A tall and lanky wing, Dylan Windler is one of the top outside shooters in the 2019 draft class. He is a smooth shooting southpaw, who has a very quick release. He excels at moving without the ball, making good use of screens and changes in pace. This season as a senior, he averaged 21.3 points, 10.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.4 steals per game, and he had highly efficient shooting splits (.540/.429/.847). The senior led Belmont to an NCAA tournament berth and a win over Temple in a First-Four matchup. The Bruins then lost to Maryland (79-77) in the first round, despite Windler racking up 35 points and 11 rebounds in the contest.
Windler is also an accomplished golfer, and for a time, he was uncertain which sport he would pursue in college. Prior to his senior season in high school, he had no basketball scholarship offers, but that changed when he played for the Indiana Elite, an AAU team that featured two other sharpshooters, Kyle Guy (Virginia) and Ryan Cline (Purdue). Playing for Indiana Elite during the summer before his final year of high school gave Windler exposure, and he subsequently received a number of offers from mid-major schools, including Belmont.
During his four years at Belmont, Windler steadily improved in a number of areas, but he is, first and foremost, a shooter. In terms of points per possession (PPP) this season, he ranked at the 96th percentile as an overall jump shooter and at the 79th percentile for shooting off the bounce. He relies considerably on off-ball movement and screens to get space for his shots, as opposed to breaking down defenders with his handle. He also likes to take jumpers in transition before the defense can get set. He is very quick to release when catching and shooting, and is able to knock down long-distance shots with a hand in his face.
Not surprisingly, Windler is more of a spot-up shooter than anything else, but he is very capable of scoring and contributing in a number of other ways. He shoots with his left hand, but he does most other things with his right, including golf, and he can drive, pass, and finish with either hand. He is a good athlete, who can finish above the rim, and he is extremely effective as a cutter, with his specialty being sneaky backdoor cuts. He can score as both a handler and a screener via the pick and roll. He frequently makes plays for others off penetration. And being a prolific rebounder, especially for his size, he gets his share of baskets via put-backs.
The main offensive weakness that I see in Windler is that he has trouble getting separation with the ball in his hands, which was most apparent against better defenders. He is not particularly quick and nifty off the bounce. He has a nice step-back move in his arsenal, but he appears to have trouble consistently gathering to shoot on those types of moves. At times, he is a reluctant driver, especially going left, which is his shooting hand, and as a result, he settles for ill-advised shots from deep. When he does drive, he is often forced to pull up and pass because he can’t get all the way to the rim and his runner/floater game is unreliable.
On the other end of the court, Windler has the length and athleticism to be a solid defender at the next level, but there are concerns. His effort is good, but he appears to lack ideal awareness and instincts. He is more than willing as a help defender, but he watches the ball too much, doesn’t anticipate well, and is easily baited out of position. At times, he helps when it is not needed and seemingly forgets about his man. For all of these reasons, he struggled vs. spot-up shooters this season, allowing too many open threes. On the plus side, he is quick on his feet and changes direction easily as an on-ball defender. He held up very well when defending pick-and-roll and isolation plays this season, and overall, in terms of points per possession allowed, he ranked at the 78th percentile.
According to the Saragin Ratings, Belmont’s strength of schedule this season was 205th out of 353 teams, and for this, we have to question Windler’s stats. The Bruins played just five games against NCAA Tournament teams: Murray State (twice), Purdue, Temple, and Maryland. They faced another high-major team in UCLA, and twice squared off vs. Lipscomb, the regular-season champs of the Atlantic Sun Conference and the runner-up in the NIT Tournament. In those eight games, Windler averaged 12.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 1.5 steals, and 2.4 turnovers. Most of those numbers were on par with his averages for the entire season, except the points, which were significantly lower because of his poor shooting percentages (FG percentage of 40.2 and 3-point percentage of 28.6) in those eight contests.
The 2019 NBA draft class has a short supply of reliable 3-point shooters, and Windler can expect to be taken early in the second round. It is a concern that he had trouble against better competition this season, but he seemingly has the skills, athleticism, and size to eventually contribute as a 3-and-D player. However, there are certain aspects of his game that he must significantly improve, mainly his ability to drive and to create off the bounce and his awareness on defense, if he wants to be on an NBA roster.
|Wingspan:||6-10||Vertical:||29 inches (standing), 37.5 (max)|
|Shot Hand:||Left||Stats:||Click here|
- Excellent shooter; shot 42.9 percent from the 3-point line and 84.7 percent from the free-throw line this season.
- Knows how to use screens; ranked between the 87th and 89th percentiles for PPP when receiving handoffs, shooting off screens, and handling in the pick and roll this season.
- Very quick release when catching and shooting; ranked at 93rd percentile for PPP on catch-and-shoot jumpers this season.
- Can shoot off the bounce; ranked at 79th percentile for PPP on jumpers off the dribble.
- Excels moving without the ball and finishing around the basket; ranked at the 97th percentile for PPP on cuts to the basket and at the 86th percentile for PPP on put-backs this season.
- Takes care of the ball; had a low turnover rate this season (12.1 percent)
- Scrappy and an excellent rebounder; finished second in the nation with 293 defensive rebounds, and averaged 10.8 total boards per game (10th in the country).
- Defensively, gives good effort, and is solid on the ball; ranked highly in terms of PPP allowed when defending in isolation (73rd percentile) and vs. pick-and-roll handlers (94th percentile).
- Good overall metrics; ranked 10th in the country with a player efficiency rating of 29.0 and 13th for win shares with 7.3.
- Good overall athlete; tested well at the NBA Combine, including the fifth fastest shuttle run (2.94).
- Has trouble creating space off the bounce.
- A reluctant and inefficient driver; when driving from spot-up and isolation this season, combined, he made just 14-of-36 shots (38.9 percent).
- Doesn’t draw many fouls; had a foul percentage of 12.9 this season.
- Poor field-goal and 3-point shooting percentages against better competition this season.
- Lacks defensive awareness and instincts.
- Struggles defending spot-up shooters; ranked at the 47th percentile in terms of PPP allowed in that category this season.
- Struggles defending in the post; ranked at the 9th percentile in terms of PPP allowed in that category this season.
- Lacks bulk and muscle
Sources, Credits, and Acknowledgements: Stats used in our scouting reports mainly come from Synergy Sports Technology and RealGM.com, and occasionally from Hoop-Math.com and Sports-Reference.com. The photo was courtesy of Belmont Athletics. Other outside sources are noted with links to the source.