Posted On: 10/9/19 8:37 AM

When kids come from smaller markets, sometimes it’s easy to forget about them. For Tandem School rising senior Dean Lockley, there are a couple of reasons he fell off my radar, one of them being that I didn’t know Lockley had transferred from Monticello and reclassified to the 2020 class at Tandem.

However, after the way he played at the Prep Hoops Top 250 Expo a few weeks ago, I won’t be forgetting Lockley who will definitely be moved into the rankings and would be a guy smaller college coaches should look at as a sleeper in the Charlottesville area. Lockley was on fire throughout the camp, and finished as one of the top and most consistent performers throughout the event.

When asked how he felt about the camp, it’s not surprising to hear that he really enjoyed it.

“Camp was great man,” he said excitedly. “It gives us a chance to meet new people, everyone is out here competing hard and everyone is just working to get better.”

Lockley looks like a different kid both physically and in the way he plays the game from when I saw him as just a young prospect with Monticello. He’s filled out nicely, he showed he could play on and off the basketball and while he took advantage of his opportunities to score the basketball he also made plays for others and competed on the defensive end too.

When asked how Lockley improved and what he’s still working on, he mentioned that he’s matured a lot and understands the game a lot better now.

“I’ve definitely got much better with my patience, especially in the half court,” Lockley said. “I used to be real stagnant and would try to do too much in the half court, but now I’ve learned and I’m coming off screens better to create for other players and myself. I still need to continue to work on my three-point shooting and getting that more consistent for the season.”

Lockley has a lot going for him that you can’t teach, such as a good frame and he’s a natural athlete with blow by speed and good ups that allow him to make plays on both ends of the floor. He can attack off the bounce or out of the triple threat, he finishes well around the rim and he competes on both ends with a chip.

“I’m a slasher that can get to the rim, I’m really aggressive especially on the defensive end and I’m willing to do whatever for my team.”

While Lockley is an under the radar guy for everyone including us, he has seen coaches from all levels reach out to him. He mentions D2 Chestnut Hill University, D3 Christopher Newport University and D1 Longwood as schools that have had contact with him.

When asked why he thinks he should be recruited to play college basketball, he says it’s not just what he can do on the court but what he’ll bring to a university or college as a person and student as well.

“I think everything besides basketball is what separates me. I have good character and all of the work I put it on the court I put in just as much or more in the classroom as well.”

Everyone is looking for a gem, and while there are a lot of good programs in the Charlottesville area, don’t overlook little old Tandem School as a place to find one with Lockley and a few others there this year.