After swinging and missing on one of the final prospects of the 2014 recruiting cycle the Iowa basketball team will likely enter next season with three newcomers to the roster in addition to eight returning contributors.
The first two recruits to sign on the dotted line to play for coach Fran McCaffery and the Hawkeyes are your usual first year entrants, joining the Division I fray straight out of high school. However, the third and thus far final player to pledge his allegiance to the Black & Gold has made the journey in a far different manner.
Trey Dickerson has played all over the country since the start of his prep career. He began high school in Queens, New York, moved to Los Angeles and played at two more schools, and finally ended up at a prep school in Dallas. To say the least that is one heckuva career path for any teenager to take (and no, none of the moves were due to disciplinary reasons).
Upon graduation Dickerson briefly committed to Murray State before electing to go the Junior College route that saw him end up at Williston State in North Dakota.
In the midst of a season in which he averaged 19.8 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.5 rebounds per game, earned conference MVP honors, and was voted a third-team JUCO All-American, Dickerson committed to spend his next three years in Iowa City.
The 6-1 Dickerson brings not only a more mentally and physically prepared player to the Iowa roster than most high school prospects, but a variety of skills and abilities to boot.
As you can see from the pleasantly lengthy highlight video, there is a lot for Hawkeye fans to like about this explosive and well-traveled point guard. Dickerson shows an ability to score both off of the dribble and the catch, as well as create for teammates. He has a variety of shots that he uses effectively, but as is evident by his assist numbers he’s also not reluctant to share the basketball.
If I had to identify what I see as Dickerson’s greatest strength (or at least most important one for the Hawkeyes), I would say it’s his ability to finish at the basket through contact against bigger defenders.
Of course it’s important for any point guard to be able to penetrate off of the dribble, but if a guy isn’t a real threat to score amongst the trees on the interior he becomes much easier to defend.
On numerous occasions Dickerson attacks the rim without hesitation and is able to take a bump or foul while completing the play. When you combine this with what looks to be a decent perimeter shot, the defense is tasked with a player who must be accounted for at all times.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, it’s difficult to discern the greatest weaknesses of a player’s game by merely watching highlight tapes. With that being said, the most probable adjustment that Dickerson will likely go through at the Division I level is simply the step up in competition that all first-year collegians are faced with.
Is he more prepared for this jump than your averaged high school kid? Sure, but like any other player, he’ll have to learn through trial and error what he can and can’t do at this level and how he needs to adjust in order to be most successful.
Looking ahead to next season, most followers of Iowa basketball are expecting Dickerson to step in and play a significant role right away. I would tend to agree with that sentiment.
With the graduation of Devyn Marble a void exists in Iowa’s backcourt, particularly that of a guard who can consistently break down his man one-on-one and get to the basket. I see Dickerson as the type of player who can excel in this area of need for the Hawkeyes.
However, for people that think Dickerson is going to come in and assume the starting point guard duties currently held by Mike Gesell, stop it. Coach McCaffery will very likely experiment with the two on the court at the same time, but there have been zero indications of anything else at this point.
Don’t expect immediate superstardom from Dickerson in a Hawkeye uniform. Instead, look forward to a player who has the chance to be a vital cog in the rotation both offensively and defensively with his speed and play-making ability. I’d suspect he’ll see somewhere along the lines of 15-20 minutes a game.
If he can do that, the next step in Dickerson’s unusual basketball journey should be considered a resounding success.