A Look Back At Myles Dread’s Steadfast Penn State Hoops Career

Through five years with Penn State men’s basketball and 154 appearances in blue and white, combo guard and three-point specialist Myles Dread is the definition of “gritty, not pretty.”

After a remarkable career as a Nittany Lion highlighted by loyalty, Dread led the group to Penn State’s first NCAA Tournament victory in 22 years and accomplished much more than his original goal of reaching March Madness.

A Detroit, Michigan, product, three-star Dread was the first of the Class of 2018 recruiting club to commit to head coach Pat Chambers’ program on July 10, 2016. At that time, the 16-year-old was on his way to becoming the 2018 Washington, D.C., Gatorade Player of the Year and tallied 1,433 points at Gonzaga College High School.

Dread received offers from George Mason, Manhattan, James Madison, and Towson, but made good on his April 12 offer from Penn State just over three months after receiving Chambers’ bid.

The three-star signee was later joined by Myreon Jones, Rasir Bolton, Izaiah Brockington, and Daniil Kasatkin in the recruiting class. Though Brockington was a transfer portal steal, the remainder of the 2018 recruiting class ranked No. 44 in the nation, jumping from No. 88 nationally in 2017.

Throughout his freshman season, Dread picked up 27 starts through 31 appearances, quickly averaging 28.9 minutes per game. The college ball rookie earned a spot in the starting lineup for the season opener against North Florida and posted 17 points in a statement opening appearance for the Nittany Lions.

From there, Dread sent ripples through the Penn State lineup. In just his third game in the blue and white, the freshman dropped 19 points with help from five triples against DePaul in November 2018. Just five days later, Dread manufactured six steals for a season conference-leading single-game record against Wright State. Not only was the sharpshooter a bonafide threat from the perimeter, but the freshman also contributed impactful minutes on both ends of the court.

Ultimately, Dread finished the season with a team-high 67 three-pointers, leading Penn State in triples as a freshman for the first time since Danny Morrissey did so in the 2004-05 season under head coach Ed DeChellis.

In his sophomore season, though his minutes and starts tapered off, Dread’s conversions and assists remained nearly identical, and his rebound totals actually increased.

During the Nittany Lions’ February 2020 date with Rutgers, Dread produced an 11-point outing highlighted by the game-winning triple and a season-tying high of seven assists through 34 minutes of floor time.

The Nittany Lions closed out the 2019-20 season with an expectation-shattering 21-10 record and their first 20-plus-win season since 2009. Penn State was unquestionably bound for the NCAA Tournament and closed peaked at No. 9 in the AP Poll in February.

Individually, Dread closed the regular season with double figures in four of the last five games and, once again, administered the most triples on the team for the second straight year.

On March 12, 2020, the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Tournament were canceled due to COVID-19, ending Penn State’s anticipated postseason run and normal activities for quite a while.

By the time the following season rolled around, Lamar Stevens had graduated, fans still weren’t permitted to attend collegiate sporting events, and Chambers resigned from his post as head coach amid an internal investigation.

Under the guidance of interim head coach Jim Ferry, the Nittany Lions picked up where they left off and opened the season 2-0 against Virginia Military Institute and VCU.

Dread sunk the buzzer-beating game-winner against VCU on December 2, 2020, and emphasized his importance to the roster in his third year.

That buzzer-beater landed Dread at the No. 7 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays.

The junior put up consistent numbers for Ferry throughout the season and, despite missing two games due to a shoulder injury, averaged 7.3 points, 1.1 assists, and two rebounds per game. Dread shot lights out against Nebraska in February 2021 with a season-high 16 points, a season-best five assists, and two steals in the game.

Dread fell to the second-highest three-point shooter behind Myreon Jones during his junior year but tallied 135 points by way of 45 conversions from behind the arc.

At the conclusion of the 2020-21 season, Penn State began its search for a permanent head coach and several veterans, including John Harrar, Sam Sessoms, and Seth Lundy tossed their names into the transfer portal. Dread, however, remained true to the commitment he made in 2016 and wore the blue and white for his senior year.

Former Penn State Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Sandy Barbour hired Purdue assistant Micah Shrewsberry on March 15, 2021, and Harrar and Lundy decided to stay and take a chance on the first-time head coach with Dread.

Shrewsberry recruited point guard Jalen Pickett from Siena College and built his team around returners Dread, Harrar, Lundy, Sessoms, and Greg Lee.

The ragtag group jumped to an expected 4-5 start under Shrewsberry before the Nittany Lions’ season paused due to three straight game cancellations as a result of COVID-19 outbreaks.

Dread landed in the starting five for seven of Penn State’s nine-game opening stretch. After nearly a month without games, Dread and the Nittany Lions went 9-10 for the remainder of the regular season and Big Ten Tournament to complete a 14-17 season record in 2021.

Dread totaled 20 starts through the 31-game schedule and shot a career-best 40.7% from behind the arc for the entirety of the season. Dread pulled off a game-tying triple to force double overtime against Iowa on January 31 to halt the Nittany Lions’ three-game skid.

Although Dread was converting at a higher rate than ever before in his career, the senior shared at the conclusion of the 2021-22 season that he was dealing with an injury for the length of the year.

“This past season I was not fully healthy, and under the guidance and supervision of the medical staff, I was able to play with a severely torn labrum in my shooting shoulder,” Dread said on Instagram on March 29, 2022. “It was important to me to persevere for my teammates, for my coaching staff, and for Penn State. Immediately after the season, I underwent surgery to repair my shoulder and get as healthy as possible, and now I start my journey to get in the best shape of my life.”

In the same Instagram post, Dread emphasized his passion for the blue and white and his intentions to stay at the program that give him his start, making use of his extra year of COVID-19 eligibility.

“Since July 10, 2016, I’ve been nothing but committed to Penn State and the State College community. You guys have given me more love and motivation than I could ever ask for,” Dread said. “I made a choice to attend Penn State with the idea of taking a team that hadn’t been to the NCAA Tournament in years to the Big Dance.”

A Nittany Lion through and through, Dread remained in Happy Valley for five years and tallied 154 total games, the most games played of any Penn State men’s basketball player ever.

Dread appeared in all 37 games in the 2022-23 season and registered 61 triples, 74 rebounds, and 205 points in 799 minutes of play. The fifth-year senior put on a clinic in Penn State’s December 12 outing against Illinois and knocked down a season-high five three-pointers en route to the Nittany Lions’ first ranked win of the season.

The Detroit native continued to cook three-pointers down the stretch and put a trio of triples away in the Nittany Lions’ second ranked win over Maryland to close the season. Dread hit each in the second half to eviscerate a once-16-point lead to ultimately win by game by way of a Camren Wynter winner.

Dread nailed three three-pointers in Penn State’s Big Ten Tournament Championship game against Purdue, and while the team didn’t get the result it set out for, the group already knew it was NCAA Tournament bound. What was once Dread’s elusive goal as a sophomore in high school turned into a reality just minutes after the final whistle of the conference championship match. He was going to the NCAA Tournament.

“That’s the reason me and Seth Lundy came back,” Dread told Nittany Sports Now on Selection Sunday. “That’s the reason Jalen Pickett, Cam Wynter, Mikey Henn, Andrew Funk, we all came here for. I’m ecstatic to see that all that hard work that we put in together, how close we became as a team wasn’t taken for granted.”

In an electric first-round tournament game, Penn State played lights out against Texas A&M and produced a 17-point win over the Aggies. Dread went two-for-two from three through 20 minutes, helping the Nittany Lions capture their first NCAA Tournament win since 2001.

Just two days later, Dread exploded with four three-pointers in the team’s Round of 32 outing against No. 2-seeded Texas. Back-to-back clutch second-half threes brought the Nittany Lions within one point of the Longhorns, but the energy spurt was short-lived, and Penn State’s postseason run came to an end by a score of 71-66.

Dread closed out his five-year career holding the fifth-most three-pointers in Penn State history (232) and leads all Nittany Lions with the most games played in program history (154).

Having accomplished his sole goal of reaching the NCAA Tournament, Dread rewrote the story of Penn State basketball by way of relentless loyalty and grit.

β€œMy goal coming to Penn State was to leave it better than I [found] it,” Dread said after the Nittany Lions’ tournament exit. β€œAnd, I feel like we did that. We accomplished that for sure.”

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About the Author

Keeley Lamm

Keeley is a senior from Richmond, Virginia, majoring in journalism. She's an associate editor and talks about awesome stuff on our podcast, Podward State, too. You can usually find her on a porch, but if not, feel free to contact Keeley on Twitter @keeleylammm or [email protected].

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