AAC Basketball Player Preview: Memphis' Michael Dixon Jr.

By Chris Sax
Michael Dixon Jr
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

After joining the brand new AAC, the Memphis Tigers are going to have a fresh start this upcoming basketball season.

The same goes for senior transfer Michael Dixon Jr. after his waiver was granted by the NCAA for immediate eligibility to play for the Tigers this year.

Dixon was suspended six games last season by Missouri, and decided to transfer to Memphis after two sexual assault allegations that never turned into filed charges went public. Now Dixon will look to put his past struggles behind him and focus on starting over with a team that looks to be a force in its new home.

What Memphis hopes Dixon doesn’t put behind him is his level of play that he showcased while he was at Missouri. A former Big-12 Sixth Man of the Year (before Missouri switched over to the SEC), Dixon was extremely productive coming off of the bench for his former Tigers squad. Dixon produced 13.5 points and 3.3 assists per game while averaging over a steal per contest on the defensive end.

The problem for the Memphis Tigers is that all of this production came over a year ago. With a year away from college basketball, it may be difficult for Memphis coach Josh Pastner to count on Dixon too heavily.

Memphis’ starting rotation is already competitive as it is, and the depth at the guard position will make it tough for Dixon to crack the starting five. Memphis’ returning top scorers (Joe Jackson, Chris Crawford and Geron Johnson) are all guards. Dixon is most likely going to have to come off of the bench like he did in his Missouri days, at least to begin with.

What Dixon has going for him is that the leading Tigers scorer, Jackson, averaged 13.6 points per game last season. That’s just slightly above Dixon’s average in his sophomore year, and Dixon did that without even starting. The hopes should be high for Dixon as there is a place for him somewhere on this Tigers team. He just needs to figure out where it is.

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