I first read about Jared Dillinger here on the Philippine basketball section of the Interbasket forums, and a lot of interest were generated about this guy, because his stats in the US NCAA Div. I was better than the other former US NCAA Div. I players now playing in the PBA.
Born Jared Bautista Dillinger to a Filipina mother and American father on Jan. 6, 1984 in Littleton, Colorado, the 24 year old Jared actively played four seasons for the University of Hawaii Warriors, and was a starter on his last year there in the 2007-2008 US NCAA Div. 1 season.
Dillinger averaged 31 mpg, 9.7 ppg, 2 apg and with a 38.3% shooting from the 3-point line as a starter. Though he’s listed as 6’5″, 200 lbs., roadwarrior (a.k.a. TV Analyst Butch Maniego) says he is likely to be only be around 6’3″.
His first 3 games on Philippine soil with the Pampanga Buddies in the Liga Pilipinas league was a bit of a disappointment because he averaged only around 5 ppg. But I finally got to see him play on TV yesterday (Saturday, June 28, 2008) in their game against the Zamboanga Amores, where he scored 15 points. Here are my notes on him.
He is tall, about 6’3″, left-handed, quick and fast, pretty good ballhandler for somebody at his height, and with a good medium body build. His leaping ability seems to be only average, he definitely does not have the kind of hops that Gabe Norwood has.
I think his main asset is his passing ability. Dillinger is a great passer, I saw him throw AT LEAST half a dozen long passes during the game, some of them on fast break plays, and all of them were spot on with no turnovers. It means he was making those passes at just the right spot, with the right speed and right lead where the receivers could easily catch them. He’s like a football quarterback throwing spot on passes downrange.
And not only is he a good passer, he also was constantly passing the ball, hoping to catch his teammates on a good scoring position. That combination of height, heft, ballhandling and passing were probably the reason why he ended up as a starter in the US NCAA Div. I college.
I have some doubts about his offense, though. He hit a couple of outside shots, but in the process also had around 2-3 airballs. He did better attacking the basket, but the Amores weren’t really playing good defence, and I keep wondering how effective he would be against PBL or PBA defenders.
Overall, I think what he has right now will be good enough for the PBA. If he can improve his offense, so much the better. I don’t envision him as a prolific, James Yap or Mark Caguioa go-to PBA superstar level, but more of a tall, athletic role player, a vital cog to a team, rather than THE main cog of a team.