Dion Wiley isn't your every day playground legend. The Potomac High product didn't receive excessive hype as a middle schooler or even as an underclassman. He toiled in national anonymity until he arrived at the 2012 Peach Jam with Team Takeover. There, he proved to be a versatile and innate scorer who had a knack for putting up points and winning.
He further cultivated his reputation as a junior. At the National High School Hoops Festival, he scored 26 points on 9-19 shooting along with eight rebounds to push Potomac past St. John's. By the season's conclusion, he had drawn offers from Maryland, Cincinnati, Georgetown, Virginia, N.C. State, Virginia Tech and Rutgers.
Based on that offer list, he obviously could be classified as a regional high-major prospect. But his game drew even broader interest once he hit the EYBL circuit. Beginning in April and stretching forward from there, he elevated his scoring attack and became a featured option for Takeover.
But Maryland didn't need the entire summer to win his commitment. Wiley had favored the Terrapins for some time, and their soaring win at home over Duke helped put them over the top. (And that reinforces the point that home environment truly does affect recruiting.)
His pledge gave the Terrapins another local star, adding to a group that already included Romelo Trimble and 2013 signee Roddy Peters. For a new-ish coaching staff and considering the pending move to the Big Ten, those commitments proved all the more significant.
Few players in the senior class score as intuitively as Wiley. He doesn't necessarily look the part, and he doesn't jump out of the gym, he's just a shot-making machine who understands and thrives in his role as clutch scorer.
His bread and butter is a smooth jump shot. He hits from all angles and ranges, and he's a very effective three-point assassin. He shot the ball outrageously well at times on the EYBL circuit, and he's well-versed in all the various three-ball opportunities. He can create his own to an extent and is even better pulling up, moving without the ball or spotting up for catch-and-shot. He's both a shot-maker and a shot-getter, and thus he's able to exert maximum impact.
Meanwhile, Wiley should be able to gain plenty of muscle in college and become a sturdy rebounder and defender. His game primarily exists in the scoring realm, but he's attentive to detail and should become effective in other areas.
His body needs work. Wiley is a little too heavy and that hampers his quickness, which imperils him when matched against elite man-to-man defenders. He's crafty enough to get shots despite that, but a Big Ten-level defense will be able to limit his open looks unless he gains mobility.
He's also a good, not great handler, another area he can improve. Given that he doesn't boast an elite first step, he needs to tighten up all the physical and skill areas he can.
You might look at Wiley and watch him play a bit before deciding that he's a future complementary scorer and three-point specialist. That would be a reasonable take and those players have proved critically important, but then there's the Jordan Adams-type guy at UCLA and you wonder.
If Wiley can solve the college defense riddle as well as Adams did, perhaps he can have a more profound impact than many anticipate. And even if he doesn't, a deadeye shooter with size and strength holds tremendous value. He should enjoy an excellent career with the Terrapins.