Bilal Dixon, a 6'8, 228 pound senior forward called Tim Welsh on Tuesday and announced his intention to sign a letter of intent in November.
"I told them today, after school,'' Dixon told the Providence Journal. "I felt comfortable at Providence. It's the right decision.'' Welsh is unable to comment on any player who has committed but has yet to sign.
Dixon is a Jersey City native and played two years for Bob Hurley's famed St. Anthony's program before transferring and playing last season for Queen of Peace. Dixon averaged 14 ppg and 12.8 rpg last year as a junior for the Golden Griffins, who finished 19-9 and reached the second round of the Bergen Jamboree and the second round of the Non-Public A state playoffs.
Still growing, Dixon is seen as a player with a huge upside and a prospect who was beginning to catch the eye of high major schools. UNLV's Lon Kruger flew in Monday night to visit Dixon and St. John's and Siena, among others, had shown interest. Still, Providence was the only school that had offered up to this point. However, the Friars are known for recognizing talent and getting in early with prospects, before they blow up, and that may be what happened with Dixon.
PC had worked New Jersey especially hard this summer and fall, scouting a number of prospects, and according to Dixon's coach Bill Schoener, who told a Jersey website, "I think they were the one school from the first day that they came that you really felt that they were definitely going to offer and that they really wanted him. From the biggers schools that showed interest, Providence showed from day one that they wanted Bilal. (Providence assistant) Steve DeMeo went to a lot of his (AAU) games (with the New York-based Juice All-Stars). He showed more interest than anybody else did."
Dixon is a tough defensive presence with great feet and hands, someone who can step out and guard the perimeter, as well as underneath. He also can hit shots out to fifteen feet and can fly in for impressive jams and short baby hooks. He's got room to fill out and gained about twenty pounds and grew an inch in the last year. A few years from now, Friar fans may be counting their blessings that Welsh and staff grabbed Dixon early. Expect Dixon to be at Late Night Madness on October 12.
While PC will still actively recruit the 2008 class just to cover itself, the staff can now turn its attention to the big 2009 class, where the Friars will have as many as six scholarships to give.
Bilal Dixon Commits
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