April 26, 2007

Now that Mike Rice, Jr. is heading out to Robert Morris, Coach Dixon has a plum and crucial assistant coach position to fill. Big East Basketball blog suggests that a couple of the runner-ups to get the RMU job might be considered for the Pitt assistant job: former Kentucky assistant Scott Rigot and Baylor assistant Matt Driscoll.

Rigot, you may recall, was a name being considered last year. Scott Rigot is from Bethel Park — the Pittsburgh area connection that many seem to love — and he was an assistant at Hawaii — where Jamie Dixon was once an assistant. Rigot apparently was not beloved by Kentucky fans who did not seem to think highly of his recruiting skills or thought they weren’t used well — even if no one was sure why he was disliked. He was a graduate assistant at South Carolina under Tubby Smith which apparently helped him land the job at Kentucky. He was also rumored to be one of the staff members who was going to be let go last year and was — according to many rumors — supposed to be one of the reasons Tubby Smith left for Minnesota (the AD wanted a major staff shake-up to improve recruiting which Smith was resisting).

Aside from his local ties and possible ties to Dixon by way of Hawaii, I’m not sure what he would bring to Pitt for recruiting:

Despite a host of message board “insiders” posting how Rigot bungled a recruiting trip here or there, there is no actual proof other than the fact that UK whiffed on a names last fall. That said, Rigot was supposedly brought on board for his skills with getting Juco and Euro players. Apparently, those skills were either oversold or underdeveloped. What Rigot does bring to the table, the average fan cannot truly know, despite the volume of Cats Pause readers who claim to.

So we’ll have to see about that.

As for Driscoll, went to Northgate High, got his degree at Slippery Rock, was a head coach at LaRoche College (Div. III) for a few years before being an assistant under Larry Shyatt at Clemson. He is the top assistant for Scott Drew (even filling in  on a night after Drew had an emergency appendectomy). Baylor fans seem to like the guy. Driscoll has a good rep in recruiting nationally. It makes him seem like the more appealing candidate.

The question would be, does he want to leave Baylor for another assistant job? Especially now. Baylor is on the verge of coming off all the NCAA restrictions, and the Bears have reportedly done well in the last couple years in recruiting. If Baylor finally starts putting it together it would be a heck of a rebuilding job and make Driscoll a hot candidate.

Thank goodness for blind speculation.

We should hire someone who is close to the top high school players for 2009. That is an easy, and common, way to get a top recruit. See Mike Beasley at Kansas State.

Comment by Omar 04.26.07 @ 5:44 pm

I think it was Dokish who mentioned Rigot last year, but as far as I can remember, that was just a name he threw out there because he was from Pittsburgh. I don’t think he actually got anything from Pitt on that. Pitt could actually do better than him now I’m thinking. Driscoll is another guy that Dokish mentioned because of his local ties. But it’s anybody’s guess who it could be. There will be many candidates.

Comment by mark 04.26.07 @ 6:21 pm

Tim Grgurich

Comment by steve 04.26.07 @ 7:40 pm

I don’t think we necessarily need someone who’s, you know, best buds with a top recruit just so we can get him on campus, but it’d be nice if the guy had some connections in an area we recruit in…DC, Philly, New York, etc.

Comment by Jeff 04.26.07 @ 10:43 pm

[…] Rumors and whispers about who will get the assistant coach spot for Pitt basketball continue. Last week it was speculation on a couple other D-1 Assistants who were from Western PA and wanted the Robert Morris gig. This week, maybe it will be a former college head coach and a present high school coach (Insider subs.) Former College of Charleston head coach Tom Herrion and St. Benedict’s (N.J.) coach Danny Hurley are both being discussed as a possible replacement for Mike Rice, who left after one season to become the head coach at Robert Morris. […]

[…] Obviously at this point, there is a real issue of separating rumor and speculation from what is actually happening. What’s worth noting is that Potosnak and previously mentioned Scott Rigot are both assistants with reputations for being able to recruit internationally. […]

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