Myles Dread sparking from downtown after offseason surgery
Eight months ago, senior-plus guard Myles Dread announced on Twitter that he underwent surgery to fix his right shoulder.
“This past season, I was not fully healthy, and under the guidance and supervision of the medical staff, I was able to play with a severely torn labrum in my shooting shoulder,” Dread said in a statement on Twitter. “I underwent surgery to repair my shoulder and get as healthy as possible, and now start my journey to get in the best shape of my life.”
Throughout last season, Dread was seen wearing a black brace on his shooting shoulder during the backstretch of the season.
The Detroit native, with his shooting shoulder injured, still had a career season with Penn State, shooting 40.5% from the floor and 40.7% from beyond the arc. The three-point sniper managed to pull 135 of his 158 total shots from downtown.
Dread only started 20 of the 31 games the Nittany Lions played last season, scoring as high as 12 points on five occasions, with four coming in Big Ten play.
Dread averaged 6.2 points per game in the first year under coach Micah Shrewsberry, which put him fifth on the team in scoring as the four players above him averaged 10-plus points per game.
With having the best year in his fourth go-around in the college basketball game, it does come with its downsides.
“It was very tiring,” Dread said. “It can get frustrating at times, and I got down on myself every once in a while.”
In the grit and grind of dealing with a potent Big Ten conference day in and day out, merging with the guys in the locker room, and learning a brand-new offense with a first-year head coach, Dread had shoulders to rely on in those who stuck with the team after the resignation of former coach Pat Chambers weeks before the 2020-2021 season.
“There were times where it was really tough,” Dread said. “And I was using those guys like John [Harrar], who have been around for so long, and Seth [Lundy], who’s younger than me but I still look up to sometimes. Their kind of drive every day helped me come to the gym and be ready to get better.”
Along with the announcement of his surgery to fix his labrum, Dread also announced that he would utilize his COVID-19 eligibility and stay for one more year as a Penn State Nittany Lion. As he utilizes his fifth year, he has turned it up a notch after his journey to recovery.
Thus far into the season, the senior-plus guard has been a threat on the perimeter, shooting at a 48.3% clip from beyond the arc, and only a 47.5% clip from the floor, all being a career-best only 11 games into the season. Granted, Dread has only taken one shot from inside the arc all year.
The three-point shooting has been a major success for Penn State, as the team hit 40% from three-point land and 11.7 three-pointers made per game, which is good enough to rank fourth nationally. Dread contributes 2.6 three-pointers to that team total.
The forward does feel better after heading into the season, especially after how he dealt with his shoulder this offseason.
“This offseason, I actually sat down and didn’t do anything for a while and actually recovered,” Dread said. “I took the time I needed necessary to get back to where I need to be.”
With the time he took, he managed to see his progression in early season scrimmages against his teammates.
“I just felt like bouncing and moving around,” Dread said. “I was like ‘Wow, this is crazy,’. So, it felt like a relief like I know I can get back to this point.”
It paid off for the Detroit native, as he started the season strong, going for 12 points on 4-6 shooting: all of it coming from beyond the arc in a 93-68 opening night win for Penn State over the Winthrop Eagles.
He followed it up by shooting over 45% from the three-point line over the next four games against the Loyola Maryland Greyhounds, Butler Bulldogs, Furman Paladins and Virginia Tech Hokies.
Shrewsberry has seen Dread produce for his team and knows his strengths and how it has helped him this year.
“He’s been playing great at the start of this year just doing what he does,” Shrewsberry said. “He’s making open shots. He’s been a ball mover. He’s been defending people. He’s been a talker.”
However, there is a saying that goes around the basketball world if you live by the three, you die by the three. It was evident in the ACC-Big Ten matchup with Clemson.
Dread managed to have an off-night from behind the arc, as the team shot the second-worst three-point shooting performance this season, converting 30.6% from downtown. Dread went 0-6 on the night, not registering a single point.
He later turned that into production heading into Big Ten play, scoring a combined 26 points in two games and going 7-13 beyond three-point land. His most recent outing consisted of a 15-point performance, hitting at a 55.6% clip from the three-point line as Penn State buried the No. 17 Illinois Fighting Illini 74-59 in Champaign, Ill.
He followed up his performance with a 2-3 shooting day from three-point land, racking up six points in a dominating 97-67 win over the Canisius Golden Griffins to start a four-game homestand.
Dread does not feel discomfort in his shoulder and expects all the success to continue into conference play.
“It feels great… and I’m hoping to continue it,” Dread said.
Jonathan Draeger is a third-year broadcast journalism major. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org
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