Dixon Enjoyin Himself, Getting Better

Dion Dixon had a choice to make when deciding where to play his college basketball. Wyoming had offered him, Marquette and UAB along with latecomers Baylor and Ohio State were showing interest in the 6'-3" shooting guard from Chicago. But in the end, one thing brought Dion Dixon to Cincinnati, and now that he's here he has but one goal.

Dion Dixon can tell you why he chose to come to Cincinnati in one word.

"Winning," said the guard before practice recently. "Coach Cronin, he loves to win. I love to win too, so I felt like this is where I need to be."

Dixon has been here since the summer, where he competed alongside future University of Cincinnati teammates Deonta Vaughn, Mike Williams, Yancy Gates, and Cashmere Wright in the Deveroes Summer Basketball League. The team won the league championship, and was able to build some important chemistry before all coming to play together this season.

"When we played in the summer, I didn't know them at first so that gave me a feel to see how everybody played and how they played on the court, and just build chemistry like that," Dixon said of the experience. "It was good, playing with Cashmere, Yancy, Deonta, and Mike, that was good."

Unfortunately, that Summer League championship game would mark the last time Dixon and Wright would play together for some time, as Wright will miss the entire season this year with a torn ACL suffered on October 21. The loss of Wright leaves head coach Mick Cronin and the Bearcats without a true point guard.

"Well, losing Cashmere was big because he was our only true point guard. All he does is play the point," said Dixon. "I can play point and two, but I don't know, whatever coach needs me to do that's what I'll do."

Despite Dixon's willingness to play at the position, Cronin says he won't be asking the freshman to handle point guard responsibilities.

"The worst thing you can do as a coach is try to ask a guy to learn two positions before he learns one, and I'm not going to screw him up," said the coach.

Besides, Dixon has plenty of qualities that Cronin likes in him as a shooting guard.

"Well Dion can score, and he rebounds for a guard," explained Cronin. "Those would be the two biggest things. That, and he's got a great attitude, he really wants to improve everyday. Those are things that he's doing the best right now. His ball handling's got to improve, and he's got to relax a little bit, but he's pressing right now, he's a freshman and that's just part of it."

While he only scored four points in his first collegiate game when the Bearcats took on Carlton Saturday, Dixon did exactly what Cronin said he could do as he led the team in rebounds with eight. Dixon shot 2-8 from the floor and 0-2 from the line in his UC debut, and also notched one assist, one turnover, and one steal in his first 23 minutes of college basketball playing time.

Dixon should have his true shooter's touch back by the time the true regular season rolls around, and until then Dixon has but one goal.

"I'm just trying to get better and get better each day," says Dixon. "As far as the team goes we're just trying to get better too and trying to progress each day."

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