Five-star sophomore Dylan Anderson working to become a small forward

Photo: Logan Newman/USA TODAY High School Sports

Five-star sophomore Dylan Anderson working to become a small forward

Boys Basketball

Five-star sophomore Dylan Anderson working to become a small forward

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Listed at 6-foot-11 as a sophomore, Dylan Anderson has always been one of the bigger, if not biggest, players on his basketball team.

Right now the Perry High School (Gilbert, Arizona) forward forms a towering duo next to 6-foot-10 junior center Duke Brennan. Against local Arizona competition, in which very few teams have the size to match, the two might be in the post together.

“We always like spacing on the court, but when we’re both down there it’s kind of hard for other teams,” Brennan said. “Two of us down there really helps.”

But against the No. 14 in the country, Mater Dei of Santa Ana, California, Anderson had an opportunity to stretch out at Hoophall West on Saturday.

Just the way he wants.

“Right now I’m more of a four trying to change it to a three,” Anderson said.

“I like running more than just standing in the post just trying to get big. I want to play both positions, like Giannis (Antetokounmpo) but with a jump shot.”

Instead of crashing into the post in transition on Saturday, Anderson would more often drift out toward the corner. He would at times control the ball up top and go to work with dribble moves or looking for passes.

“I probably break people off the drive more but when I get in I try to work on my guard skills so I can pass, I drive, pull up, I really have the option,” Anderson said. “But I usually give it to Duke so he can go to work.”

His basketball IQ is sharp, but he is still honing his skills. Anderson has natural passing instincts but hasn’t yet developed the ability to get the ball through tight windows with regularity. He threw some passes to the exact right teammate at the right time, but the accuracy of a guard isn’t there yet and there were too many turnovers.

His ball handling abilities are strong for a player of such size and length, but it’s an area to grow if Anderson is to beat smaller opponents off the dribble consistently.

He uses his height and wingspan that’s at least 7-foot-2 well on defense and as he grows should become a more powerful force.

In summation, he’s showing good first steps and has three years left to continue growing. Getting more aggressive on both ends of the court will come with age. It’s clear why he already has offers from the four major Arizona universities and Cal Berkley, has visited Arizona and Arizona State and is in contact with Gonzaga and Michigan.

Anderson said he’s heard support from universities and recruiters about developing his wing skills.

“They say keep working all the time,” Anderson said.

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Five-star sophomore Dylan Anderson working to become a small forward
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