In the recruiting game, sometimes it doesn’t pay to wait for late offers and sometimes it does. For Jon Severe, it worked out well. The shooting guard from Christ the King didn’t have a lot of offers at first. A 3-star recruit, had offers initially from middling A-10 programs like Rhode Island, GW and Fordham. He didn’t commit and saw his stock rise, including being named New York’s Mr. Basketball. He now has offers from Pitt, WVU, K-State, Creighton. No surprise Pitt and WVU are now after him considering both struggled with being able to score consistently this past year. He is a shooter and willing to drive.
He gets to the rim north to south as well as east to west with a quick first step and good economy of motion. He runs hard in transition, has dexterity putting the ball on the floor and finishing, and actually prefers to drive left. Severe is also a capable shot maker off the catch or the dribble with terrific shot preparation for a youngster.
As you would expect defense and consistency are the issues for him. He’s a bit on the small side for a shooting or wing guard at 6-2 — which was the primary reason he didn’t attract a lot of high-major interest. It’s not clear when he will make a decision. The number of offers swelled, so he appears to be re-evaluating everything.
On the Dixon extension, there is a bump in salary. But the reality is that it isn’t outrageous, especially given the competitive rate of pay these days.
The most recent tax filing by the university showed Dixon’s total compensation was $1.86 million for 2011. The new contract is worth more than $2 million in total compensation.
The raise will get Dixon in line with other coaches in the ACC, which receives more revenue from its television contract than the Big East did.
The $2 million price tag is in the area you see for Miami’s Jim Larranaga, FSU’s Leonard Hamilton, NC St.’s Mike Gottfried, ND’s Mike Brey, Maryland’s Mark Turgeon and bizarrely enough Wake’s Jeff Bzdelik.
The upper-end will be Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim.
Below the $2 million price tag are the recent hires at VT, BC, GT, Virginia.
I’m more interested in whether there’s more money for the assistants. I’m not particularly enamored with Bill Barton — as a coach or recruiter — but the money for assistants issue has been rumored to still be an issue. Pitt, historically (i.e., regardless of the AD) has been much tighter with the pursestrings when it comes to assistant coach compensation. We know that has been a battle in both the football and basketball sides.
Pitt recruit Josh Newkirk, a guard from Word of God Christian Academy in Raleigh, N.C., learned of Dixon’s new deal Saturday night through a text message from Knight.
“That’s good because now I know he’s committed and not going anywhere, so now we can just worry about winning,” Newkirk said. “I heard the rumors and was very nervous. With the news of the extension, I was relieved.”
The most interesting thing is that for the first time, Dixon admitted to thinking about another job. Albeit, in terms of his family.
Dixon has a policy of not discussing job openings but didn’t deny that USC was attractive to him and his family.
His parents, Jim and Marge, who sat with Pederson behind Pitt’s bench in Salt Lake City, live in L.A. Dixon also heard from his wife, Jacqueline, who went to USC.
“That particular job, that is something that weighs on my mind,” Dixon said.
“My parents are advancing in age. Any child that has parents, that’s a concern.”
Dixon, however, also said that “Pitt and Pittsburgh are home.”
And there it is. He has been living in the ‘Burgh for 14 years. His children have been born and raised here. He may not be “native,” but his kids are. He may want to be there for them, but he has his own life. His own kids. Dixon has now turned down Arizona, Arizona St., Oregon and USC (twice). Considering UCLA will never go after him after Howland, it is hard to envision another West Coast job that could entice him.
Now that Pitt has settled its issues on the coaching carousel, it becomes a lot more fun to sit back and watch what other teams do — and judge the moves. As everyone knows (and knew it was coming), Ben Howland is out at UCLA. While all the attention is on who UCLA hires, there is the question of what Ben Howland does next.
He has a buyout of $2.3 mill plus another $300K/yr for the next 4 years. So he has options. One of the better suggestions for a job match for Howland, was Northwestern. That almost makes too much sense. Northwestern really needs a program builder. They do have the money to pay a decent salary. The style of play fits the Big Ten. And they desperately want to make the NCAA, yet aren’t insane about it.