Well, the Barry Rohrssen departure is finally official. It wasn’t money. It was about opportunities. As has been the case the entire time.
2. Money was not a factor. Pitt was ready to match and exceed any money Kentucky offered and Dixon met with Rohrssen last week to try and see if he could work this out but again, it wasn’t about Pitt, it wasn’t about money.
3. Rohrssen and Calipari have been very good friends for about 25 years. This is a long-time friendship they have always wanted to coach together but timing was never right. Rohrssen felt like this may be his last opportunity to jump on with Cal so he did.
I look forward to reading in the comments how this is still Steve Pederson’s fault.
Later this morning the ACC will be announcing all conference basketball matchups for the NEXT 2 YEARS. Amazing what a bit of membership stability can do. Very different from the Big East approach which maximized TV and competitive games between projected top teams. Either they expect the best teams to stay the best for a couple of years, or the ACC is looking at it more to rotate all teams in games with the unbalanced schedule.
But really, it is only three games. Every team plays once. That’s 14 games. One game is part of the protected “rivalry” game that is a home-and-home (I think for Pitt, it will be Louisville slid in there to take the place of Maryland). That leaves three other games to be chosen as home-and-homes.
I get a kick out of the fact that the ACC not only lets everyone know it is coming, but sets a placeholder on the webpage in advance. It does make it easy to bookmark and go there when it is up.
Despite Rohrssen’s departure, Pitt is going to work hard to try and keep Mustapha Heron committed to Pitt. Heron is at least willing to try.
“My relationship with Coach Rohrssen was why I picked Pitt,” Heron said. “Now, I’m trying to build a relationship with Coach Dixon.”
But his departure didn’t stop Tyrone Haughton, a 6-foot-9, 220-pound junior center from Iowa Western Community College, from signing with the Panthers.
“Ty’s a shot-blocker,” Dixon said of Haughton, who set a school record with 185 career blocked shots. “We’re not looking for a lot of scoring from him, but we need that defensive presence.”
Haughton is expected to contend with senior Derrick Randall for a spot in the starting lineup…
We will see. That will be tough if Kentucky does decide that they want Heron.
Maverick Rowan was named 2d team Sophomore All-American by Max Preps.
In that vein, read this article on coaching wish lists versus reality.
Though 28 new head coaches have been hired since the end of the regular season, only three men who could reasonably be called established coaches at top-50 programs have voluntarily left their jobs for other jobs: Buzz Williams, Cuonzo Martin and Frank Haith.
There are only three. And the wild thing is that three is actually a high number because in 2013 there was only one (Steve Alford), in 2012 there were only two (Frank Martin and Trent Johnson), and in 2011 there was only one (Mike Anderson), and every example of this — i.e., an example of a coach at a top-50 program voluntarily leaving — was laced with unique circumstances that made the coaches reasonably available to the programs pursuing them.
Only seven coaches of top-50 programs have voluntarily changed jobs in the past four years, and every one of them was either running from a person, from a situation, to home or to Westwood. There are no exceptions, which means ADs are almost certainly wasting their time each time they pursue a comfortable and well-compensated coach from a top-50 program unless said AD happens to work at North Carolina, Duke, Kentucky, Kansas, Texas, Ohio State, Louisville, Florida, UCLA or a similar elite program with inherent advantages. And, it should be noted, even UK and UCLA have been turned down in recent years.
So remember that going forward, please.
Only about 10 out of 351 Division I schools can reasonably target a comfortable and well-compensated coach like Gregg Marshall or Shaka Smart, and this isn’t some new revelation. It’s been this way for a while, honestly. And there’s no reason to think it’s changing.
I think schools are wising up about this to a degree. When jobs have come open recently, the brief optimism/wishful thinking quickly gets quashed by reality and ADs seem to move a little more quickly to assistants and mid-major coaches who are within reach. The fans are a different story.
Cameron Johnson essentially acknowledges that he is going to be redshirting so he can start putting meat on the bones.
Johnson (6 feet 7) certainly could be called a late bloomer, growing 5 inches in a year. More colleges became interested as Johnson grew. Still, although Stanford, Virginia and Boston College recently showed interest, he was offered scholarships mostly by mid-major schools. He visited Marist, Bryant and Toledo in the fall. He visited Penn and Rice after this past season when Johnson was the WPIAL’s second-leading scorer at 26.8 points a game.
“We probably surprised everyone with this [signing], but to be honest he surprised us with how much he grew and we really didn’t even start recruiting him until late in his senior year,” said Dixon. “We certainly will have to get him into the weight room, get him bigger, get him physically stronger. But he is a kid that I think a lot of coaches are going to be kicking themselves and saying, ‘I wish we would have grabbed him,’ and we are lucky to be the team that got him.”
“It’s not like I feel like I have something to prove [at Pitt],” said Johnson. “But it’s like I knew all along that I could play at that level. I really don’t care what people say about not having offers from the biggest schools. I had ACC schools recruit me. Virginia was talking to me for a while and Notre Dame and Stanford, too. I feel like I can play at that level. People don’t know me as well as I know myself, and as well as coach Dixon knows me.”
Johnson’s father, Gil, is a former Pitt player, and Cameron said he has wanted to play for Pitt as long as he can remember.
“Once I put on more weight and get in the weight room more often, I feel like I can be right where I need to be,” said Johnson.
Aside from the obvious length and size of Johnson on the perimeter — in the long term — the fact that Johnson started as a point guard means he can handle the ball. Giving Pitt another ball handler on the court. Something Dixon really likes.