COLUMBIA — Former Missouri guard Michael Dixon, Jr., might be playing for Memphis this fall.
By TEREZ PAYLOR
The Kansas City Star
Dixon’s father, Michael Dixon, Sr., told The Star on Tuesday that Memphis coach Josh Pastner had officially offered his son a spot on this year’s team. A report by CBSSports.com said Dixon Jr. committed to the Tigers during his visit to the school on Tuesday, but Dixon Sr. called that premature.
“He hasn’t committed yet,” said Dixon Sr., who was not in Memphis with his son. “But he’ll be there through Wednesday and we’ll talk about it once he gets back.”
Dixon left Missouri in late November when a second documented allegation of rape surfaced, though he was never charged for either. Dixon had been suspended indefinitely since October for what Missouri coach Frank Haith described at the time as a violation of team rules.
Dixon will have a year of eligibility remaining, but his father said he will need a waiver similar to the one Maryland star Dez Wells received last fall to play immediately. Wells was expelled from Xavier in the midst of allegations of sexual assault, but was never charged.
Wells’ initial application for a waiver was denied by the NCAA last October, but Maryland filed an appeal on his behalf, and the NCAA’s Legislative Council Subcommittee for Legislative Relief overturned the decision.
Dixon, a 6-foot-1 guard, would add plenty of scoring punch to a Memphis team that already returns three of its top four scorers from a squad that went 31-5 (including 16-0 in Conference USA) and reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season. Pastner will soon add a five-man 2013 recruiting class that ranks No. 3 in the nation, according to Rivals.
Dixon arrived at Missouri in 2009 as a three-star rated guard out of Lee’s Summit West High School, with scholarship offers from Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas State, Louisville and others. After averaging 7.5 points in 34 games as a freshman, he was suspended for two games as a sophomore but averaged 10.3 points and 3.5 assists while starting 17 games.
He built on that with an even better junior campaign, when he averaged 13.5 points and 3.3 assists in 35 games for a team that went 30-5 and won the Big 12 tournament title. For his efforts, Dixon was chosen Big 12 sixth man of the year and was also picked to the league’s all-defensive team by the coaches.
Dixon was expected to play an even bigger role last season, as Haith said during the summer that he would finally put Dixon in the starting lineup. He was also named to the preseason all-Southeastern Conference second team and a preseason second-team All-American by The Sporting News.