(WTNH)–When Quinnipiac fired head coach Tom Moore last month, they probably expected some roster turnover. Whenever a coach at a mid-major school leaves or gets fired, there’s always players who bail on the program, or decide to use it as an opportunity to move to a bigger school.
The Bobcats could have handled a little bit of that, but it really stung when leading scorer and MAAC Rookie of the Year Mikey Dixon decided he wanted out. The 6-2 freshman from New Castle, Delaware was the team’s leading scorer at 16.5 points per game, and was one of the main reasons QU fans were optimistic about the future.
McCollum, speaking on Yahoo! Sports’ The Vertical Podcast with Adrian Wojnarowski, said he got a text on Thursday from one of his former Lehigh teammates, asking if McCollum could speak with Dixon.
The Blazers guard, who is averaging 23.1 points per game this season, went to small-school Lehigh in college, but ended up as a lottery pick in the NBA Draft.
“I got a text today from one of my guys from New York, Zahir Carrington…he hit me up and he’s like I hate to ask you for stuff, but this is my guy, his name is Mikey Dixon and he’s at Quinnipiac. Rookie of the Year. And he’s like ‘I need you to talk to him…he’s in the middle of a tough decision,'” McCollum said. “Does he leave? Does he stay? Can he make it?”
“I’m like, look, I went to Lehigh University and I made it. If I made it from there, someone can make it from anywhere,” he said. “I’m going to have a talk with him later.”
McCollum went on to say that these types of things come up all the time, because kids are wondering whether to take the route he did (staying at Lehigh), or the one Seth Curry took (transferring to Duke after a standout freshman season at Liberty).
For what it’s worth, Wojnarowski added:
“First of all, Baker Dunleavy is the new coach (at QU). I know Baker, tell Mikey to stay. He’s a good coach.”
Check out the entire podcast here. The part involving Dixon starts around the 7:45 mark.