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UVA's Dunn, former walk-on, to enter NBA draft

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Published in Basketball
Tuesday, 16 April 2024 07:39

Virginia's Ryan Dunn, a potential first-round pick, will enter the 2024 NBA draft, he told ESPN on Tuesday.

"I had an amazing two years at UVA," Dunn said. "I'm focused on the next step in my life now. I got really good feedback from the NBA and am ready for the next level. I am all-in."

Dunn, ranked No. 31 in the ESPN 100 among NBA draft prospects, was one of the best defenders in college basketball this past season, averaging 8.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.3 blocks and 1.3 steals in 27 minutes per game this season.

Dunn has one of the more unique stories in this draft class, initially committing to Virginia as a walk-on after a late-blooming trajectory. He grew seven inches starting as a high school sophomore, sprouting up to 6-foot-8.

He played only 13 minutes per game as a freshman but entered his sophomore season projected as a potential lottery pick due to his defensive versatility and physical attributes -- he has a 7-foot-2 wingspan and outstanding athletic ability.

Dunn's outside shooting did not progress as much as some hoped this season -- he hit just 7 of his 35 3-pointers and 53% of his free throw attempts, something he says he knows will be a major focal point moving forward during the pre-draft process.

"Confidence-wise, it wasn't always there for me just letting it go from beyond the arc," Dunn said. "I'm going to have a whole different mindset with that. A lot of my role was being a rebounder and making plays at the rim, I did that the best I could to try and help my team win."

Dunn says he'll be spending the pre-draft process in California working on his shooting and preparing for NBA combine workouts, where he hopes to show new facets to his offensive repertoire.

"I'm trying to watch as much of the NBA as I can right now, especially players with my body type and frame," Dunn said. "Herb Jones, OG Anunoby. I want to see how they perform in the playoffs where it's go time."

The NBA draft will be held in New York City on June 26-27. The first round will be conducted at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, followed by the second round the next day at ESPN's studio in lower Manhattan.

Jonathan Givony is an NBA draft expert and the founder and co-owner of DraftExpress.com, a private scouting and analytics service utilized by NBA, NCAA and International teams.

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