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Sutton adds signee Dillard from Georgia prep ranks

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – Judson Dillard, a 6-foot-4 wing player from Riverdale (Ga.) High School has signed a national letter of intent to play at Tennessee Tech University, seventh-year coach Mike Sutton announced today.

The third signee for the Golden Eagles, Sutton compares Dillard to recent Tech standouts Anthony Fisher and Keyon Boyd.

"Jud is a big, athletic wing player,” Sutton said. “He’s similar to Anthony and Keyon, and they were awfully good players for us. He’s young with a lot of skills.

“He can be a player who fits in at multiple positions,” Sutton said. “He has great bounce and length, and he has played all of the perimeter positions. He has grown three inches in the past year or so, and we think he has a tremendous ‘up’ side.”

Dillard is the second player from Riverdale added to the Golden Eagle roster this year, joining November signee Terrell Barnes. Sutton’s staff also signed Livingston Academy standout Chase Dunn.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity to play at Tennessee Tech,” Dillard said. “I can’t wait to get there and get to work.”

After playing his first three high school seasons at Mt. Zion (Ga.) High School, Dillard finished his prep career at Riverdale under coach Derrick Powell where he was reunited with several players he had teamed with in middle school.

“Jud was a real pleasant addition to our team, a really welcome addition,” Powell said. “He was a two-three man, and he really glued us together. He can handle the ball, take it the basket, finish around the basket.

“He could play any position, from point guard to power forward,” Powell said. “He was a point guard for three years and then he grew three inches, and played the wing. He’s just a versatile player. He has guard skills but he’s able to go into the lane and create.”

Last season at Riverdale High School, Riverdale finished the year 20-9, placing third in the region and reaching the Sweet 16 of the state tournament. The team took first place at the Morgan County Christmas Tournament and Dillard was named the tourney MVP.

Dillard led Riverdale in both scoring and rebounds, averaged 22 points and eight rebounds per game, notching a career-high 49 points in one contest. He earned first-team all-region honors, and was also named first-team All-Southern Crescent. On his team, he captured the Best Offensive Player Award.

“Jud is an extremely hard-working kid,” Powell said. “He was always the last player to leave practice, the first player to show up for the game. He gave 100 percent all the time, on both offense and defense. He’s a high-energy kid and he really plays hard on both ends of the floor.”

In addition to adding three inches to his frame in the past year-and-a-half, Powell said Dillard has also worked hard in the weight room to develop his strength.

After his first three prep seasons at Mt. Zion, Powell says the chance to play his senior season at Riverdale brought Dillard back together with some long-time friends.

“He went to middle school with some of the guys who were playing here,” Powell said. “They played against each other some years, and he was able to rejoin some of the guys he grew up with when he came to Riverdale.”

Judson is the son of Terrell Dillard and Betty Thomas of Riverdale, located just south of Atlanta. He plans to enroll in general curriculum when he arrives on the Tech campus.