When news broke that senior guard Michael Dixon Jr. would be suspended indefinitely, many Missouri Tigers basketball fans found themselves confused and looking for answers.
What did Dixon do to get suspended? How long will Frank Haith keep his super-sixth man out of the lineup? How will Mizzou cope without Dixon’s pesky defense and explosive scoring?
Many of those questions still do not have answers.
We know that Dixon was suspended for academic issues, but the extent of the suspension and how long it may last is still up in the air. Haith refuses to address it.
What fans have learned after just three games is that Haith has a viable option to turn to while Dixon sits out and gets his grades in order.
Freshman Negus Webster-Chan has filled in admirably, taking full advantage of the opportunity and showing that both the present and future are bright for the Ontario, Canada native.
With a bevy of transfers on-hand, combined with the presence of Dixon and Phil Pressey, Webster-Chan was not thought of as a key contributor before the season started.
Things have changed quickly as Webster-Chan has shown that he can provide Haith with flexibility.
Webster-Chan is averaging 6.7 points, five rebounds and two steals per game through Mizzou’s first three contests.
The freshman has shown he can knock down open threes, be disruptive on defense and play with poise on both ends of the floor.
Webster-Chan is living up to his reputation as a recruit of being solid across the board and the Tigers are better for it.
As the No. 14 ranked Tigers prepare to face tougher competition and get ready for Stanford in the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas on Thursday, Haith has a very valuable weapon on his hands in Webster-Chan.
Mainly a small forward and shooting guard at the prep level, Webster-Chan has already displayed an ability to run the point when necessary. This is important not only because it allows Pressey to take a seat, but it could also give Haith an opportunity to incorporate a unique lineup, on occasion.
Webster-Chan stands 6’7” tall, which means that while he is playing point guard, he will most likely tower over the opposition and give Haith the ability to go with a lineup of trees if he wishes.
Webster-Chan’s versatility can also give Haith the option to go the other way if he desires.
Haith could put a lineup of guards on the floor, similar to last season, and use Webster-Chan’s height at the power forward position. He could be used the same way Kim English was used last season if Haith chooses.
Webster-Chan gives Haith the option of going big or going small.
Mizzou will absolutely be better off with Michael Dixon on the court, but having Webster-Chan playing big minutes early in the season will pay-off for Mizzou later in the season.