CHICAGO — Dominant scoring performances have become a regularity for UIC freshman Dikembe Dixson. The 6-foot-7 forward dropped 26 points Friday in a loss to Detroit and with it tied the Horizon League’s freshman scoring record.
Dixson has now netted 501 points, tying former UIC guard Mark Miller’s mark from the 1995-96 season. Dixson is averaging 19.3 points per game this season, ranking No. 3 in the Horizon League. In conference play, he has upped that to 22.9 points per contest.
“I’ve been around a lot of very good players,” UIC coach Steve McClain said. “Dikembe continues to grow, and he’s got to continue to grow.”
With his next bucket, which will almost surely come during Sunday’s matchup against Oakland, Dixson will set a new record for Horizon League freshmen.
However, he remains a good bit shy of the UIC freshman scoring record. Sherrell Ford holds that record with 601 points when the Flames were members of the Mid-Continent Conference during the 1992-93 season.
Dixson has three regular season games plus the Horizon League Tournament to reach that plateau.
Dixson struggles with efficiency. He shoots 36.8 percent from the field and possesses a mediocre 88.9 offensive rating, but he ranks first in the Horizon League in usage rate at 33.1 percent and percentage of minutes played at 96.5 percent.
Considering what McClain has asked of Dixson as a freshman, the 88.9 offensive rating is actually somewhat impressive.
“There’s a point where, especially for freshmen, you’ve played this many minutes,” McClain said, “and yet he continues to bring it at a high level every time he steps on the floor.”