March 29, 2007

Right after the UCLA loss, Coach Jamie Dixon was about as down as he gets about losing. His quote

“It feels like a loss, and a bad one, a disappointing end-of-year loss,” Dixon said after a 64-55 defeat Thursday to Howland-coached UCLA in the West Regional. “I’m trying to remember the 29 wins. I only seem to be remembering this loss.”

And if you saw the press conference, you could see how hard it was on him to lose that game.

So, now a week later Mike Prisuta takes his run at the team losing in the Sweet 16. He seems particularly bothered that Pitt and especially Coach Dixon would mention the good side to this team.

The impression left by coach Jamie Dixon is that Pitt desperately wants to win more than two games a tournament and experience firsthand what all the real fuss is about every March. The trouble is, Dixon has a tendency to rationalize Pitt’s continued inability to get knee deep in the Madness, as he did on a recent appearance on Fox Sports Radio 970’s “Bendel and Benz” show.

“Schools would die to have the success we’ve had, even though that doesn’t diminish the disappointment we had,” Dixon said.

Then, why bring it up?

As for Pitt’s “success,” Dixon went over the top in assessing that when asked whether this year’s Sweet 16 exit was the most disappointing of the four in the past six years.

So, Coach Dixon goes on a radio show and defends his team and the program? That he won’t rip his players? That’s the problem? That he didn’t rend his shirt on the air and scream, “why? Oh, why can’t we win?”
I’m not sure that Dixon could win this no matter what. He said he was disappointed. He wants to win. Everyone was disappointed by the outcome. That he put anything positive on the season apparently bothered Prisuta to no end.

That’s crap. Part of Dixon’s job is to go out in the public, the fans, the alumni, the boosters and the media and sell the school and the team. Part of that is not just to talk about what you want to accomplish, but to also discuss what has been accomplished. To put it in a positive light.

This isn’t settling for some above average mediocrity. It’s selling the good in the program to date.

Dixon did nothing wrong. Without knowing what goes on behind closed doors it’s hard to say, but I hope Dixon isn’t taking the same approach with his players that he is with the media. If he’s always positive spinning in the locer room that may explain why the team’s don’t improve over the course of the season.

Comment by J-Maile 03.29.07 @ 6:11 pm

thats a shame, i used to like priscuta when i lived up there. why is success in quotes? we lost to a final 4 team, and we finished the year with 29 wins. 29. dixon is right, tons of other schools would love that number of wins. after the pissy-ness of losing wore off i was happy with the year. it was a young team with 2 potential nba prospects (sam young and gray). young didnt come on until late and gray never lived up to the hype. success breeds success, the more we win the more recruits will want to come.

Comment by matt 03.29.07 @ 6:44 pm

Prusita is a reporter plain and simple. He has to write something.

What normal human being would have not been down after losing? What normal human being would not be down for once again not getting past the 16?

You were beaten by a Final Four team, what freakin solitude can you take from that? I truly think that JD wants to not only win every game, but also see his program gain true elite status.

Da** straight the loss hurt him and doubly because added to the loss is the is the fact that he knows that his teams have to play near to perfection as possible to beat the best. He knows that his teams have limitations that the best programs do not.

I can’t wait to see what he does with Blair, Brown, Dodson, & Wannamker. Someone said that JD could not do what BH did with UCLA and its players. I say bunk to that because he was with Howland for a very long time, and Ben taught him all he knows about BB. Jamie ain’t no idiot. Now Prusita, that’s another matter!

Comment by Kenny 03.29.07 @ 9:06 pm

Prisuta is a Steeler shill. Same douche who writes how wonderful they are every week despite the fact they lost 11 games (or whatever) last year. He’s not alone in this city, of course. They know their market. Everyone is a Steeler fan and anyone who didn’t go to Pitt is a PSU fan, so there is never any negativity about either of them.

Comment by geeman2001 03.29.07 @ 9:55 pm

Prisuta is right. He is trying to instill an attitude that doesn’t harken on the fact that we reached the sweet 16, but rather on the fact that we didn’t go further. Dixon needs to understand that by him patting himself and the team on the back, it only encourages the belief that getting to the sweet 16 is fine for Pitt.

What is wrong with that? Everyone needs to examine Mr. Dixon and the expectations that he is setting a little more closely.


Comment by ben 03.30.07 @ 9:01 am

Prisuta is a shmuck and hack. And it has nothing to do with this drivel. He’s one of the worst writers I’ve ever seen to be given a column, and the above comments about his hard-on for the Steelers (like most Pittsburgh writers) is dead on. But if you think his columns are suspect, you should see what the first draft the copy desk gets before it makes the paper.

As for Dixon, what’s he supposed to say in a end-of-the-season press conference???

Comment by Matt T. 03.30.07 @ 9:37 am

One of the things I found most interesting about Mike “Russ Grimm is the next Steeler Coach” Prisutta is that he wrote an article based on listening to a radio show broadcast!!! Since when is that news? Its laziness plain and simple.

If truth be told, most coaches publicly talk about their teams in positive lights. There are few Bobby Knights (thank God) in the world who criticize their kids. To be honest, if you end up listening to Dixon’s post game interviews with Groat and Hillgrove you tend to pick up the subtle hints that someone is not doing their job on the team. Sometimes they are not so subtle. Several times during the year, Dixon has said that Mike Cook needed to do a better job rebounding. He didn’t praise the kid, he politely criticized the kid.

Dixon’s job publicly is to ensure that he puts @$$es in the seats and so criticizing the team doesn’t sell entertainment tickets. You have to keep us fans coming back and listening to negativity from the coach will certainly drive them away.

And lets face facts, if the coach criticizes kids publicly, isn’t your inclination to wonder what the coach is doing to fix it. Coach Wannstedt has a slight tendency to be a little more frank and critical of his team. Every time he does that, I keep wondering what the coaching staff is doing to improve those season long problems.

Its a strange cycle this year. Before the NCAAs began, the stories were all about not getting past the Sweet Sixteen. When everyone found out it was UCLA we were playing, many, many writers said that it would not be a dishonor to lose to UCLA. Then we lose to UCLA and we are bums and the talk is all about not getting past the Sweet Sixteen again.

Just don’t know about the local sports goofs.

Comment by panther84 03.30.07 @ 11:58 am

Mike Prisuta is a big dumb jabroni. He’s lucky to be in Pittsburgh, otherwise he would be unemployed. He panders to the yinzer nation to keep his job.

Comment by bigslacker 03.31.07 @ 10:28 pm

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