In attempt to blog about something more uplifting than the current affairs of the PC hoops team, Friar alumn Kris Dunn is starting to make a name for himself in the NBA. Dunn, who was drafted 5th overall in the 2016 NBA Draft, found himself on the move from Minnesota to Chicago on 2017 draft night. Kris Dunn, along with Zach LaVine and the 7th pick in the 2017 Draft (Lauri Markkanen) were shipped off to Chicago in exchange for Jimmy Butler and the 16th pick (Creighton’s Justin Patton). When Dunn got drafted by Minnesota it felt like a match made in heaven with a defensive minded coach in Tom Thibodeau but things didn’t work out for Kris. In his lone season in Minnesota Dunn didn’t get the playing time as a rookie to develop in the league. Dunn averaged 17.1 minutes per game, only starting 7 games, and his performance suffered. Dunn averaged 3.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg and 2.4 apg and his shooting percentages were poor across the board. So when Dunn got traded to Chicago it was seen as a reset on his NBA career.
Dunn’s sophomore campaign didn’t get off to a great start as he dislocated a finger in preseason causing him to miss the first four games of the regular season. Upon his return Dunn found himself coming off the bench for the Bulls but with increased minutes compared to his T-Wolves days. Dunn’s recent play has forced head coach Fred Hoiberg’s hand and Dunn has found himself in the starting lineup. It’s the past seven games that has Bulls fans and Friartown encouraged about his pro prospects. In the past 7 games Kris Dunn is averaging 17 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 7.6 apg including averaging over 2 steals per contest. While the Friars lost to UMass Saturday Dunn hit the game clinching free throws in a victory over the Knicks. It’s these types of performances that Friartown was used to out of the 2x Big East Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.
Kris Dunn attended PC the year after I graduated so I never got to meet him and while the Crier may be biased it’s hard not to root for a kid like Kris. His rough upbringing was well documented and then shoulder injuries derailed the beginning of Dunn’s collegiate career. Just when you thought all of the tough times were behind him when he was drafted 5th overall he had to endure a tough rookie season where some were already writing off his pro potential. Going from dominating college basketball for two years to hardly seeing the floor in his first NBA season must’ve been tough. From a far it appears Dunn takes everything in stride, works on his game and doesn’t let the adversity he faces get the best of him. I’m proud to call Kris Dunn a fellow alumni and I think he’s a great ambassador for the school and it’s not just because he’s playing well in the NBA but he appears to be a good guy. For those living in New England you can catch Kris Dunn in action tonight against the Celtics at 8pm. My Celts will be without Kyrie Irving tonight and Dunn and company will try for their third win in a row. Although the Patriots might be on Monday Night Football tonight I’ll be sure to flip back and forth and check in on Dunn.