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Achieving his dream on the court

From highly touted 4-star prospect to getting off to a slow start as a freshman, Dalen Terry is ready to change the narrative in year two

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Nathanial Stenchever | The Daily Wildcat

Dalen Terry, a sophomore on the Arizona men's basketball team, jumps over two students to score a perfect 60 score during a dunk contest at the Red-Blue game on Oct. 2, in Mckale Center. Terry went on to win the contest.

Before stepping on campus, being a Wildcat was always the goal.

Dalen Terry grew up in Phoenix and remembers attending games in McKale Center when he was younger. Then he realized his dream. 

Terry started his high school career at Corona del Sol High School, but ended up transferring to the highly-touted Hillcrest Prep for his last two seasons. 

When changing schools in the middle of his high school career, his game on the floor started to speak for itself.

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He averaged 16 points per game along with 11 assists and six rebounds as a junior. Then he received offers from the University of California, Berkeley, University of Utah, ASU, University of Nevada and Marquette University, but decided to enter his senior year of high school without a commitment to a university, as he was waiting to hear from Arizona. 

After establishing himself as one of the best prospects in the state of Arizona, while putting up nearly a triple-double per game with 16 points, 9 assists, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 blocks, it was clear he would be a Wildcat. 

Officially on July 23, 2019, Terry committed to the University of Arizona to become a Wildcat and continue his basketball career just down the road in Tucson. He finished his high school career as the second-best recruit in Arizona and No. 52 overall in the country for the 2019 class according to 247sports. 

RELATED: Tommy Lloyd wins first game as Arizona’s MBB Head Coach 

He knew more was left to prove under Sean Miller as a Wildcat.

Entering his freshmen season, he played mostly shooting guard/small forward. It was a change for him, when before, he was used to having the ball in his hands for most of the game. 

He only averaged five points and three rebounds per game on just 33% shooting on three-point jump shots. His jump shot was a question mark, being it appeared to have a hitch in it when he was releasing the ball.

Heading into his sophomore season, what was needed to improve and establish himself as an NBA prospect was clear, improve the jump-shot.  

“I think I have gotten stronger mentally and physically and [I have been] improving my jump-shot to make sure I have more up games than last year being up-and-down,” Terry said. “It has always been an aspect in my game that hasn’t been the best since high school.”

While Terry was focusing on himself during the off-season, a big change was made, and it was the leader of the team.

Miller, the coach who recruited him out of high school has officially parted ways with Arizona after 12 seasons as head coach in Tucson.

“I have a real good relationship with him,” Terry said. “I will always thank him for pushing me and never keeping me satisfied.”

After the Wildcats hired former long-time Gonzaga Bulldogs assistant coach after over 20 years in Spokane, Washington, the vibe, energy and playstyle in Tucson seemed to be changing. 

Tommy Lloyd has stressed that he wants to bring his fast up-tempo playstyle from Gonzaga to Arizona while changing up a few things to fit his players and team. 

For Terry, it might be perfect to work with Lloyd, because it will allow him to open up his game while running the offense in transition. 

Terry by no means is an elite shooter, but with an improvement jump-shot while displaying his incredible passing ability, his dreams to take his game to the next level may be realized. 

Terry stands at 6-foot-7-inches and can guard multiple positions on the defensive end of the floor and thinks that will allow him to take his game to the next level. 

When thinking of elite basketball players like Kawhi Leonard, Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan, they started their careers as elite offensive players, but when adding their defensive toughness and effort, it took their game to the next level. 

Terry is back in Tucson for his second season with more to prove. 

The narrative will be changed after being a top-50 recruit coming out of high school.

He is ready to prove that he is a complete player that can fill up the statistic sheet in many ways while being a leader on the team. 


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