CATS DIXON STAYING: MORE MONEY IN NIL THAN UNDRAFTED IN NBA!

By Sally Hanson

Eric Dixon’s Villanova career will last one more year.

On Tuesday morning, Dixon withdrew from the NBA draft and returned to Villanova for his final year of eligibility.

“I’m ready to handle some unfinished business with my Villanova basketball family,” Dixon wrote in a statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, and Instagram.

This decision follows Dixon’s announcement on April 13 that he was declaring for the NBA Draft.

Over the past month, Dixon participated in several open runs and workouts, but ultimately decided to withdraw from the draft.

He was likely to go undrafted, as he did not appear on any mock drafts.

As a UDFA [Undrafted Free Agent], Dixon’s options would have included signing with a team for summer league, signing with a team in the G league or pursuing a career overseas.

With NIL (name, image and likeness) allowing student athletes to earn a salary, it is likely that Dixon will make more money staying in college than he would have made if he turned to professional basketball.

Dixon’s return also comes one day after Fresno State transfer Enoch Boayke committed to Villanova and a week after Villanova’s top transfer, VCU guard Max Shulga de-comitted from the Wildcats and returned to VCU.

As of May 28, the Wildcats have lost nine players from the 2023-2024 roster to graduation, the NBA or the transfer portal.

Graduate guard Justin Moore, graduate forwards Tyler Burton, and Hakim Hart and graduate guard Chris Arcidiacono are out of eligibility. Senior guard TJ Bamba, junior forwards Lance Ware, and Trey Patterson, and sophomore guard Brendan Hausen have all entered the transfer portal. Sophomore guard Mark Armstrong recently announced that he is remaining in the NBA draft.

This means Dixon is the only returning starter and one of just five returning players from last year’s team.

In his four years with the Wildcats, Dixon has improved each year.

In his first season, Dixon averaged just 3.0 points and 1.6 rebounds. The following season, Dixon’s 9.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game helped the Wildcats reach the 2022 Final Four.

As a junior, Dixon became the leader of the team. He led the ‘Cats in scoring at 15.4 points per game and 6.6 rebounds and was named second team All Big-East.

This past season, Dixon showed even more improvement leading the team in scoring for the second consecutive year.

He also established a new career-high in points when he dropped 34 in an overtime win against North Carolina. His best outing in the Big East included the game winning shot in a 32 point performance at Creighton in December.

By returning for one final year, Dixon has positioned himself for even more success. With one Final Four appearance and Big East honors, Dixon will now look to achieve All-American status while helping the Wildcats get back to the pinnacle of college basketball.

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