Memphis v Xavier

Report: Missouri transfer Mike Dixon eligible to play this season at Memphis

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Missouri transfer Michael Dixon has been cleared by the NCAA to play immediately at Memphis this season.

The news was first reported by Gary Parrish of

Dixon was suspended from Missouri for all of the 2012-2013 season, eventually being dismissed from the program and leaving school in November, after he was accused of sexual assault for a second time.

Dixon played three season at Missouri before sitting out what should have been his senior year, but he needed a waiver from the NCAA because he did not spend a year in residency at Memphis. Since the 2013-2014 season will be the final year in Dixon’s five-year window to use his four seasons of eligibility, not playing this season would have meant the end of his college basketball career.

With Dixon in the fold, Memphis will have one of the most loaded back courts in the country, one that will use four-guard lineups featuring Dixon, Joe Jackson, Geron Johnson and Chris Crawford quite often. (We went over what that means for Memphis in depth in this post.) Dixon’s defensive tenacity, ability to run the point and on-court leadership will be important for a Memphis team that has underachieved in recent seasons.

The bigger question, however, is whether or not it’s right for the NCAA to allow a kid that was booted from school for a pair of alleged sexual assaults to get a waiver. On the one hand, Dixon, like Dez Wells before him, was never charged in either case. But unlike Wells, Dixon didn’t have DA’s and prosecutors publicly supporting him and criticizing the university. Instead, he had Missouri’s AD “shredding” him to other AD’s.

Whatever the case, the argument is moot now.

Dixon will be allowed to play this season for the Tigers. He was the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year in the Big 12 and averaged 13.3 points and 3.5 assists for a team that won 30 games and was a No. 2 seed in the tournament. He can really, really play.

That makes Memphis a better basketball team, and a bigger threat to UConn and Louisville in the AAC.

Creighton lands 2016 combo guard

Greg McDermott
Associated Press
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Sunday evening Creighton got on the board in the Class of 2016, as 6-foor-4 combo guard Davion Mintz made his pledge to Greg McDermott’s program. Mintz made the decision on the tail end of his official visit to Creighton, picking the Bluejays over Georgia Tech, Kansas State, Tulsa and Wichita State.

News of Mintz’s commitment was first reported by Rick Lewis of the Phenom Hoop Report, with Mintz confirming the news via Twitter shortly thereafter.

Creighton has just two seniors on its current roster in guard Jams Milliken and forward Geoffrey Groselle, but that doesn’t mean they lack for experience. Among the guards on the roster who will be around when Mintz arrives on campus are redshirt juniors Maurice Watson Jr., Malik Albert, and Isaiah Zierden, and Kansas State transfer Marcus Foster will be eligible in 2016-17.

Mintz, who attends North Mecklenberg HS just outside of Charlotte, can play either on or off the basketball. Creighton’s veteran guards should help Mintz with his transition to the college game when he arrives in Omaha in 2016. Mintz played for the Charlotte Nets grassroots program this summer.

Three-star power forward commits to WVU

Bob Huggins
Associated Press
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Three days after landing one power forward in Sagaba Konate, West Virginia received a verbal commitment from another big man Sunday evening.

6-foot-11 Mountain Mission School (Gurndy, Virginia) power forward Maciej Bender became the Mountaineers’ fourth commitment in the Class of 2016 on Sunday, with the Mountain Mission program announcing the news via Twitter. Bender is a native of Poland, and in addition to Konate he joins guards Brandon Knapper and Chase Harler in West Virginia’s 2016 recruiting class.

West Virginia will lose two forwards in TyQuane Goard and Jonathan Holton at the end of the 2015-16 season, and the additions of Konate and Bender will help the Mountaineers account for those departures from a depth standpoint. Bender can score around the basket, but he’s also capable of facing up and scoring in pick-and-pop situations out beyond the three-point line.

Bender officially visited West Virginia last weekend, and he was a player the WVU coaching staff wanted to get in the fold. Other programs to offer Bender included Arizona State (teammate Jethro Tshisumpa is an ASU commit), Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss and Providence. Bender played his grassroots basketball for the West Virginia Wildcats program this summer.