Derek Dixon on his rise, his junior season and schools in the mix

2025 Gonzaga and Team Takeover guard Derek Dixon has witnessed quite the uptick in his recruitment since the beginning of spring. The 6-foot-5 combo guard, who ranks No. 30 in the 2025 MADE Hoops Rankings, spent his sophomore season putting his name on the map as a deadly shooter from deep, but used the EYBL stage to prove himself as more of a playmaker being featured as a primary ball-handler on Team Takeover 16s.

“The reason that I went to Takeover was because they were going to give me the option to play on the ball,” Dixon told MADE Hoops. “That’s what I was looking for in a program for the spring and summer. It’s something that I wanted to show coaches because I think at my size if I can prove to be someone who can play on or off the ball it gives me a lot of advantages.”

Being an on-ball presence isn’t new territory for Dixon. As a middle school prospect he played a lot more on the ball than he did in his first two high-school seasons.

“It’s something I’ve done growing up. I’ve played off the ball primarily these past couple of years, so it was my time to make a statement.”

Dixon shares the backcourt at Gonzaga with another premiere guard in the 2025 class in Nyk Lewis. Lewis is also a primary point guard, but spent his spring and summer playing up on Team Takeover 17s. The two will likely be more of a balanced attack in 2023-24 when it comes to on-ball responsibilities. 

“Obviously we have Christian Gurdak from transferring in and five juniors who will probably start. We’re all high-level guys that can really compete with anyone in the country. We approach every day with a lot of energy and excitement and I think it’ll show in the results this season.”

Playing in the WCAC, which is one of the most competitive conferences the country has to offer, Gonzaga is projected to finish in one of the top two spots. The core of Dixon, Lewis and Gurdak will be a force along with a slew of rotational players that will out-perform their expectations.

On more of a recruiting front, Dixon took his first official visit to Syracuse this past weekend and has a core group of other schools that have made strong impressions early on.


I visited Virginia unofficially a few weeks back. It was nice and I got to watch the football game and talk with head coach Tony Bennett about how he sees me fitting into his program. We also spoke about areas that I can improve on. It’s just great being able to learn from a guy like that with his reputation and resume.


I took an unofficial visit there a couple weekends ago and got to talk with head coach Jeff Capel and assistant coach Milan Brown. It had a lot to do with how they see me fitting in with the program and how they’d develop me. It was my second time there. I got to watch them play UNC in football, so that was cool. That’s a staff that I have a good connection with. We talk a lot.


Head coach Red Autry and assistant coach Brendan Straughn have been on me a lot. They like how I would fit in and they’re just telling me their views for the future of their program with the coaching changes. 

Dixon holds offers from other programs such as Kansas State, Maryland, Miami, Penn State, Providence, Villanova, Virginia and Xavier among others. It’s still very early in his process and more schools will be expected to jump in on the sweepstakes, but the few mentioned are battling for early post position.

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