We knew we had a special player the night Dallen MacDougall was flattened by a Colin Loughery elbow to the face. As the gym went silent and the coaches rose from their seats thinking they were about to deal with an injured player, Dallen bounces right to his feet and says “I’m good”.
That toughness earned Dallen a spot on the varsity team in grade 10 and would eventually lead to a starting position later that same season. A starting spot he would not relinquish for the remainder of his varsity career.
Initially, Dallen earned his minutes with defence. Even as a grade 10, Dallen was able to have a significant impact on the game without scoring. He dove on the floor for loose balls, fought through screens, and always accepted the challenge of guarding the other team’s best player.
In his junior season, Dallen expanded his offensive skills to become a very effective scorer. He attacked the rim with confidence, hit free throws at a high percentage and added a pull-up mid-range jumper (an extremely effective weapon in today’s game regardless of what NBA analytics would try to tell us). Even with the additional offensive output, Dallen’s defence never wavered. On many nights, he guarded the other team’s best player, constantly getting hit by screens, for 30 plus minutes per game on some nights. Despite all that, he would still knock down jumpers in the 4th quarter.
I don’t think Dallen has ever admitted to being tired. If you ask him the reply is always the same, “I’m good”. But if you really want to get him locked in, just ask him if he needs someone else to guard his man. Things getting interesting real quick!Paul Vaughan, Head Coach KVHS Varsity Boys Basketball
Dallen’s commitment to doing the dirty work that a lot of players try to avoid doesn’t go unnoticed by his teammates. He was voted co-captain for his junior and senior years. As captain, Dallen was a true servant leader, especially during his senior year.
Heading into his grade 12 year, no one would have faulted Dallen for wanting to be the focal point of the offence. He just spent two years working his tail off on defence but deferring to Colin Loughery and other upperclassmen. But with the graduation of those older players, the 2019-2020 Crusaders were left with a huge hole in the middle of their frontcourt. Who was going to fill that hole? How could they replace the 27 rebounds/game that those seniors averaged the season before? The simple answer….Dallen!
Dallen moved from his natural wing position to power forward. This meant more screening and fewer shots. More rebounds and fewer run-outs. More bruises and fewer buckets. While most seniors would struggle with this role, Dallen accepted the challenge with his normal attitude…”I’m good”.
Despite playing out of position Dallen found lots of ways to contribute to his team’s success. He increased his rebounding to a career-high (6.3 RPG), had a career-best in assists (2.4 APG) and had his best season shooting; 43% overall and 31% from the 3-point line.
In addition, Dallen finishes his career in the top 20 in several categories:
- Player Efficiency (6.92 – 19th all-time)
- Assists (152 – 7th all-time)
- Assists / Game (1.71 – 16th all-time)
- Rebounds (347 – 9th all-time)
- Rebounds / Game (3.9 – 18th all-time)
- Steals (125 – 9th all-time)
- Steals / Game (1.4 – 18th all-time)
- Fouls committed (138 – 6th all-time)
- Blocked Shots (46 – 6th all-time)
- Blocked Shots / Game (0.52 – 7th all-time)
- Games played (89 – 18th all-time)
Replacing seniors is never easy. Replacing leaders is even harder. That will be the challenge for the 2020-2021 Crusaders. Can we replace Dallen’s leadership and competitive spirit? Luckily Dallen has shown them the blueprint to follow.