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June 17, 2009

For Adam Gunn, apparently this was one of those times.

Gunn’s attorney, Tim Dawson, said by e-mail that his client “issued a formal apology for his conduct, and given the fact that he employed no weapons, assaulted nobody and simply attempted to flee the scene, the (Pittsburgh) Police were willing to drop all charges.”

Gunn can now be reinstated to the team (and there seems little doubt he will be).

He still has to deal with the fact that in running, he could not clear the a parking lot chain. Either very drunk or absolutely no vertical.

This also means Pitt will be losing some points in the Fulmer Cup.

One more basketball post because all of these stories seem to be coming together.

It appears as expected that Coach Dixon has quietly told USC to shove off.

USC’s search to replace Tim Floyd has moved on beyond Pitt’s Jamie Dixon and is now, for the time being, focused on coaches who have professional ties, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation told ESPN.com.

Multiple sources confirmed that the Trojans made an attempt to woo Dixon, a native of Los Angeles, but the discussion was only on the surface in nature because Dixon wasn’t going to move from Pitt. The Trojans were willing to make Dixon a strong offer to come West, but Dixon’s comfort at Pitt made it a moot point.

Dixon has been at Pitt since 1999, the last six as a head coach, winning 163 games with the Panthers during that stretch and taking the Panthers to six NCAAs, one Elite Eight, three Sweet 16s and one Big East regular-season title and one Big East tournament championship.

This is what was presumed. There is just no way a coach in Dixon’s spot was going to take the job. I would still prefer to get some better confirmation than “sources” but it will do for now.

As for Tom Herrion and Holy Cross. The Massachusetts native is clearly on the short list.

1) Notre Dame assistant Sean Kearney – However, some have said that the Cross favors a guy with head coaching experience.

2) Pittsburgh assistant Tom Herrion – He was a successful head coach at the College of Charleston, grew up a town over from Holy Cross and has really toned down since joining Jamie Dixon’s program (that was the knock on him at Charleston).

3) Cornell coach Steve Donahue – Not really sure about the level of interest on either end, but Donahue would have scholarships to play with at Holy Cross, would receive more money and would have a job in which he could battle for the league crown every year.

4) Kansas assistant Joe Dooley – If the Crusaders do go the assistant route, it appears that Kearney and Dooley will be in the mix.

Assuming the list is accurate, it is intersting that Holy Cross is leaning towards hiring a coach looking to use them as a stepping stone. Three of the four candidates are top assistants at major D-1 programs that will hope to move up the coaching ladder.

Obviously, the concern for Pitt fans is Tom Herrion. He seems like a great fit for the program. He has head coaching experience. He’s from the state.

I would question whether Holy Cross is a good fit for him. He’s a recruiter of talent. He would have to modify his targets to get kids to Holy Cross with the program stature and academic restrictions.

For Pitt, the timing stinks. The next recruiting contact period comes in early July. Coach Dixon will be limited with his own work for the U-19 games. That means if Herrion leaves, Dixon will have to make a very quick hire — somehow shoehorned into prep for the games. Or have Brandin Knight out there recruiting alone and shorthanded.

Oh, And About the U-19

Filed under: Basketball,Players,Uncategorized — Chas @ 9:26 am

I’ve been trying to make some time to get this posted. Most of you are probably already aware that incoming freshman Dante Taylor along with sophomore Ashton Gibbs  were added to the FIBA U-19 tryouts after Wake’s Al-Farouq Aminu and UConn’s Kemba Walker pulled out.

The tryouts are in Colorado Springs and got underway yesterday. Coach Dixon will be able to give his players a little extra work.

“It’s great for Dante and it’s great for the program,” Dixon said. “Dante and Ashton were the next two guys on the list.”

For the 12 spots on the team, Gibbs and Taylor will compete with Butler’s Shelvin Mack, Florida’s Kenny Boynton, West Virginia’s Darryl Bryant, Washington State’s Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto, Duke’s Seth Curry, UCLA’s Drew Gordon, Butler’s Gordon Hayward, Kentucky’s Darius Miller, UTEP’s Arnett Moultrie, Minnesota’s Ralph Sampson III, Northwestern’s John Shurna, Kansas’ Tyshawn Taylor, Georgia’s Howard Thompkins and Ole Miss’ Terrico White.

Dixon won’t have final say on the cuts, with a committee led by Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim controlling the roster. But he said he would like to see shooters to bust zones in the competition and quality point guard play on this roster.

Taylor was apparently already on the Pitt campus, according Coach Dixon’s tweet.

Dante is having a great summer and we are very excited to have him at Pittsburgh.

The expectations for this Pitt team are so very different from the one that just finished. Yet, I’m almost as excited about what will be. Definitely more curious.

Now here’s a good game for Pitt to be playing at Madison Square Garden for the Jimmy V Classic.

Just confirmed – through a source – that Pittsburgh will play Indiana on Tues., Dec. 8 at Madison Square Garden.

Indiana will be young, but loaded with talent. It should be a tough game for Pitt. Definitely a marquee game. Something, apparently Pitt really wanted for this game.

Pitt was approached about playing Boston College in the Jimmy V Classic in December in New York but the Panthers decided against the matchup. Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said he wanted more of a national game. But there was another reason for his decision against the opponent. Pederson was concerned that there were stories written in Boston during the East Regional that it was Boston College — a former Big East school now in the ACC — hosting onetime Big East rivals. Pederson said he didn’t want that to be the story again in December.

Burn!

Pederson denies that there is any actual ban by Pitt or the Big East in playing BC — but at the same time it seems clear that Pitt is in no rush to bother with the Eagles.

Pederson said the Panthers and Eagles will likely inevitably play. He said if there were no other opponents he wouldn’t be against playing the Eagles.

That sounds like a real eagerness. On the one hand, it was nice to own the Eagles and to have a chance to remind them of that would be nice. On the other, I’m all for not playing BC and keeping them to have to either pay to bring in the cupcakes or spend more on their travel budget to go further away for games.

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