Matt Visinsky

SMU basketball player profile: Dashawn McDowell needed for depth in the backcourt

Patrick finishes PonyStampede's SMU basketball player profiles with freshman guard Dashawn McDowell, who will be needed for wing depth despite his inexperience.

Position: Guard

Size: 6-5, 185 pounds

Year: Freshman

High School: Southeast (Oklahoma City)

Hometown: Oklahoma City

Recruitment

Dashawn McDowell was the first of SMU’s three freshmen to commit. He pledged to SMU after an official in early September. It was the only official he took or set. An Oklahoma City native, McDowell was originally a Tulsa commitment, but reopened his recruitment right before his final AAU season, during which he played for Urban DFW Elite. He averaged 29.0 points per game as a junior in high school, and as a senior, he recorded a couple triple-doubles.

2016-2017 Outlook

McDowell is one of three guards who did not play a minute for SMU last year (Tom Wilson, Ben Emelogu the others). He’s part of a pretty young SMU backcourt, save for senior Sterling Brown. So he’s not coming in way behind the rest of SMU’s rotation. He brings length and versatility to the backcourt, with an ability to play any backcourt spot. 

With only nine guys on scholarship who can play this year, McDowell should find himself in the rotation from the start. But he’s going to be coming off the bench, with Shake Milton, Sterling Brown and Ben Emelogu and Jarrey Foster as SMU’s main guards. With Tom Wilson looking like SMU’s backup point guard, McDowell’s minutes will likely come off the ball in relief of Foster, Emelogu and Brown at both the 2 and 3 spots.

McDowell’s adjustment to playing in college hasn’t come without a few bumps. Tim Jankovich has gotten on him a few times in practice for not knowing his defensive assignment. The staff says he’s thinking too much. Sources have said his best performance has been in SMU’s two secret scrimmages, where he has just played without overthinking. 

If McDowell can give SMU 10 to 15 good minutes off the bench, with 3-4 points per game, that’d be a good freshman season. As he grows more comfortable during the season, his role should grow a bit. He’ll be part of the rotation, but won’t have a lot of pressure on him to play so many minutes like Shake Milton or Jarrey Foster did last year.


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