs center Sam Dower (35) and Pepperdine Waves forward Brendan Lane (21) battle for a rebound in the second half at Firestone Fieldhouse. Gonzaga defeated Pepperdine 70-53. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Fielding-USA TODAY Sports

Weaknesses:

- Athleticism

Dower has always been a little stiff-hipped, and he only posted a 28 inch max vertical during his workout with the Clippers.

- Defense

Defense has never been a claim to fame for the primarily offensively orientated Dower. During his Gonzaga career, Dower only averaged 0.5 blocks.

- Position

Dower played a lot of Center in college, but at 6-foot-9, will he be able to play that position at the next level? The question should be asked.

On top of that, it can be speculated whether Dower has a enough athletic ability to matchup with Power Forwards in the NBA. Dower is a bit of a “tweener” and it will be interesting to see what position he ends up playing at the next level.

 

Developing:

  • Rebounding

Dower was never a fantastic rebounder at Gonzaga, but he certainly got better during his senior year. Dower recorded 7.2 rebounds per game last season in an increased role, and showed much more promise in that facet of the game that particular season.

 

Draft Prospects

Unfortunately for Dower, the chances of him being drafted are slim. The 2014 draft class is extremely deep, and Dower might not make the cut.

However, with all of the traction he is gaining from his workouts, Dower could potentially be picked in the latter end of the second round or be picked up as a undrafted free agent.

While Dower’s draft chances may be slim, the chances of him playing for an NBA roster spot at the NBA summer league are a lot higher.

 

 

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Tags: Basketball Gonzaga Bulldogs WCC