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March 21, 2007

I’m sick of writing about Dixon-Howland and Howland leaving Pitt. I suspect most of you are sick of reading about it. I still feel somewhat obligated to note them, so here’s the deal. I’m just going to give straight links to the articles on the subjects and you can read them on your own. And let’s let it die in the comments.

Joe Starkey at the Trib. looks further back to their old mentor at UCSB, Jerry Pimm.

Bill Wirtz at the LA Daily News looks at the friendship. Probably the only must read — the UCLA job apparently cost Howland a couple other coaching friends. Also something from Pimm about the way Dixon observes what goes on in practices.

Rather stock piece in the Orange County Register.

Moving on.

If anyone happens to have a paid subscription to the Vancouver Province let me know. I’m curious about the rest of this article on Levon Kendall that starts out this way.

But it’s a qualified success so it’s fair to criticize University of Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon for not using Levon Kendall to his full potential.

Reads like someone from his hometown expected Kendall to be the focal point of the offense.

Just an observation, but Gray hurting his ankle a few weeks ago may have been the best thing for Kendall on offense. Since that point, he’s been much more assertive and shooting a lot better/with more confidence. It seems that once he had to step up on offense — and he did — he kept it going even after Gray got back.

Of course, the worst thing for Gray was his horrible game in the Big East Championship. Everyone has bagged on him since. Even in his hometown paper.

I think Pitt’s Aaron Gray, the Emmaus product, has to prove himself all over again after that disastrous Big East championship game. And he next faces UCLA big men Luc Richard Mbah a Moute and Lorenzo Mata ? both shorter than him, but more athletic. The kind of guys he will see on a nightly basis next year, in other words.

Pitt was able to get to the West Coast a day earlier.

Pitt planned to leave Tuesday for its game with UCLA on Thursday in San Jose, Calif. But a set of circumstances allowed the Panthers to catch a chartered jet one day earlier. The thanks goes to the Florida State women’s basketball team. Florida State played at Stanford in the second round of the NCAA Women’s Tournament last night. The plane to retrieve the No. 10 seed team was sent Monday. With an empty jet heading to the West Coast, Pitt offered to hop a ride. “There are not a lot of planes available,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “So we jumped on it and got it for cheap.” The early departure allows Pitt to acclimate itself to the time change and gets the Panthers out of Petersen Events Center, where the Panthers haven’t been able to use their own locker room or main floor due to the NCAA Women’s Tournament.

Every little thing helps. Plus, an extra day on the West Coast in March versus being in Pittsburgh. Hey, I know I’d prefer it.

Howland says his last Pitt team was more physical than his current UCLA team. I’m not sure he actually believes it so much as the usual coaching mind games to motivate his present players to go hard and tough at Pitt on Thursday.

So Keith Benjamin may be right about the premium on scoring.

“We’re definitely trying to take that next step,’’ Benjamin said. “I talked to a lot of the former players … and everybody’s pushing for us to do it. I think it’s going to be a low-scoring game, a great defensive game, unless one of the teams can get some transition points. But neither one of us like to give up those, so it’s just going to be a great game.

“It might be the first to 50, maybe 40 the way they played the other night, but this is the challenge that we have to meet if we’re going to be great. … If anything is going to be done from us in this game, we have to establish Aaron early, from the opening tipoff. And he has to decide what we do, but I think Aaron’s going to do a good job and lead us in this game.’’

Still 36 hours or more away.





Dixon was on Rome’s radio show today. Short segment. Lots of rehashing the same old content. I expected much more considering their UCSB Gaucho ties…

Comment by Dave in Orlando 03.21.07 @ 12:54 pm

Collecting Notes on UCLA-Pitt…

Trackback by University Update 03.21.07 @ 4:21 pm

Go Bruins!

Comment by LuiDAbruin 03.21.07 @ 6:40 pm

Lui is apparently a Boston hockey fan. They’re not going to make the playoffs. Go Pens!

Comment by crackbaldo 03.21.07 @ 8:30 pm

All I know is that I’m gonna be hung over on Friday. Beyond that, I’m keeping my fingers crossed. GO PITT!!!

Comment by Shawn 03.22.07 @ 1:43 am

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