Upon committing to Penn State last July, Rivals.com three-star guard Myles Dread’s decision was met by some surprise.
Coaches at D1 schools who had lightly recruited the Washington D.C. area product got back in touch to find out what had happened. Though only rising toward his junior year at Gonzaga College High School, plenty of time remaining until he’d ever need to sign a national letter of intent, Dread’s answer was a simple one.
“I chose the school that not only wanted me, but needed me,” said Dread. “I have a great respect for Pat Chambers, for the way that he recruited me and was honest with me and told me how I would fit into his system and how much he needed me. I appreciated that.”
Back on Penn State’s campus this past weekend to take in the program’s Elite Camp, not participating due to a minor toe injury, Dread reflected on his decision, his rising stock, and the tenets of Nittany Lion basketball that brought him onboard in the first place.
Evaluating the program as it tries to turn the corner under the direction of head coach Patrick Chambers, Dread said he continues to see an opportunity to be an integral part of something special with the Nittany Lions. Made more comfortable by his strong relationships with future teammates including Josh Reaves and Tony Carr, plus those of the program’s coaching staff, the early decision hasn’t led to any regrets.
“I have confidence in my own game. I think that's probably one of the reasons why I was so happy about coming here. I didn't want to go to a school where, say we won a national championship or a league championship and I was just another one of those guys on that team 10 years ago,” said Dread. “At Penn State, they haven't really had that yet, so I wanted to be and wanted to go somewhere I could make a name for myself. My goal is to just come in and make as much noise as possible. With the guys that they've brought in and the guys that I'm trying to recruit coming into the future with me, I feel like we can develop enough power to make that move.”
Certainly, Dread has already developed some experience making moves in his high school career.
Now standing 6-foot-4 and a cut 207 pounds, Dread is coming off a stellar junior season in which he helped lead the Eagles to a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference championship over Paul VI. He dropped 19 points in a semifinal victory against St. John’s and another 15 points in the championship game.
For his efforts, Dread was named to the WCAC all-conference second team as teammates Chris Lykes and Prentiss Hubb pulled down first-team honors. Calling it the best season he’s had as a high school player, Dread noted the areas in which he saw particular improvement in his game.
“I could always shoot, but this year I really, really shot the ball well. I shot like 46 percent from the three. I was really, really happy with that,” said Dread. “I’m more spot up, but I can create my own shot if I have to. I like shooting. Not to compare myself to Klay Thompson, but coming off screens, catching and shooting, making the cut, stepping back, coming off a curl, making reads off screens.”
Though Dread described the areas Penn State’s coaching staff has helped pushed for continuing improvement, he said his responsibilities as the program’s current lone commitment for the Class of 2018 extend beyond the hardwood.
Constantly urging teammates and area prospects to make trips with him to State College, Dread said he’s working on the likes of Dwayne Cohill, Wynston Tabbs, Rasir Bolton, and Tre Wood, among others, to keep the Nittany Lions in mind.
“I feel like they use me as a selling point, not necessarily because I'm the best player in the world, but I am a winner. Wherever I go, we win. High school, AAU, I've always won and I've always competed. So if guys feel like they want to play with that, then that should be a good selling point for them,” said Dread. “I'm trying to get some guys that can bring the intensity, can score the ball that are talented and have a high IQ, that are tough and that are willing to compete at the highest level.”
Fully intending to bring that competitive spirit upon his arrival at Penn State next summer, Dread is now simply counting down the days until he can join in on the process with his future teammates.
“I want to be up here every weekend. It's so fun up here,” said Dread. “I can't wait just to be a part of the team. They tell me how hard it is, they tell me how hard the work is, and I want to be a part of that with them.”