Coming off a stellar 2017-18 season, Dixie State head men’s basketball coach Jon Judkins announced the addition of nine new players to his program for this upcoming 2018-19 campaign.
DSU welcomed in four four-year transfers in junior forwards Cameron Chatwin from Saint Martin’s and Matt Conway from the University of Albany, along with sophomore guard Riley Court and sophomore forward Eric Patten from Weber State. In addition, DSU has signed three junior college transfers in guards Jack Pagenkopf, Andre Wilson and Dason Youngblood, as well as a pair of freshmen, including forward Clayton Southwick and guard Jacob Nicolds.
Chatwin played in 47 games in two seasons at Saint Martin’s (2014-15, 2017-18), including starting 24 of 25 games as a freshman, and averaged 3.4 points and 2.7 rebounds a game. Chatwin earned two varsity letters at Desert Ridge HS, where he averaged 8.6 points and 3.7 rebounds during his senior season.
“Cameron is a good rebounder and plays with a lot of energy,” said Judkins. “One thing that sticks out about Cameron is that he can really stretch the floor. There aren’t too many people his size that can shoot the ball like him. He will add a different dimension to what we do.”
Conway appeared in 23 games off the bench for the Great Danes as a sophomore last season and averaged 2.3 points and 1.1 rebounds. Prior to his arrival at UA, Conway played one season at Salt Lake CC, where he earned second-team all-Region 18 honors after averaging 12.4 points and 5.8 rebounds a game. He prepped at Pleasant Grove HS and was the 2014 Utah 5A MVP and a Salt Lake Tribune first-team all-state selection after averaging 22.8 points and 8.9 rebounds to help lead the Vikings to a state runner-up finish.
“Matt is a real physical player, and we like his ability to play multiple positions,” Judkins said. “He has a high basketball IQ, and he’s a crafty scorer. We’re excited to have him and think he can come in and contribute right away.”
Court played in 12 games off the bench in his lone season at Weber State and averaged 0.9 points and 0.9 rebounds an outing, including a season-high five points vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff. He was a two-time all-state pick at Pleasant Grove HS and earned first-team honors as a senior in 2015 after averaging 22.9 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.7 assists.
“We’re excited to have Riley,” Judkins noted. “We think he can be a top-notch wing in our program. He competes at a high level and can score it in multiple ways. He’s a jack of all trades.”
Patten, who redshirted at Weber State last season, earned all-conference honors as a freshman at Cuyamaca College, where he started in 25 of 26 games played and averaged 17.4 points and 8.7 rebounds per game while shooting 42 percent from the floor. Patten prepped at Crescenta Valley HS and was a league MVP and all-area selection.
“Eric is a big, strong, physical post player, and we like his ability to guard and his physicality,” said Judkins. “He has great feet and can score with on the block or face up and drive by someone.”
Pagenkopf played last season at Howard (Texas) College, where he started in 21 of 31 games and averaged 7.2 points and 3.2 rebounds as a sophomore. Prior to his time at Howard, he appeared in 33 games as a freshman at Casper (Wyoming) College and averaged 8.1 points and 3.0 rebounds an outing.
“Jack brings experience and plays at a high level. He’s a crafty scorer and has a great understanding for the game,” Judkins said. “There are not a lot of point guards who can affect the game both with scoring and passing, and Jack can do them both. We’re excited to have him on board.”
Wilson played two seasons at Riverside (California) City College, where he earned second-team all-Orange Empire Conference honors after averaging 16.4 points and 2.5 assists as a sophomore. Wilson tied a school record with seven 3-pointers on two different occasions last year and was voted team co-MVP.
“We are excited about Andre. He can score at all three levels and can guard multiple positions,” Judkins stated. “What stuck out about Andre is that he is a team guy. You don’t see a lot of players who will lead their team in scoring and also guard the opposing team’s best player. He’s willing to do whatever needs to be done to win.”
Youngblood, who is the younger brother of former DSU standout guard Daylor Youngblood, was a 2018 second-team all-NWAC pick at Skagit Valley JC after he averaged 13.5 points and 4.2 rebounds a game. Youngblood also led Bingham HS to consecutive Utah 5A state championships (2016, 2017) and was named 2017 5A MVP after he averaged 12.8 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.6 assists a game.
“We’re excited to have Dason on board. He’s a proven winner with back-to-back state championships,” said Judkins. “He’s a good defender and really runs the break well and looks to get his teammates involved. He will add to our winning tradition with his winning attitude.”
Nicolds, who graduated from Gilbert HS in 2016, was a second-team all-league pick as a senior after averaging 16.0 points and 9.0 rebounds for the Tigers.
“Jacob was a great high school player in Arizona. We really liked his work ethic and tenacity,” Judkins noted. “He rebounds really well for a guard. He does everything full speed and plays extremely hard. It doesn’t matter what the score is. He’s going to give maximum effort.”
Southwick was a two-time conference player of the year and all-state selection at Palmer (Arkansas) HS. He averaged 19.6 points, 8.6 rebounds and four assists a game as a senior to help lead the Moose to a 19-8 record last season.
“Clayton is a versatile big man who can score inside and out,” Judkins said. “He plays physical and can really rebound the ball.”
Dixie State, which makes its Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference debut this upcoming season, finished the 2017-18 season with a school-record 23 wins (23-7) and swept both the Pacific West Conference regular season (18-2) and tournament championships. The 23 wins also included a school record 17-game winning streak, which came to an end in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball tournament. That NCAA tournament appearance was the program’s eighth in the last nine seasons overall.