The Missouri Tigers, 9th in this week’s AP poll take on Illinois Wednesday in St. Louis. The Illini fell from 12th to 21st, after a loss to Illinois-Chicago, but this is always a tough game for Mizzou and now they’ll be without freshmen point guard Phil Pressey who has a broken right ring finger. He’s expected to miss at least two weeks and now with Michael Dixon’s suspension, Mike Anderson has a decision to make.
After the win on Saturday, Anderson declared Dixon eligible to begin practicing, but said there were still steps that Dixon needed to take before he would consider getting Dixon back in game action. So the reports are that Dixon’s status is still unclear.
I’d place money that there is no doubt that Anderson reinstates Dixon in time for this game. If the games comes on Wednesday and both Pressey and Dixon are out of the game, then I applaud Anderson for sticking to his guns. However, since all we know about the suspension is that Dixon violated “team rules,” we have no idea how severe his actions were or what he did. So, it is only natural, that if Dixon is back in the lineup, to question whether or not Anderson changed his stance on Dixon’s suspension based on this latest development with Pressey.
After the game on Saturday, he kind of stammered at first when asked about Dixon’s status.
At the time, I wondered if Anderson was improvising his answer and wondered why? By stating that Dixon is eligible to practice, it brings Dixon closer to being game ready and closer to meeting expectations needed to get back on the floor. So, if Dixon does play on Wednesday, we can’t criticize Anderson for softening his team rules right?
I’m being cynical, I know, but when I saw Dixon on the bench during the Oral Roberts game last Thursday, I wondered how severe Dixon’s wrong doings were in the first place.
OK, off my soap box and back to Pressey, who did make two starts at point guard. He had a career high 15 points and 11 assists to tie the freshmen record in that 116-63 win over Central Arkansas.
So far, Pressey is averaging 5.2 points and 4.1 assists in 20 minutes per game.