Just ahead of the Oklahoma State Cowboys meeting with Arkansas-Pine Bluff we look at why Davon Dillard should get more playing time.
Oklahoma State sophomore guard Davon Dillard has barely seen the floor this year. He was one of the prized recruits of the Cowboys 2015 recruiting class. After originally committing to Cal as part of the Golden Bears touted class including Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown, Dillard switched to OK State. Dillard offers a high ceiling with a jump shot that could push him to be one of the better shooters in the Big 12 and he is one of the best athletes that the Pokes have.
Dillard was originally recruited by former OK State head coach Travis Ford, who was fired at the end of the 2015-16 season. Now, head coach Brad Underwood seems to be as reluctant as Ford was to give Dillard playing time. The Pokes rotation has changed quite a bit thanks to injuries to senior shooting guard Phil Forte and sophomore point guard Jawun Evans. Both players are arguably the most talented on the OK State roster.
If Dillard can work his way into the rotation against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, then he can start building some trust from Underwood. The Golden Lions are 1-8, and the Pokes should be a heavy favorite. Playing time should be spread out pretty well among the entire rotation.
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Only true freshman Trey Reeves has seen the floor in as little games as Dillard. Both have played in three games. However, Dillard is averaging 5.0 minutes per game. He saw his first action of the season against the New Orleans Privateers in a 117-72 victory on Nov. 16. Dillard scored seven points on 3-4 shooting in only 10 minutes. Those are the only points he has scored this season.
Dillard also saw very limited playing time against Rogers State and Tulsa. He only got five minutes of combined playing time in both games.
Most of the offense created for OK State is coming from freshman point guard Brandon Averette and junior forward Jeffrey Carroll, considering Forte and Evans are dealing with injuries. Dillard offers the athleticism and creating ability necessary to help the Pokes space the floor better.
You have to wonder why Underwood has not let Dillard see the floor in more games. According to News OK, Dillard experienced some issues with suspensions last season, including a violation that caused him to miss the rest of the 2015-16 season after February. Academic issues compiled with team misconduct could be a big reason why Dillard has been getting scattered appearances in the last two seasons.
Moreover, if Dillard is staying out of trouble and continues to prove his worth on the floor, then he could develop into a key piece in the Pokes quest for a NCAA Tournament appearance and an outside shot at the Big 12 title.