Q & A: 2012 Pendleton Heights guard Kellen Dunham

  • 04/15/2010 10:08 pm in

Regarded as one of the best shooters in class of 2012, Pendleton Heights guard Kellen Dunham averaged 22.5 points in his sophomore campaign and led the Arabians to an 18-6 record. Inside the Hall caught up with the 6-5 junior-to-be, who is suiting up for Indiana Elite One this spring and summer, for a Q & A:

On his sophomore season at Pendleton Heights:

“I had a lot of fun this season. I think we could have been a little bit more successful in the sectional, we got to the championship game and lost to Muncie Central. I really feel like we all improved as players and our defense got a lot better.”

On the opening weekend of AAU at the IndyBall.com Shootout:

“There was some pretty good competition at IndyBall and hopefully there will be some good competition this weekend. We’re headed to Iowa.”

On his game extending beyond just being known as a shooter:

“I feel like I’m trying to set people up on the offensive end. And also working on my defense. It’s getting a little better. I’m not just a spot up shooter. I can take people off the dribble now, finish at the rim and pull up.”

On the progression of improving his jump shot:

“When I was little, I shot pretty well, but I definitely worked on my shot for a long time. I spent a lot of hours working on it.”

On his visits to Bloomington this past season and what he likes about the program:

“I went and saw the Purdue and Minnesota games at Assembly Hall and they’re showing some pretty good interest. I really like Coach Crean. He’s really fun to talk to, very knowledgeable about the game. Coach Buckley also is a very nice guy. I like the program.”

On the other schools showing interest:

“Xavier, Purdue, Butler, Michigan and Ball State.”

Filed to:

  • BaseballBuc

    It's been a busy week and its good to get back and comment.

    You can never have too many 6-5 wings that can shoot the lights out of the ball. second coming of Jon Diebler maybe?

  • BaseballBuc

    It's been a busy week and its good to get back and comment.

    You can never have too many 6-5 wings that can shoot the lights out of the ball. second coming of Jon Diebler maybe?

  • Kelin Blab

    I have heard some very good things about Dunham as his ability to shoot but also he is a pretty complete player. For those who say Crean isn't doing the job on recruiting or recruiting the state, when you look at some of these kids Indiana is in the conversation….And Yes I do know they have not committed yet but they haven't committed to our other Indiana schools also…so we are right there.

  • marcusgresham

    Right there with you. I think some people think that Crean should have a roster of 35 guys, all from the state, and assume that he should just automatically get anyone he wants.

  • Hoosier_in_Georgia

    I would love to see Dunham wearing the Cream and Crimson. We need shooters that can knock down the j. When I watched Duke in the tournament, one thing that stuck out to me is that when they get open they nail the shot. We need some snipers on this team. He sounds like he could fit that mold.

  • hoosierclarion

    This is the first real info have read about Kellen. I had no doubt Coach Crean was already in the competition for this in-state baller. As H in G said we need deadeye shooters that can score. It is always fun to speculate that some young man could be the next Bird in an IU iniform.

  • it's Indiana

    Jerry – Great breakdown. Half court efficiency isn't sexy, but it is effective. Could you post on some of the highlights from the Crean interview? You have said before that “Crean is getting the type of recruits he wants.” That would be some good food for thought. I'll back you up against the “reds,” although the back and fourth is hilarious. What are your initiations? I like Pritchard, how's that?

  • Kelin Blab

    I have heard some very good things about Dunham as his ability to shoot but also he is a pretty complete player. For those who say Crean isn't doing the job on recruiting or recruiting the state, when you look at some of these kids Indiana is in the conversation….And Yes I do know they have not committed yet but they haven't committed to our other Indiana schools also…so we are right there.

  • marcusgresham

    Right there with you. I think some people think that Crean should have a roster of 35 guys, all from the state, and assume that he should just automatically get anyone he wants.

  • JerryCT

    The interview was a video . I am not sure how to find it again but I will try. As you know CTC talks alot and fast but moves methodically through the ideas he is using to direct recruiting efforts.

    Liking Pritchard tells me you know your basketball and you are “IN” . I was very disappointed in his offense this year ……. like everyone else …… but his seals, screens, hedges, help D, holding position and blockouts so guards can rebound/push the transition are all really good. You can actually tell how much time is left on the shot clock by watching him because when time is running low he finds a scorer like Jones and positions to set a screen.

    The Red Gang dislikes my defense of the “unloved” among our players. I am the William Kunstler , the MLK Jr, the Statue of Liberty defending the tired, poor and hungry yearning to be loved by IU fans.

    They are tough on me but its all in good fun

  • marcusgresham

    I see your point, but regardless of the offense or defense you run you still need big guys and we've all put our focus on that because at this point we don't see any on the roster that are playing to the level that is required for success. Even in a dribble-drive offense, you need to have an option to pass to when you get cut off going down the lane (or conversely, someone talented enough to warrant having his man stay on him instead of dropping off to help the on-ball defender.)
    Even in a transition offense you need a big guy to get a rebound/block to start the break. You need a guy behind you that can clean up your mistake to give you confidence to play tougher defense.
    Recruit wing-heavy, maybe, but don't abandon the chase for a viable post-man.

  • Hoosier_in_Georgia

    I would love to see Dunham wearing the Cream and Crimson. We need shooters that can knock down the j. When I watched Duke in the tournament, one thing that stuck out to me is that when they get open they nail the shot. We need some snipers on this team. He sounds like he could fit that mold.

  • MillaRed

    You have joined the dark side. You will wake up in the morning with hopes that Daniel Moore gets all of Mo Creek's minutes next season. It's downhill from here it's Indiana.

    Downhill from here………

  • MillaRed

    One of the problems Jerry is this “dribble-drive” deal is sexy when it comes to recruiting. Kentucky just locked up Brandon Knight for that very reason. Successful or not the better guards/wings seem to dig it as an avenue to the NBA.

    I agree with the turnovers (see John Wall) but I think it's the necessary evil in that scheme.

    We do not have the 3 guards CTC really wants in his offense yet. But even so, it would be nice to have a solid big man down there to post up when we have a lead, slow the game down, swat a few shots etc.

    I'm hoping we just get one legit Big within the next year in the mix. Apparently we will have more wings than Kentucky Fried Firggin Chicken.

  • hoosierclarion

    This is the first real info have read about Kellen. I had no doubt Coach Crean was already in the competition for this in-state baller. As H in G said we need deadeye shooters that can score. It is always fun to speculate that some young man could be the next Bird in an IU iniform.

  • JerryCT

    Crean said earlier this year that fans were yelling for bigs but criticizing guard play. He concluded that all areas need to be upgraded and “you can never have good enough guards”. In his offense he said he needs players who can dribble, “shoot, pass, get to the lane ” and there are not enough “aircraft carrier” type big men to recruit and succeed.

    My only point is that if we rebalanced the offensive scheme we could use big men better ( ie Cornell ) and recruiting them would even be that much more important

  • JerryCT

    Several months ago SCOOP had an interview w CTC and asked him to explain his recruiting. After listening to it I concluded for myself that he is personally successful at getting the kind of player he wants. He covered the 5star question very well by describing how it can be a double eged sword at this stage in our revival. This kid here probably fits .

    That said I have a theory as to why many of us really want a major post presence. I am sure the “RED GANG” will tell me where I am wrong but here goes the logic flow:

    1. Teams heavily weighted toward transition offense and dribble drive have become less successful in college as defenses have caught up. ( UCONN, TEX, Wake …. )

    2. Both styles are turnover prone and rely heavily on defense which many kids donot like to play. Games are often too evenly balanced to give the ball up “unforced or unearned”. ( Butler, Wisc, Syr ..)

    3. This means that teams w half court efficiency are favored and I think the recent NCAA proved this.

    4. With a premium on half court efficiency the BIGS are critical to success on both ends of the floor even if they are not scorers as such ( ie Zoubek , Onuaku ).

    I believe most of us in the back of our minds know this and thus want more “Bigs” but we have not broken it down exactly as to why more “Bigs” are necessary.

    This then is the source of my only questions of CTC . Why the overweighting of dribble drive and transition ? If this is who we are then the pressure is off for tons of bigs and we need tons of wings

  • donald_refridgerator_perry

    i totally agree with your logic flow, but i think it gets us to two different conclusions, which is why sites like these rule. i think that you hit the nail on the head with your analysis.

    The dribble drive style is obviously lucrative to big time recruits, but not so much on typical back to the basket big men, which is why they end up going to syracuse, wisconsin, etc. big men that can get up and down the court better end up going to WorldWideWes type programs. the most important aspects of those programs are point guards that can get anywhere, and wings that will do the same but with size for when the point guard get stopped.

    However, everyone knows we need a big man to make a potentially dangerous team. But the types of big men that we are able to get in on (Pritch, Bawa) are not the kinds of big men that fit the system just yet. Maybe they will with time, but who knows? That is why, IMO, Crean keeps going after these wings. Wings are more plentiful and easier to sell our program to. Once we get back on the map the types of big men we want will come, but for now the only big men that want to come are ones that don't fit perfectly just yet, which is why we get project big men.

    I have 100% faith in CTC. I actually got to practice with him and the coaches for a walk on spot (keeping the fingers crossed haha) and after leaving, I had no doubt he will get us back. But as for his recruiting, I think he is getting the wings that he needs since that is easier to sell with the program and is looking for that big time point guard, and THEN the big men will fall into place. I feel like it might be a process taht takes a while, but will be worth it tenfold in years to come. Hope my analysis could help somehow, if not, lets banter! I don't have much more fun stuff to do haha!

  • it's Indiana

    Don't sleep on Michael Santa either.

  • marchus

    Sorry, but I will pass on Kellen….. but then again we are in no position to be picky

  • it's Indiana

    Jerry – Great breakdown. Half court efficiency isn't sexy, but it is effective. Could you post on some of the highlights from the Crean interview? You have said before that “Crean is getting the type of recruits he wants.” That would be some good food for thought. I'll back you up against the “reds,” although the back and fourth is hilarious. What are your initiations? I like Pritchard, how's that?

  • Tom Crean twitter posts are Terrible. I suggest you start PUT ON THE WARM-UPS WHY YOU RECRUIT

    I hope he hurry and find an assistant with state of INDIANA creed in the recruiting aspect. I lot of respectable Indiana high school Head Coaches deserving a chance at the D-1 level.

  • it's Indiana

    This post is 100% correct, but in the short term more balance would add a few wins. I wouldn't mind getting back to .500 to attract the big time athletes we'll need to hang banners with the dribble drive.

  • MillaRed

    How could I forget? Behold the All-JerryCT Team. Possiblly our 2010 starting line-up.

    PG – Jeremiah “Turnovers flow like” Rivers
    SG – Danny “Not so fancy” Moore
    SF – Michael “I won't be home for Xmas” Santa
    PF – Tom “All thumbs” Pritchard
    C – Bawa “A.K.A. Bow-wow” Maniru

    All in fun IU ballers. All in fun. This lineup may average 37 points a game, but JerryCT is tuning in every time……….

  • JerryCT

    You don't know this but Moore has been feverishly working on his left handed sky hook. He will actually displace Bawa in your lineup.

    Keep in mind we played a 1-3-1 against Minne that had Hulls defending Sampson3 down low. We then subbed with Moore………………. I would not have thought of this defense so I think I am not yet ready to coach ….. what do you think ?

  • JerryCT

    BTW I talked to Mike Santa is Puerto Rico and accused him of hitting that foul shot he got . He corrected me …………… I guess I just see success in everyone

  • GFDave

    This kid is rail thin. He'll really need to hit the weight room.

  • MillaRed

    You were trying to be Jesus yesterday Jerry. I'm thinking coaching should be a snap.

    Moore and sky hook? Uhhh oil and water Jerry. Oil…and….water.

    When I first saw this defense I thought to myself, “Good God we will try anything out there to win a game. Please don't call a timeout and do the hidden ball trick!”

    Then I actually saw a decent mid-major team run it in the tournament. Can't remember who it was, but it erased a little of the bad memory in my head.

  • JerryCT

    The interview was a video . I am not sure how to find it again but I will try. As you know CTC talks alot and fast but moves methodically through the ideas he is using to direct recruiting efforts.

    Liking Pritchard tells me you know your basketball and you are “IN” . I was very disappointed in his offense this year ……. like everyone else …… but his seals, screens, hedges, help D, holding position and blockouts so guards can rebound/push the transition are all really good. You can actually tell how much time is left on the shot clock by watching him because when time is running low he finds a scorer like Jones and positions to set a screen.

    The Red Gang dislikes my defense of the “unloved” among our players. I am the William Kunstler , the MLK Jr, the Statue of Liberty defending the tired, poor and hungry yearning to be loved by IU fans.

    They are tough on me but its all in good fun

  • JerryCT

    Are you saying he is the next Jimmy “Rail” ( sorry ) ……… I must have drunk too much McGuiness

  • GFDave

    Kellen rayly has potential.

  • marcusgresham

    I see your point, but regardless of the offense or defense you run you still need big guys and we've all put our focus on that because at this point we don't see any on the roster that are playing to the level that is required for success. Even in a dribble-drive offense, you need to have an option to pass to when you get cut off going down the lane (or conversely, someone talented enough to warrant having his man stay on him instead of dropping off to help the on-ball defender.)
    Even in a transition offense you need a big guy to get a rebound/block to start the break. You need a guy behind you that can clean up your mistake to give you confidence to play tougher defense.
    Recruit wing-heavy, maybe, but don't abandon the chase for a viable post-man.

  • MillaRed

    You have joined the dark side. You will wake up in the morning with hopes that Daniel Moore gets all of Mo Creek's minutes next season. It's downhill from here it's Indiana.

    Downhill from here………

  • MillaRed

    One of the problems Jerry is this “dribble-drive” deal is sexy when it comes to recruiting. Kentucky just locked up Brandon Knight for that very reason. Successful or not the better guards/wings seem to dig it as an avenue to the NBA.

    I agree with the tunrovers (see John Wall) but I think it's the necessary evil in that scheme.

    We do not have the 3 guards CTC really wants in his offense yet. But even so, it would be nice to have a solid big man down there to post up when we have a lead, slow the game down, swat a few shots etc.

    I'm hoping we just get one legit Big within the next year in the mix. Apparently we will have more wings than Kentucky Fried Firggin Chicken.

  • JerryCT

    Crean said earlier this year that fans were yelling for bigs but criticizing guard play. He concluded that all areas need to be upgraded and “you can never have good enough guards”. In his offense he said he needs players who can dribble, “shoot, pass, get to the lane ” and there are not enough “aircraft carrier” type big men to recruit and succeed.

    My only point is that if we rebalanced the offensive scheme we could use big men better ( ie Cornell ) and recruiting them would even be that much more important

  • marcusgresham

    …and I think if you're going to play 3 guards, that means the two big guys you have on the floor better be damn solid since you don't have that third power guy to distribute the workload down low. I'm right there with you on the “one legit” big guy, as I think we have a couple of guys already who (Elston, Capobianco, maybe Bawa with some seasoning, possibly even TP as a contributor if he doesn't have to be a focal point,) can be very good complimentary guys to a top-notch big man.
    Also, as far as the 3 wings go—maybe there won't be 3 solid guards, but I'll be happy with that 3rd wing not being a guard when he's the match-up nightmare that an athletic 6'9″ Christian Watford is when he plays the small forward.

  • marcusgresham

    If you can play point or post either one I'm rooting for you!

  • donald_refridgerator_perry

    i totally agree with your logic flow, but i think it gets us to two different conclusions, which is why sites like these rule. i think that you hit the nail on the head with your analysis.

    The dribble drive style is obviously lucrative to big time recruits, but not so much on typical back to the basket big men, which is why they end up going to syracuse, wisconsin, etc. big men that can get up and down the court better end up going to WorldWideWes type programs. the most important aspects of those programs are point guards that can get anywhere, and wings that will do the same but with size for when the point guard get stopped.

    However, everyone knows we need a big man to make a potentially dangerous team. But the types of big men that we are able to get in on (Pritch, Bawa) are not the kinds of big men that fit the system just yet. Maybe they will with time, but who knows? That is why, IMO, Crean keeps going after these wings. Wings are more plentiful and easier to sell our program to. Once we get back on the map the types of big men we want will come, but for now the only big men that want to come are ones that don't fit perfectly just yet, which is why we get project big men.

    I have 100% faith in CTC. I actually got to practice with him and the coaches for a walk on spot (keeping the fingers crossed haha) and after leaving, I had no doubt he will get us back. But as for his recruiting, I think he is getting the wings that he needs since that is easier to sell with the program and is looking for that big time point guard, and THEN the big men will fall into place. I feel like it might be a process taht takes a while, but will be worth it tenfold in years to come. Hope my analysis could help somehow, if not, lets banter! I don't have much more fun stuff to do haha!

  • it's Indiana

    Don't sleep on Michael Santa either.

  • it's Indiana

    This post is 100% correct, but in the short term more balance would add a few wins. I wouldn't mind getting back to .500 to attract the big time athletes we'll need to hang banners with the dribble drive.

  • MillaRed

    How could I forget? Behold the All-JerryCT Team. Possiblly our 2010 starting line-up.

    PG – Jeremiah “Turnovers flow like” Rivers
    SG – Danny “Not so fancy” Moore
    SF – Michael “I won't be home for Xmas” Santa
    PF – Tom “All thumbs” Pritchard
    C – Bawa “A.K.A. Bow-wow” Maniru

    All in fun IU ballers. All in fun. This lineup may average 37 points a game, but JerryCT is tuning in every time……….

  • JerryCT

    You don't know this but Moore has been feverishly working on his left handed sky hook. He will actually displace Bawa in your lineup.

    Keep in mind we played a 1-3-1 against Minne that had Hulls defending Sampson3 down low. We then subbed with Moore………………. I would not have thought of this defense so I think I am not yet ready to coach ….. what do you think ?

  • JerryCT

    BTW I talked to Mike Santa is Puerto Rico and accused him of hitting that foul shot he got . He corrected me …………… I guess I just see success in everyone

  • MillaRed

    You were trying to be Jesus yesterday Jerry. I'm thinking coaching should be a snap.

    Moore and sky hook? Uhhh oil and water Jerry. Oil…and….water.

    When I first saw this defense I thought to myself, “Good God we will try anything out there to win a game. Please don't call a timeout and do the hidden ball trick!”

    Then I actually saw a decent mid-major team run it in the tournament. Can't remember who it was, but it erased a little of the bad memory in my head.

  • marcusgresham

    …and I think if you're going to play 3 guards, that means the two big guys you have on the floor better be damn solid since you don't have that third power guy to distribute the workload down low. I'm right there with you on the “one legit” big guy, as I think we have a couple of guys already who (Elston, Capobianco, maybe Bawa with some seasoning, possibly even TP as a contributor if he doesn't have to be a focal point,) can be very good complimentary guys to a top-notch big man.
    Also, as far as the 3 wings go—maybe there won't be 3 solid guards, but I'll be happy with that 3rd wing not being a guard when he's the match-up nightmare that an athletic 6'9″ Christian Watford is when he plays the small forward.

  • marcusgresham

    If you can play point or post either one I'm rooting for you!

  • MillaRed

    Nice post Marcus. Notice everytime we talk the 3 guard lineup we bring up Watford.

    He just isn't a good option at the 4 right now. He was inaffective around the basket last year and I think he will need another year to gain size to be an effective Big Ten Power Forward. I'm not sure I ever want him to be a four. This preesents a problem in Crean's 3 guard system. Because CW is not a guard.

    I've said it many times, the 2010-2011 Hoosiers do not have the roster to run a 3-guard offense. Hulls, VIII and Mo? I dunno man, maybe in 2 years but next season? I think when Verdell is a Sr., Mo is his third year etc. That will be a good team man.

    Watford can learn alot from studying D.J. White. DJ got BIG. He was not that big when he got to IU and by the end he was AUTO-matic inside 5 feet.

    I'm sticking with Verdell at the point. For many reasons. I don't think Rivers gets it and Jordy needs another year. Mo at the 2, and I really liked Elston and CW in the game. Watford seemed to be better when DE got hot in the end.

    The five spot concerns me. But I like Capo and I think he earned a starting role.

    We need that BIG committment Coach Crean! We can season him this year for our run in 2011!

  • MillaRed

    Nice post Marcus. Notice everytime we talk the 3 guard lineup we bring up Watford.

    He just isn't a good option at the 4 right now. He was inaffective around the basket last year and I think he will need another year to gain size to be an effective Big Ten Power Forward. I'm not sure I ever want him to be a four. This preesents a problem in Crean's 3 guard system. Because CW is not a guard.

    I've said it many times, the 2010-2011 Hoosiers do not have the roster to run a 3-guard offense. Hulls, VIII and Mo? I dunno man, maybe in 2 years but next season? I think when Verdell is a Sr., Mo is his third year etc. That will be a good team man.

    Watford can learn alot from studying D.J. White. DJ got BIG. He was not that big when he got to IU and by the end he was AUTO-matic inside 5 feet.

    I'm sticking with Verdell at the point. For many reasons. I don't think Rivers gets it and Jordy needs another year. Mo at the 2, and I really liked Elston and CW in the game. Watford seemed to be better when DE got hot in the end.

    The five spot concerns me. But I like Capo and I think he earned a starting role.

    We need that BIG committment Coach Crean! We can season him this year for our run in 2011!

  • marcusgresham

    I've never understood the love affair with a three-guard offense. I think it came about in many regards out a sense of necessity, especially around the time when (mostly big) guys were skipping college altogether, but given equal levels of talent I can't imagine why you would choose that over 3 bigger guys. If Watford is the small forward with more muscle in a couple of years, who the hell in the Big 10 (or just about anywhere else in college) is going to have someone to guard him without putting a much smaller player on Elston and whomever else is playing down low? He'll shoot right over a smaller guy and go around a bigger one. The problem has been that he's not strong enough when he does get around the someone to finish. Give him some more muscle and someone else down there to dump off to if he does get stopped and he's going to be a beast.

  • marcusgresham

    I've never understood the love affair with a three-guard offense. I think it came about in many regards out a sense of necessity, especially around the time when (mostly big) guys were skipping college altogether, but given equal levels of talent I can't imagine why you would choose that over 3 bigger guys. If Watford is the small forward with more muscle in a couple of years, who the hell in the Big 10 (or just about anywhere else in college) is going to have someone to guard him without putting a much smaller player on Elston and whomever else is playing down low? He'll shoot right over a smaller guy and go around a bigger one. The problem has been that he's not strong enough when he does get around the someone to finish. Give him some more muscle and someone else down there to dump off to if he does get stopped and he's going to be a beast.