Providence’s Kris Dunn is Criminally Underrated

Posted by Justin Kundrat on February 10th, 2015

Providence hasn’t received much national media attention this season despite a 17-7 overall (7-4 Big East) record with a neutral floor win over Notre Dame on its resume. And until a recent 27-point outburst, sophomore point guard Kris Dunn worked in relative obscurity while LaDontae Henton — the Big East’s leading scorer at 20.4 PPG — received much of the credit for the team’s success. Henton accounts for a whopping 31.7 percent of Providence’s shots and 29.1 percent of its points this season, and while the senior has been a steady offensive contributor for the Friars, the primary driver behind the team’s season performance has been the play of Dunn.

Kris Dunn (USA Today Images)

Kris Dunn Drives the Providence Bus and Deserves More Credit For It (USA Today Images)

Dunn was the second-best point guard in the Class of 2012 and ultimately chose Providence over the likes of Georgetown, Louisville and UConn. There was a tremendous amount of hype surrounding his delayed arrival — he played in 25 games starting in mid-December of his freshman year — followed by disappointment upon his season-ending shoulder injury just a few games into last season. At 6’3″, Dunn has proven he can get by and shoot over his defenders, but despite a solid average of 15.0 points per game this season, he isn’t drawing attention because of his scoring ability. The redshirt sophomore instead brings tremendous value with his unheralded court vision, enabling him to dish no-look passes to open teammates or throw lead passes 40 feet down the court for easy lay-ups. His stellar passing ability is highlighted by his 7.5 assists per game, which ranks third-best in the country, and his assist rate of 50.9 percent, where he is easily first.

Couple his prolific passing ability with a well-developed skill to read passing lanes (2.6 SPG – eighth nationally) and rebound proficiently for a guard his size (6.0 RPG) and you are describing one of the most complete players in the country. It should come as no surprise then that Dunn has been consistently stuffing the stat sheet over the past month. He notched 27 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists against DePaul, recording just the 14th triple-double in Big East history, all the while adding three steals and a block. NBA draft sites are beginning to take notice.‘s Sam Vecenie notes that “Dunn has an argument as not only the best player in the Big East Conference, but also the best point guard in the country… his physical profile is extremely intriguing at 6-foot-3 with a 6-foot-8 wingspan, meaning he has pretty prototypical size for the point guard position in the NBA… there’s enough there to make Dunn a first-round pick.” Needless to say, Dunn’s 2014-15 campaign has been the very definition of a breakout season, causing many to worry that he isn’t long for college basketball. Some have cited his turnover and injury woes as reasons he won’t be a first rounder, but it is a looming question around the program. Until recently, Dunn has flown under the radar while Henton picked up all the accolades, but his superb play this season has ensured that this will no longer be the case. But as a result, the Friars are in good position where making the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row is a realistic proposition. Only time will tell, but if Providence makes the return trip, it will be in large part because of the work from its underexposed but elite point guard.

Justin Kundrat (175 Posts)

Villanova grad, patiently waiting another 10 years for season tickets. Follow Justin on twitter @JustinKundrat or email him at

Share this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *