Bio: Sophomore, 6'0, 170 lbs. (Queens, N.Y./Williston State (N.D.))
Last season: 19.8 ppg, 5.7 apg at Williston State College
What we saw last season:
Not much, unless you live in North Dakota or had one hell of a cable provider. Dickerson comes to Iowa City via a fairly circuitous route. He's billed as originally from New York City, but bounced around the prep school circuit, playing in Los Angeles and Dallas. Washington State, Mississippi State and some other smaller programs offered him out of high school, but Dickerson opted to go to junior college at Williston State and look for something better. One year later, he was the consensus top JUCO point guard in the country. Iowa came calling once Tyler Ulis' recruitment fell through and was on board six months later.
What we need to see this season:
It's not a certainty that he starts immediately, but Iowa needs Dickerson to contribute significantly. He posted a 54.1 percent effective field goal percentage and shot 35 percent from behind the arc last season at Williston State, which makes him a serviceable scoring option, but Dickerson's true value lies in two things: Running the fast break and breaking down halfcourt defenses off the dribble. Iowa's halfcourt offense in 2013-14 lacked a slasher at point guard, a guy who could get in the lane and either make a difficult shot or distribute after the defense collapsed. Without that, players like Josh Oglesby and Aaron White struggled to get easy shots. In a perfect world, Iowa's attack is keyed off that kind of player, and it finally appears to have it.
The problem, of course, is that Iowa already has Mike Gesell and Anthony Clemmons as point guards, and getting time for all three players could be difficult. In the tune-up game against Northwood, Iowa started Clemmons and Gesell in the same backcourt with DIckerson off the bench, but Clemmons' ballhandling continues to lag behind the other two and Iowa needs more scoring from the shooting guard position than Gesell has been able to provide in the past. That makes a Dickerson-Gesell point guard rotation, with Clemmons reprising his role as perimeter defensive stopper, increasingly likely. I'd expect Dickerson off the bench, at least until January.
Best case scenario:
Dickerson lends an immediate spark to an Iowa offense with four decent-to-good perimeter shooters but nobody that can make his own shot. By mid-December, he's starting in a lineup that features Josh Oglesby and Jarrod Uthoff on the perimeter and a rim-crashing Aaron White at the power forward spot. Iowa's halfcourt woes are immediately righted, Dickerson is anointed as starting point guard for the next three years, and everyone -- well, everyone but the other two guys -- lives happily ever after.
Most likely scenario:
Being the best JUCO point guard in the nation doesn't provide much more relevant experience than being a decent prep school guard, and DIckerson needs the first half of the season to adjust to his new team and Fran's style of play. He serves as a spark off the bench in a lineup with Oglesby and Jok, probably has to shoot and score more than Fran would like, and remains in that backup role through most of 2014-15.