Dillon signs with SE Missouri
SUMMIT – With the stroke of a pen, sophomore forward Xavion Dillon has become the first member of the 2014-15 Southwest men’s basketball team to sign a scholarship to continue his collegiate playing career. Dillon has elected to play for Coach Dickey Nutt’s Southeast Missouri State University Redhawks, an NCAA Division 1 member of the Ohio Valley Conference.
Dillon (6′ 7 1/2″, 220) is a 2013 graduate of Tylertown High School. In his freshman season with the Bears, he averaged 7 points per game. He hit 53% of his field goal attempts and was good on 65% of his free throws.
In the Bears’ three games this season, he has picked up 12 points per game (tied for 2nd on the team) and has 23 rebounds. He has been successful on 48% of his field goals and 67% of his free throws.
Asked why he chose to play for the Redhawks, Dillon said, “The main reason I chose them is because they came and were real with me. They said they’d give me the opportunity to play a lot of minutes and the opportunity to start and the opportunity to contribute a lot to the team.”
Dillon said he felt he could contribute “scoring, rebounding, blocking shots and energy” to the Redhawks. He also said he could “be a good teammate” and help give the team “a winning mindset.”
Southwest head coach Thomas Gray said Dillon “is a special young man. He’s a guy who I’ve had the pleasure to get close to over the past two years. We (he and former head coach Casey Carter) recruited him very heavily out of high school; we spent many nights in that gym (at Tylertown High School) and we were blessed enough to have him come here.”
“He’s been fantastic for us,” Gray continued. “It’s been a situation where he has brought everything that we thought he would bring to the table and much, much more. He’s as athletic as a 6′ 7 1/2″ guy comes. He has the ability to stretch out and make a shot on the perimeter, plays very hard on defense and is a great rebounder. Probably his biggest attribute as a basketball player is he’s very coachable. He’s probably the most coachable player that we’ve had here at Southwest since I’ve been here as an assistant and head coach.”
Gray said that he expects Dillon to “do really big things at Southeast Missouri.” He said the school’s league “is a great league, a very competitive league” and has four or five guys from the MACJC currently playing the conference. Among those are former Bears Twymond Howard and Deville Smith, both at UT-Martin.
Gray said it is a situation in which Dillon “is going to be a guy who is going to contribute on a very high level. I think it’s (Southeast Missouri) a great place for him to go and be under the guidance of coaches who care about their student-athletes and play in a really competitive league that’s going to open up doors for him after two years of playing there.”