Michael Dixon

UPDATED: Michael Dixon’s career at Missouri is over


According to Gabe DeArmond of PowerMizzou.com, suspended guard Michael Dixon’s career as a Tiger is over. NBCSports.com was able to confirm DeArmond’s report.

Dixon was suspended back in October, but it wasn’t until this week that the cause of the suspension started to leak out. In August, a woman accused Dixon of forcible rape, and while Dixon was never charged by police — there wasn’t enough evidence to press charges — he did have to face punishment from the university. You can read the entire account of the encounter here.

Without Dixon in the fold, getting Jabari Brown eligible becomes the most important part of the season for the Tigers. They have a lack of perimeter shooting right now, and Brown may actually be the best shooter in the program. He’ll be able to take the floor at the end of the semester.

(UPDATE: It’s now official.

“It’s been a challenging few months and while I appreciate the support of many in the Mizzou community including my coaches and teammates,” Dixon said in a statement, “it’s in the best interest of me, my family and the University of Missouri to finish my career elsewhere.”

The decision stems from a second rape allegation that surfaced on Thursday. From the KC Star:

According to a police report obtained Thursday by The Star, a woman who worked in the MU athletic department said she was sexually assaulted by Dixon on Jan. 9, 2010. The report, filed by the University of Missouri Police on Jan. 11, says the alleged assault took place at her apartment.

A source told The Star on Wednesday that the victim alerted former MU basketball coach Mike Anderson about the incident, who told her he would support her if she decided to press charges. She ultimately decided not to, the source said, because Dixon was a basketball player, and “she was afraid of what might happen.” According to the police report, she told detective Sam Easley on Jan. 21 that she did not want to prosecute in this case, and she did not want Dixon to be contacted regarding the case.

Dixon isn’t facing criminal charges in either case.)

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

As good as they’ve been, No. 3 Michigan State has yet to play their best

Bryn Forbes, Ryan Fazekas
Associated Press
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Sunday night’s Wooden Legacy title game matchup between No. 3 Michigan State and Providence was billed as a matchup of the nation’s two best players, and rightfully so. Michigan State senior Denzel Valentine (17 points, six rebounds, five assists), who already has two triple-doubles to his credit this season, and Providence redshirt junior Kris Dunn (21 points, five rebounds, seven assists) have more than lived up to the preseason expectations and more of the same was expected in Anaheim.

And while both had their moments, it was Michigan State’s supporting cast that made the difference in their 77-64 victory. The scary thing for future opponents on Michigan State’s schedule is that Tom Izzo’s team is nowhere near being a finished product.

With Valentine dealing with first-half foul trouble Bryn Forbes stepped up, scoring 13 of his 18 points to help the Spartans take a two-point lead into the half. As for the 11-0 run that Michigan State produced to take control of the game late, a host of players stepped forward in regards to scoring, rebounding and defending.

Freshmen Deyonta Davis and Matt McQuaid combined to score nine points over the final 5:32, with transfer guard Eron Harris adding six of his 12 points during that stretch. The Spartans outscored the Friars, who aren’t as deep, 22-7 during that stretch to close out the game, hunting for quality shots and hitting the offensive glass while making things difficult for Providence on the other end of the floor.

The end result was a final margin that does not indicate just how close the game was. While Providence seemed to run out of steam Michigan State received contributions from multiple players, which is undoubtedly a good sign for this group moving forward.

The Spartans will return the currently injured Gavin Schilling later this season, giving them another big man alongside Davis, Matt Costello and Colby Wollenman. He was a player they missed Sunday night, as he can defend opposing big men both in the post and on the perimeter. His absence was a main reason Michigan State didn’t have an answer for Providence’s Ben Bentil (20 points, seven rebounds) defensively.

The key for this group is going to end up being role definition, which is especially true in the case of Harris. A transfer from West Virginia, Harris came to East Lansing with the reputation of being a big time scorer. He’s struggled through the first two weeks of the season, but he got on a roll on Sunday night, finishing with 12 points, three boards and three assists. He showed he’s capable of doing a variety of things on the perimeter, and fitting into a “Swiss army knife” kind of role would make Michigan State that much more dangerous.

There’s no denying that Michigan State has been one of the nation’s best teams thus far.

But there’s also no denying that the Spartans have yet to hit their ceiling, which is definitely a positive moving forward.

Wichita State’s Anton Grady returns home with team

AP Photo/Willie J. Allen Jr.
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Wichita State forward Anton Grady was released from a hospital in Orlando on Sunday afternoon in time to return home with his Shocker teammates.

Grady suffered a spinal corn concussion on Friday when he collided head-first with an Alabama defender, snapping his head sharply to the side. He lay on the court motionless for 10 minutes after the injury and was taken off the floor on a stretcher.

[RELATED: Can WSU still make tourney?]

“I want to send out a big thank you to Shocker Nation and all of my friends and family for of the love and encouragement that I have received the past few days,” Grady said in a statement on Sunday morning. “I’ve been reading your tweets and posts and appreciate every last one of them. I have a lot of work to do to get back on the court, but with the help of such a great support system, I’m ready for the challenge.”

By Friday night, Grady had feeling in all of his extremities, but he has a long road of rehab ahead of him.