UTC leading scorer Nat Dixon plans to leave as graduate transfer

UTC leading scorer Nat Dixon plans to leave as graduate transfer

March 26th, 2018 by Gene Henley in Breaking News
University of North Carolina Greensboro's James Dickey (21) guards University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Nat Dixon (5) as he puts up a shot during the UTC vs. University of North Carolina Greensboro men's basketball game Monday, Jan. 29, 2018 at McKenzie Arena at UTC in Chattanooga, Tenn.

University of North Carolina Greensboro's James Dickey (21)...

Photo by Erin O. Smith

This story was updated March 26, 2018, at 10:30 p.m. with more information.

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga guard Nat Dixon intends to graduate from the school this summer and will seek transfer opportunities for his final season of basketball eligibility.

The 6-foot-4 Dixon was one of the most improved players in the Southern Conference this past season. He averaged a team-leading 13.8 points and 36.5 minutes per game while shooting 39.5 percent from 3-point range, all numbers that rank in the top 10 of the league.

He averaged 2.6 points in 15.7 minutes per game as a sophomore in his first season with the program. Dixon was a football wide receiver at Boston College before transferring to East Mississippi Community College to pursue basketball.

"We are in the business of helping student-athletes earn degrees," UTC coach Lamont Paris said in a released statement. "That becomes a reality for Nat this summer, and it is something that both he and his family should be extremely proud of. We're thankful for the time we had to coach Nat and the contributions he made to this program. We respect the opportunity that is ahead for Nat and continue to assist him as he decides the next step in his journey."

Dixon had 23 double-digit scoring performances in 2017-18, including a 14-game span from Dec. 17 to Feb. 1 in which he averaged 18.1 points and reached double figures in every game. He scored 30 points while playing all but three minutes in the Mocs' 87-85 double-overtime victory over eventual SoCon champion UNC Greensboro. The point total was the most the Spartans gave up to a single opponent all season.

The Mocs currently are full on scholarships for the 2018-19 season. They signed guards Maurice Commander and Donovann Toatley in November and recently added a commitment from 6-7 forward Keigan Kerby.

In addition, 6-2 Fairfield transfer Jerry Johnson and 6-9 Arizona State transfer Ramon Vila will be available, although not until after the first semester for Vila, but Paris hinted Monday that the coaches may not be done reshaping the roster.

"We'll continue to recruit and find some guys that fit our needs," Paris told the Times Free Press. "We'll try to develop those guys and get them up to speed, as well as look at other guys currently on the team playing different roles and possibly having more opportunities."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenleytfp.