Dylan Foreman used to block shots — and break hearts.
If you had to compile a list of NCAA Division I-bound scorers Foreman put the clamps on while at Bellevue High School, it gets pretty long:
▪ Foreman held Rainier Beach standout Shaqquan Aaron — a Louisville signee — to two points in the Class 3A state semifinals.
▪ Earlier in the postseason, Foreman ended Lincoln point guard Ahmaad Rorie’s prep career in the regional round, sending him off to Oregon.
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▪ Foreman also guarded Mandrell Worthy at Eastside Catholic (Montana State), Kaleb Warner at Mercer Island (University of the Pacific) and Jamie Orme at O’Dea (Highline CC), almost always getting the upper hand.
“I’ve been fortunate to guard some great players,” Foreman said.
Here is the surprise about Foreman — he can score, too.
As Foreman and Pacific Lutheran get ready to square off with cross-town rival Puget Sound on Tuesday at Memorial Fieldhouse, the Lutes sophomore is averaging 15.2 points per game.
During PLU’s hot non-conference slate, Foreman had a stretch of six 20-point games in a row.
“Dylan is a flow player — he gets in the flow of the offense and scores,” PLU coach Steve Dickerson said. “He has become one of the better players in this league. He just needs to continue to be more aggressive offensively.”
At one point in high school, Foreman was a shot-seeker, specifically from beyond the 3-point line.
“When the shot was not on,” Foreman said, “I was pulled.”
At the end of his junior season at Bellevue, Foreman said he sat down to figure out ways to stay on the court.
He volunteered to become the team’s defensive stopper.
“It became the normal, natural thing to accept,” Foreman said. “I wasn’t like a defender that was in your face, or put you in lockdown that you would not touch the ball. I guarded people to the best of my ability, which meant I was efficient.”
Foreman’s ability to defend on the wing fit Dickerson’s style.
“He had one job — the same job he has here at PLU, and that was to guard the other teams’ best player,” Dickerson said. “Except here, we let him shoot occasionally.”
And when Foreman has shot the basketball this season, it has usually hit the mark.
He is shooting 47.3 percent from the floor — and 46.4 percent from behind the 3-point arc, which ranks third in the Northwest Conference behind Lewis & Clark’s Cory Coombe (51.7 percent) and Linfield’s Eric Daul (51.2).
Foreman has given Dickerson and the Lutes a reliable scorer to pair with shooting guard Brandon Lester. In fact, the coach thinks this is as good a scoring duo as he’s had since the days of forward Kyle MacTaggert and point guard James Conti in 2011.
“At the beginning of the season, (scoring) was definitely a foreign concept,” Foreman said. “Now I am used to it, and I do my best to touch the ball as best as I can.
“I am not trying to force up 15 shots a game, but trying to get those 15 shots up within the flow of the offense.”
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Pacific Lutheran (6-11, 2-6 NWC) at Puget Sound (11-6, 6-2)
6 p.m., Memorial Fieldhouse, Tacoma
The coaches: PLU—Jennifer Childress, third season; 18-49 record; UPS—Loree Payne, sixth season, 96-53.
The series: UPS leads, 50-24.
Statistical leaders: PLU—PG Megan Abdo (11.2 ppg and 2.1 apg) and F Lacey Nicholson (6.4 rpg); UPS—F Emily Sheldon (20.5 ppg, 7.1 rpg) and G Alexis Noren (3.4 apg).
Starting lineups: PLU—PG Megan Abdo, 5-7, sr.; SG Samantha Kelleigh, 5-7, jr.; SF Sarah Barnes, 5-9, sr.; PF Lacey Nicholson, 5-8, jr.; C Ionna Price, 5-10, jr.; UPS—PG Samone Jackson, 5-4, fr.; SG Alexis Noren, 5-10, jr.; SF Emily Sheldon, 5-11, sr.; PF Allie Wyszynksi, 5-11, sr.; C Claire Fitzgerald, 5-11, so.
The skinny: After a sweep at Whitman and Whitworth, the Loggers appear to be hitting their stride. Jackson was inserted into the starting lineup two weeks ago, and has provided the team with a reliable third scorer behind Sheldon — the conference’s leading scorer, awarded her fourth NWC player of the week honor — and Noren. … PLU has noticeably improved, but struggles to put together consistent offense for long stretches.
TNT pick: UPS, 75-62.
Pacific Lutheran (11-6, 4-4 NWC) at Puget Sound (9-8, 4-4)
8 p.m., Memorial Fieldhouse, Tacoma
The coaches: PLU—Steve Dickerson, 10th season, 98-136 record; UPS—Justin Lunt, 10th season, 146-104.
The series: PLU leads, 69-66.
Statistical leaders: PLU—SG Brandon Lester (17.4 ppg), C Bryce Miller (8.8 rpg) and PG Erik Swartout (2.7 apg); UPS—SG Kohl Meyer (13.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 4.5 apg).
Starting lineups: PLU—PG Erik Swartout, 6-1, jr.; SG Brandon Lester, 5-11, jr.; SF Dylan Foreman, 6-2, so.; PF Jared Christy, 6-6, fr.; C Bryce Miller, 6-6, sr.; UPS—PG Matt Reid, 5-11, sr.; SG Kohl Meyer, 6-3, jr.; SF Carlos Mancasola, 6-2, jr.; PF Andre Lewis, 6-3, jr.; C Kyle King, 6-4, jr.
The skinny: In a season where the group chasing No. 1 Whitworth and Whitman is tightly packed, PLU and UPS are squarely in the playoff race. In fact, if the NWC tournament were to start today, the Lutes would be the No. 3 seed; the Loggers No. 4. Both these teams have superb 1-2 scoring punches (Lester-Foreman at PLU; Meyer-Mancasola for UPS), so this game might come down to the supporting casts. UPS has a deeper roster, and more options, but Miller and Christy have given the Lutes consistent production over the past few weeks.
TNT pick: UPS, 79-75.