Monday Update: Dikembe Dixson did not arrive for an official visit Monday. His father, Sam Dixson, told the News Sentinel in a phone interview on Monday afternoon that he expects his son’s visit to be rescheduled for later this week.
Dikembe Dixson, a three-star small forward in the 2015 class, has a Tennessee offer and plans to visit Knoxville next week.
The 6-foot-7, 190-pound Dixson announced on Twitter on Friday night that he is now considering Tennessee along with Mississippi State and Alabama.
A strong push from Tennessee has moved the Vols into the picture as of late, according to Brad Napier, head coach at Mingo Central High School in Matewan, West Virginia.
“I know he was talking to (Vols) coach (Rick) Barnes tonight,” Napier said late Friday night. “They are planning to bring him in for an official visit.”
That visit is scheduled for Monday (May 18).
Napier said Barnes’ staff, specifically associate head coach Rob Lanier, established a relationship with Dixson while at Texas. That interest intensified this week.
Napier said Dixson visited Alabama last week and has a visit to Mississippi State scheduled later this week. He said Arkansas had been in the picture but isn’t any longer.
“He really liked Alabama last weekend,” Napier said. “He’s really excited about Tennessee now that it has come into the picture here lately. He had a good relationship with the staff when they were at Texas.”
Napier said Dixson averaged 22 points and 10.5 rebounds as a senior this season. He describes him as a “very athletic” player who excels in transition.
“He’s just an elite athlete,” Napier said. “He can shoot it. He as a really nice stroke. He is just all-around a good player. He needs to get in the weight room a bit, get a little stronger and fine tune his skills.”
Napier said Dixson originally planned to sign on May 26, but that date could be pushed back due to his new interest in the Vols. When asked why the decision has been delayed compared to many recruits in the 2015 class, Napier said Dixson always planned to wait until after his season ended to make his decision.
“He kind of wanted to take his time through the whole process,” Napier said. “His sister played at Marshall. The family knows how the whole process goes.”
Dixson’s sister, Suporia Dickens, played at Marshall from 2011-2014. Dixson’s cousin, Montrell Dixson, is a 6-foot-6, 200-pound shooting guard in the 2016 class who has drawn some Division I interest.
Something that could hep Tennessee: Ruben Kasongo, the younger brother of 2015 Tennessee signee Ray Kasongo, was a teammate of Dikembe Dixson’s at Mingo Central last season. Ruben Kasongo has since transferred, but the players remained friends.
“Those guys communicate,” Napier said.
Tennessee has one scholarship available for the 2015 class — if additional roster defections do not occur. Last week, UT power forward target Ebuka Izundu committed to Miami.
The 247Sports composite ranks Dixson the No. 219 overall prospect and the No. 43 small forward in the 2015 class.