By Austin Ferguson and Shaun Chornobroff
Former Rider men’s basketball star and two-time Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) first-team selection Dimencio Vaughn will return to Rider, transferring back to Lawrenceville after one season at Ole Miss, multiple sources with knowledge of his decision confirmed on April 12.
Vaughn, who spent four seasons at Rider from 2016-2020, entered the transfer portal after one season with the Rebels and declared for the NBA draft in March, not hiring an agent and maintaining college eligibility.
At Ole Miss, Vaughn averaged just six minutes per game and averaged 1.6 points per game, making all 16 of his appearances off the bench, despite being ranked as high as fourth in the nation’s best graduate transfers by 247 Sports after starting in 68 of his 95 career appearances at Rider.
In his time with the Broncs, Vaughn averaged 13 points per game on his way to scoring over 1,000 career points, earned two MAAC first-team selections and multiple NABC All-District team selections among a collection of accolades as one of the backbones of Rider’s last three teams, namely for the 2017-2018 Broncs, who clinched a share of that year’s regular-season title.
Vaughn’s decision to transfer back to a school he left a year prior is not unique in 2021; multiple players have done the same, including fellow former-MAAC star Kevin Marfo, who transferred to Texas A&M after leading the nation in rebounding in 2020 with Quinnipiac, only to transfer back to the Bobcats for next season.
Though the Rider coaching staff and physical environment of Alumni Gym will be familiar for Vaughn, the roster he will be welcomed back to will not be. After recent news that guard Christian Ings had entered the transfer portal, Vaughn is set to only have three teammates he played with two seasons ago: junior center Ajiri Ogemuno-Johnson, sophomore guard Allen Powell and redshirt sophomore forward Tyrel Bladen, none of whom started a single game alongside Vaughn when they were together.
With other star conference players in the transfer portal or declared for the NBA draft, namely Siena stars Manny Camper, the defending MAAC Player of the Year; and Jalen Pickett, who won the same honor in 2020, Vaughn could be an early favorite for MAAC Player of the Year honors as he is currently in line to be the most tenured player on an otherwise young Rider team.