The first year at the Division I level for the Dixie State Trailblazers was all about inconsistency. At least in WAC play. With the back-to-back scheduling, one night the Trailblazers looked like a contender. The next night, not so much. Let’s make this a little more clear. In its first WAC game ever, Dixie State lost by 33 at UTRGV. The next night, lost by seven but led late. The following week, the Trailblazers took GCU to the wire in a 77-74 loss. On Saturday night, GCU won by 35. Do you catch the drift?
However, in 2021-22, Dixie State is going to turn heads. The majority of the starters are back. Head coach Jon Judkins and his staff added some big recruits. And the Trailblazers are ready to roll into their second season at the Division I level.
Jon Judkins – 17th season
At Dixie State – 293-146
Overall – 577-274
Postseason – N/A
Jarod Greene, 6-9, SR, F/C
Kolby Lee, 6-9, JR, F (BYU)
Jamal Barnes, 6-2, SO, G (JUCO)
Dancell Leter, 6-8, SO, F (JUCO)
Cam Gooden, 5-11, SR, G
Hunter Schofield, 6-8, SR, F
Frank Staine Jr., 6-6, JR, G/F
Isaiah Pope, 6-5, JR, G
Andre Mulibea, 6-6, SO, G
Predicted WAC Finish
Consistency. Simple as that. Like it was stated in the opening paragraph, Dixie State struggled on back-to-back nights. In 2021-22, with the schedule a little more normal, the Trailblazers are going to compete night in and night out. Jon Judkins mentioned that the had to change how the Trailblazers recruited. And, for all intents and purposes, they showed that during the offseason. The biggest addition is former BYU forward Kolby Lee who joins the Trailblazers. Lee’s numbers are outstanding at BYU but having played against Gonzaga and other high mid-major programs, Lee brings valuable experience and size.
Lee will most likely start along with Cam Gooden, Hunter Schofield, Frank Staine Jr. and if I was a betting man, Andre Mulibea. The sophomore guard showed flashes in 2020-21 in his first season at the collegiate level. Mulibea is strong, quick, can shoot it from deep while also able to finish at the rim. If the Trailblazers are to compete for a WAC crown in their second season in the WAC, Mulibea is going to have to play a key role.
But, everything runs through Gooden, Schofield and Staine. Simply put. It’s safe to assume that Judkins loves the fact his top three scorers all return. Gooden averaged 13.1 points, Schofield averaged 12.7 and Staine averaged 9.9. Gooden is one of the best guards in the WAC with his quickness and shift ability to get in the paint. Schofield showed that he can shoot from the perimeter while also battling in the paint. And Staine has a high motor with the ability to put up 20-plus points on any given night and can play multiple positions.
There is also some depth, which the Trailblazers lacked in 2020-21. Bringing in JUCO transfers Jamal Barnes and Dancell Leter along with high schoolers Trey Edmonds and Noa Gonsalves gives Judkins some options. Brock Gilbert will also be a key piece of the puzzle for the Trailblazers.
But, it all comes down to consistency. Can the Trailblazers be consistent night-in and night-out? That is the question that needs to be answered early and often.
At this time there is no scheduling news that we know of so this will be updated as we get more information.