June 18, 2014

Marlon “Smoke” Williamson was introduced as a new Pitt assistant coach yesterday.

“We are excited about Marlon becoming a member of the University of Pittsburgh community and I know he is ecstatic to be coming aboard,” Dixon said. “As a former point guard with strong knowledge of the game, Marlon will help us in recruiting, scouting and player development. We are fortunate to have a coach with his well-rounded background. Marlon is also extremely excited to be a part of our staff considering his family ties to Pittsburgh.”

The former YSU point guard is openly ambitious and perhaps a little cocky.

“Actually, my pursuit is to become a great assistant coach right now. In the future, I want to become a head coach,” Williamson said. “When you say ‘great assistant,’ you have to fill a lot of bullets. Recruiting is definitely one, but I don’t want to be singled out as just a recruiter. I can get in the film room and break down Xs and Os. The relationship with the players is a huge factor for you as a coach. It’s much easier to play for someone you respect and love versus someone you just play for. That’s what I want to strive for as a professional in this business, being able to relate to the coach, co-workers on the staff, as well as the players and their parents.”

So, like [UMass Coach Derek] Kellogg before him, Williamson made a move to put his career in an upward trajectory.

“This is a big step,” he said. “When you talk about the University of Pittsburgh and ACC, you’ve got to go get players first. Our position as assistants is to put Coach Dixon in a position to be great. I look at coach Dixon as a legend. I don’t think he hired Coach Knight or Coach Barton to be mediocre. We want to give him the tools that he can go coach those guys. Our goal is to win the last game. Why not us?”

These are not bad things for a young assistant.

One other thing to note from his official bio. Even though he played four years at YSU he didn’t complete his degree at that time. Williamson, however, did go back and complete it in 2012. Another sign that he is serious about his ambitions to become a head coach. It is a little thing. But as Steve Masiello learned, it can become a huge barrier to a better job and the subsequent mess hurts the reputation.

The hiring of Williamson also means that Coach Dixon has effectively elevated Brandin Knight to the top assistant position. I guess now it’s just a matter of time before John Calipari poaches him.

2016 commit Maverick Rowan completed his play at the Adidas EuroCamp.

The U.S. team played three games and lost all three by an average of 78 points. It wasn’t a surprise because the team played against older international players, including some who could be selected by NBA teams.

“I learned to play overseas, you have to be a lot more physical,” Rowan said. “There is just more physicality compared to the NBA.”

Really? More physical than the NBA?

“You watch LeBron James. He gets touched, he flops and gets a foul called,” Rowan said. “The competition over there was just a lot more physical. Like, when they set screens, they move a little on the screen and bump you harder. And if you went to the hoop, you weren’t getting a call.”

Overall, Rowan said it was “a great experience.” He believes he played against “five or six NBA draft picks.”

Rowan was not close to the main attraction on the US team. In fact, his selection was something of a surprise. At the same time, as noted by the scores, not many of the US players were overly impressive — including Thon Maker. Rowan did make an impression with his shooting.

Class of 2016 Pittsburgh commit Maverick Rowan was the least highly touted recruit here outside of Danta Hales, but held his own. A 6’7 shooter who can also put the ball on the floor and create his own shot a bit, Rowan has a picturesque shooting stroke and nice size for a wing. He may not be a great athlete, but he plays within himself and should give Jamie Dixon’s Panthers an efficient scoring option on the wing down the road.

Also one of the younger players on the squad, so to have a shot that already looks so good is the sort of thing that should make Pitt fans smile.

Pitt of Dreams @ 3:39 … very nice .. what about getting another coach nicknamed Mirrors ? Then we would have something !

Comment by Tomas 06.19.14 @ 5:08 pm


Buddy. Be nice. We all are in the same row boat here. Oy vey, what if the food is not kosher?

The important thing is getting quality kids to represent our school and kick ass. Particularly, Notre Dame’s ass.

I am going to have a great dinner and signing off boys (and girls, maybe).


Comment by pmdH2P 06.19.14 @ 5:49 pm

Here are some of the rosters for the Summer Pro-am … note the names of DeGroat and Troutman among others. Other notes that Haughton has to take a summer class (on no!) before comingto Pitt and Shaq Doorsen will not be in this summer bus supposed to enroll in the fall. (T J McConnell also is suppsoed to play in Pgh Pro-Am)

link to

Comment by wbb 06.20.14 @ 6:15 am

two more rosters, includes D Randall

link to

Comment by wbb 06.20.14 @ 6:19 am

Pitt has never had a 6’7″ PURE shooter. Rowan can be a very valuable contributed for his four years. The way the game is played in the ACC, you need a guy who can knock down three’s.

He reminds me of Luke Hancock, who played a big role in Louisville’s national championship run.

Montour Monday!

Comment by Boubacar Aw 06.20.14 @ 6:20 am

How tall was Billy Knight? 6-6?

Comment by Pittman4ever 06.20.14 @ 8:27 am

Even tough I am in my late 40’s, I must admit, I never saw Billy Knight play. If he was a pure shooter, I’ll stand corrected and modify my statement. Pitt hasn’t had a 6’7″ pure shooter in the last 40 years. 🙂

Comment by Boubacar Aw 06.20.14 @ 11:40 am

Mooney was 6’6″ tall.

As was Larry Harris who was also a pure shooter.

Comment by Emel 06.20.14 @ 12:30 pm

Larry Harris? Again, before my time. The first Pitt game I attended was 1984/85 Georgetown game at the civic arena.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 06.20.14 @ 5:15 pm

Harris was a better pure shooter than Knight. Knight shot well but was a heck of a slasher. I considered him to be more of a score than a shooter. He was also a very good rebounder, I still consider Knight to be the best Pitt player ever (never saw Hennon play)

Comment by wbb 06.20.14 @ 6:42 pm

Larry Harris came to Pitt right after Billy Knight graduated.

He became Pitt’s leading scorer is Sophomore Year, the 1975-76 season. He averaged 22.1 ppg and 6.4 rpg which was 2nd best.

1976-77 season Larry averaged a little more at 22.9 ppg and 6.5 rpg again 2nd on the team.

His senior year ’77-’78 his average dropped a little to 20.6 ppg as Sam Clancy arrived on campus and Larry got a few less shots with Sam averaging 14 ppg. Larry’s rpg dipped a little to with 5.2 rpg as Clancy ripped down over 12 rpg.

As you can see Larry Harris was a very consistent scorer and rebounder and I consider him to be among Pitt’s top players ever.

Comment by Emel 06.21.14 @ 12:04 pm

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