Illinois Basketball Scout Discusses Recruits


Published: April 23, 2008


Ducks Attack reached out to find someone who is a known scout in the Illinois area that could give Oregon fan’s a brief rundown on the type of players that Oregon is bringing in next season in Michael Dunigan, Matthew Humprey, and Josh Crittle. owner and college Scout Daniel Ponemon was willing to lend his time from breaking down film and doing his own stories to chat with Ducks Attack about the trio from Chi-Town.

Ducks Attack: With a limited amount of depth at the post position next year, what are your thoughts about Dunigan and the impact he will have on the team next season?

Daniel Ponemon: Dunigan can play right away at the center position and be a rebounder and shot blocker with his 6’10 frame and long arms. He will also bring some toughness downlow on offense with his touch around the hoop but will need to get stronger to his already big wide body.

DA: Will he be a star right away like Kevin Love was at UCLA?

DP: I don’t think so, but that not saying he wont have a good player for the Ducks. He should be a guy that will give Coach Kent around eight points and eight rebounds with a few blocks a game. Nothing special or eye popping but very solid.

DA: What areas is Dunigan lacking to be that special freshman?

DP: Dunigan is still a little raw around the edges and just needs more practice time and time on the court against good players. As he gets older he will get much better. The foundation is there, the reps are not.

DA: Would you consider Dunigan a one and done player?

DP: He isn’t there yet, but he could easily play in the league if he puts his mind to it. Its all there for the taking. He needs to add muscle and improve on his skill like any other player on both ends of the floor. He has the size and athleticism needed to play in the NBA and he is also a very smart basketball player and shows a real natural feel for the game.

DA: So is Dunigan a player that lets the game come to him and not force things?

DP: Ya, you could say that on a usual basis. He can get frustrated like any other young big guy when he doesn’t get the ball, but he is young and will learn.

DP: Dunigan should be a great role player his first year and then sophomore year be 2nd or 3rd team all Pac-10 once he gets adjusted to college ball and in the gym more.

DA: So your saying he has all the tools, but just needs to adjust and fine-tune his game?

DP: Exactly, playing at a high level night in and night out and adjusting to the overall speed of the college game and then he will be a great player.

DP: I don’t think he will start at the beginning of the year but midway through or maybe earlier he should be starting. Its all on how quickly he adjusts to playing college ball.

DA: So to wrap up Dunigan, could you explain his game and what he brings to the court?

DP: Michael is long, very athletic, wide bodied and great at blocking shots. Might be the best shot blocker in the nation if not he is up there with the best of them. He has great timing on blocking shots and will continue to do so. Very aggressive player on both ends of the court. Doesn’t get pushed around and with his great timing will get a lot of blocks on defense. When he gets the ball down low on offense he wants to dunk it every time. Plays very aggressive down low and doesn’t show a weak shot. Wants to power dunk it to not get blocked. You can tell by the constant scowl on his face that he wants to dunk it everytime he gets it down low. Smart player that knows his position and what he should be doing and what he shouldn’t do. He is ok as an outlet passer and passing out of the post.

DA: So, moving on, talk about Josh Crittle, the other Center coming to Oreogn.

DP: Josh was the best player in the class of 08 his freshman and sophomore years. It looked like he was going to become a very big time recruit as big schools were showing interest. He was much farther along than Dunigan or Iman Shumpart who is a five star guard going to Georgia Tech as a McDonald’s All-American and Jordan All Star.

DA: So what prevented him from staying as the number one recruit?

DP: Well he grew faster and than stopped after his sophomore year and everyone else kept growing and caught up or passes him. He became a tad inconsistent and also a tad lazy you could say.

DA: Could you go into more detail about his on and off play?

DP: Well Crittle can flat out dominate the court and demand major attention from defenses one night and then the next night he looks like he disappeared totally and can’t be found on the court.

DP: I have seen Crittle go for 25 points and 15 rebounds and then the very next game he goes for 10 points and five rebounds against a team much undersized and slower than Crittle.

DA: Will he be a player the Ducks should expect to give good minutes?

DP: If he can get his head on straight and work hard in the gym from now and until the season starts he could be as good as Joevon Catron was this past season. Solid player on both ends but won’t be an all Pac-10 player or anything right away.

DA: Is that coming into next season?

DP: Possibly, but I would be willing to say it will happen farther down the road, maybe his sophomore year.

DA: Why not this season?

DP: Well, Crittle is as college ready as Catron was coming into college.

DA: What do you mean?

DP: Well Crittle isn’t as strong as Catron nor as heavy.

DP: Crittle hasn’t lifted weights at all to my knowledge, but that doesn’t mean he won’t improve and become a good player. He has great upside with his very wide body, long arms, and athletic ability. Get him in the weight room to add muscle and he should see lots of improvement as well. He is much like Catron, good inside game and can also step out and make the outside jumpshot when open. He also can dribble very well for a big man of his size. He could really develop into a good player for Kent if he works hard in the gym.

DA: So is he the classic player who gets to college and improves some during his first year, but his real progression comes between his freshman and sophomore year?

DP: Maybe, it all depends on how bad he wants it and how hard he works. I could see him starting as a Sophomore or I could see him as a player buried on the bench fighting for minutes. It all depends on how hard he works. He has the potential to be great, it just needs to be polished.

DA: So lastly, lets talk about Matt Humprehy, whats your thoughts about him?

DP: When he is on, he is really really good. One of the best players out there. Problem is, he can be a tad like Crittle and be hot and cold at times. Not as bad, but it does happen.

DP: I could see him being a guy that gives Oregon 25 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and five assists a game down the road. He has that much potential. But like Crittle I have seen him go for those numbers one night and then the next night he goes for eight points, four rebounds, and a few assists and no steals. It wasn’t as often as Crittle, but he still did have some high and low games.

DA: I was not aware of his ability to get steals, could he be a shut down defender in the Pac-10?

DP: Oh ya, the tools are there. He is great at getting steals right now. He needs to get a tad stronger, but there is the talent to be one.

DA: So it sounds like he is great at getting shots for other players, can he play the point?

DP: No, I don’t think he will play point guard full time at Oregon, but if Kent needed him to play it for a few minutes I believe he can hold is own and not make mistakes at the point. His assists came from him just being a very smart player with a high IQ and sees the floor well.

DA: So what are his best aspects of his game in your eyes?

DP: His outside shooting and his high level of IQ. He can really stroke it and yet shows good basketball IQ.

DA: Is he a player who could make the NBA as well?

DP: Its too early to tell, but he does have the body and then ability to get there if he works hard enough.

DA: Give Duck fans a description of Humprey in your eyes.

DP: All around threat in all areas of his game. He is a great shooter from outside when he is on. Can be a tad inconsistent, but when he isn’t shooting well he plays smart basketball. He is a very very smart player, like I said. Great defender, could be a stud on defense if he puts his mind to it. Good athlete. Will be a player for the Ducks next year but in my opinion not start and instead be the 6th man type of player for the Ducks. To give you an idea of how talented he is and how good he can be schools like Uconn, Florida, and Illinois wanted him badly.

DA: Thanks for doing this, just a few more questions, what is the view on these kids leaving Chi-Town and going to Oregon?

DP: Well, a coach can’t just come into Chi-Town and expect to land the big fish so clearly Kent made a very very big impression on the coaches and AAU coaches and players when he recruited Joevan Catron. Getting these three players in Dunigan, Humphrey, and Crittle, is a big splash. Oregon will be a player in Chicago more so than in Illinois for years to come. There is a big interest in Oregon right now because of these three kids. There aren’t any kids getting recruited that I know of by Oregon from the Illinois area but when they offer somebody they will have a good shot.

DA: Well, thanks for taking the time for us to discuss the Oregon recruits from your area and we look forward to talk to you soon Daniel.

DP: No problem, look forward to talking to you as well.

Go and visit Daniel’s website at Daniel is the founder, editor, and writer for the website and is the one to talk to when you want to get Illinois high school basketball info. College coaches from Illinois, Arizona, Southern Illinois, and across the Midwest are calling Daniel for the inside scoop on recruits in the Illinois area.

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