Dylan Brink was capable of filling a stat sheet during Erie’s 2012-13 season, but it only helped the Tigers go so far.
Prior to the 2013-14 season, though, head coach Tim Leahy knew Erie could be a force if Brink met one specific proposition his senior year.
“I challenged him to improve his efficiency offensively,” Leahy said. “And, he did that. Two-point field goals, the 3-pointer, free throws … all his percentages went up, and it was really quite amazing.”
Brink’s rise as a consistent offensive threat mirrored Erie’s improvement from his sophomore season to his senior year. With him as the main scoring threat — he proved to be a danger almost every night — the Tigers secured their first winning season since 2009-10. A far cry from the 2-21 team just two seasons ago.
For his acceptance of the challenge, and his execution, Brink has been named the 2014 Times-Call Player of the Year.
In 2013-14, Brink averaged 18.8 points a game, which put him 11th overall in Class 4A scoring. The average itself is a nice token, but Brink’s efficiency was remarkable, indeed.
Not exactly a slasher nor a player who thrives within five feet of the basket, Brink’s 49 percent shooting overall speaks to the development of his form — a form one prominent local coach described as “perfect.”
“I took a lot of reps this summer, not only in-game shooting but just a lot of drills with set shooting and moving,” said Brink, who also secured 3.3 rebounds, two assists and 1.7 steals per game. “As many shots as I could get up every day to try and be more consistent.
“My percentages weren’t that good my junior year. They were average, and I didn’t want to be average. I knew I could do better.”
The year started out just the way he’d have wanted, with 21, 30, and 29-point efforts in a span of four games at the outset. That included a game against Pueblo County that saw him go 11-for-12 overall and 5-for-5 from 3-point range.
Again, in four games from Jan. 21-28, he hit 30 of 52 shots from the field and added three more efforts of at least 24 points. For the season, he shot below 40 percent from the floor just four times, a solid upgrade from the 34 percent he shot as a junior overall.
He ended his career with 922 points in 67 games, but nearly half that total (450) came in his final season. And, it was a meaningful one for Brink with the team going 15-9 overall.
“I think my teammates believed in me, and they fed my confidence,” Brink said. “(The season) meant the world. Just playing with a bunch of guys who have been playing together for four years or maybe longer, and we were a tight-knit group. Getting to play with your best friends is incredible.
“We won two games our sophomore season … it’s been quite a journey but it’s been awesome.”
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