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March 21, 2016

Here’s a simple reality. It is very likely that Pitt basketball is going to slip a little further in the short term before it improves.

Complain about the disappointments of this season, but there aren’t that many examples of programs that lost their head coach after being in the NCAA Tournament — and improving immediately. Let alone tread water. In the last five years, the only examples that spring to mind are just this past year: Shaka Smart to Texas, Iowa State under Steve Prohm and Will Wade at VCU. And again, all three didn’t do dramatically better. They stayed constant.

There are just so many changes. From style of play, lost recruiting class, transfers, graduations.

If you have been saying that the problem with Pitt under Dixon in the last few years is the talent on the court, then whoever the coach is won’t be able to do much about that for next year and possibly the year after.

It is very likely that Pitt will lose at least one member of the present recruiting class. And you may not think that highly of the class, but the program still needs players. At the very least it was a solid 3-4 star class.

Justice Kithcart had a fantastic senior year, and has been rising in recruiting rankings. ESPN already upped him to a 4-star and Rivals is expected to in their final rankings. If he asks for his release — and the absolutely right thing for Pitt or any program would be to grant it after a coaching change — the demand for his services will be big at this time of the year. It almost certain that coaches from other programs are indirectly reaching out to him even as you read this.

Corey Manigault is giving thoughts to his future.

Crisshawn Clark is unknown, but I have to imagine he is giving it some serious thought.

I don’t think there will be much in the way of transfers with the way this team is constructed. Young, Artis, Jeter and Jones will all be seniors. Luther and Johnson are local kids. You have the JUCOs in Milligan and Nix who both sat out this year. Unlikely that they would want to lose a year and sit. The only possible question mark could be Damon Wilson, but given how much playing time he is in line to get, that seems unlikely.

No matter who the next coach is, the pressure is huge for the 2017 recruiting class with 4 open spots (possibly 5 or more). The team is in decent shape for next year, but then the players really turn over.





Disappointed at your negativity. There’s an excellent chance Pitt will far exceed Dixon’s mediocre performance over the past five years.

Comment by Tony77019 03.21.16 @ 11:17 pm

Yes. Next 2 yrs could be rough. But any coach worth a lick, year 3 is where you see “their” team start to take off. Next year with Jamie was probably going to a middle of the pack ACC team that made the tourney and not much more. My fear was the following year and after, I thought things could really go off the rails for Dixon. Then it would take a minimum of 2 yrs of missing the tourney and Pitt would make a move. Then 2 yrs of a new guy getting his program in place.

Now I could be wrong and Jamie got his groove back and got Pitt to the top of the ACC. But If it did play out the way I thought possible, actually likely, we are still ahead of the curve. Even if the next 2 yrs we experience some defections/adjusting and struggle, if we get the right guy Pitt hoops is ready to fly again at worst 2018/19 season. I can live with that.

Now get the wrong guy…uggghhh

Comment by Pap76 03.21.16 @ 11:33 pm

gc-

On last thread you said you weren’t concerned much about losing Adams and Hinnish. Granted better to the Domers than the Nits, but I disagree. Next years WPIAL class is very good and we just lost 2 of the best. Plus Wade is a long shot. It is kind of a big deal. Gotta keep the majority of western Pa studs home if we wanna get to where we wanna go…

Comment by Pap76 03.21.16 @ 11:37 pm

Almost forgot…welcome back Emel. This was too big for a Pitt man and Blatherite as yourself to stay off the grid…

Comment by Pap76 03.21.16 @ 11:47 pm

Chas, I’m with you. A sad lose for PITT. Next year has a chance to stable.

Would be nice to get another big guy for the middle. I would look at a grad student or another JC.

Barnes speaks with great confidence

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 03.21.16 @ 11:53 pm

Starky with a terrific column in the Trib points out Pitt was 7-23 in its last 30 games vs ranked teams. My vote is for Sean Miller. Bet he is in the Burgh by Thursday!

Comment by Dan 72 03.21.16 @ 11:55 pm

I agree. Anyone thinking success will come right away is delusional. 1 or 2 pieces of our recruiting class (Justice, Corey, Crisshawn) is gone and so could a few key pieces of our rotation. That puts a lot of pressure on the 2017 recruiting class. Not an easy job for any first year coach. The next few years could be rough.

Comment by Pitt fan from Canada 03.22.16 @ 12:00 am

I don’t know how we come out of this but I can’t wait to find out… Sit back and enjoy the ride!

Comment by Pitt2Cali 03.22.16 @ 12:28 am

Dan – you mean Barnes will be in Tuscon by Thursday.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.22.16 @ 12:50 am

One good recruiting class gets you rolling again I BB. Not like FB where you need a few. One stud player and you are back in business. A one and done to go along with what is there would make for an interesting season next year. Not sure any of them are still out there.

Comment by Jp 03.22.16 @ 4:10 am

JP, no one and done player is going to take a risk going to a school with a brand new coach for that program. Unless your name is Calipari Coach K or Rick Pitino that’s just not happening.

Comment by tedsptman 03.22.16 @ 4:18 am

That’s the beauty of basketball as opposed to larger squad sports; only need 5 starters. New man must start with basics and go from there and the kids coming in will have already developed those skills individually. Dixon somehow ignored some essential basics; a PG that couldn’t shoot? A 4 that wouldn’t box? It won’t take as long as you think IF we bring in right guy. The program will get reenergized quickly, we’ll see enthusiasm in all phases. Thank you Jamie for leaving. Pitt basketball is coming back!

Comment by Old School Panther 03.22.16 @ 5:22 am

Emel .. Welcome back from your self-impose timeout! Missed your input.

I too am concerned about the loss of Adams and Hinish but if they are good Catholic boys then one would expect them to have an interest in Notre Dame.in the blood I guess.

Comment by BigB 03.22.16 @ 6:01 am

That’s why the new hire must be someone who makes a splash, and is made quickly. Today isn’t too soon.

The longer this drags out, the more poaching that will occur from other programs.

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 03.22.16 @ 6:02 am

Pitt may ask the 3 incoming recruits to wait until they meet the new coach before releasing them. Then, as you say, Pitt would be doing the correct thing by releasing them.

Comment by wbb 03.22.16 @ 6:07 am

Bif news on the BB front and mostly because it frees up athletic $$ to use on the football team.

Just kidding but if Barnes is smart he’ll not pay the big money he did to Dixon to a new guy unless he steals an already accomplished coach from a big program… which I doubt will happen.

This is Barnes first actual decision making test – nothing he’s been tasked with doing has had any impact on Pitt sports yet. His ‘legacy’ so far in his short tenure is that two coaches quit the department in Dixon and Chaney.

Now – we’ll see if his BB background means anything and I wonder. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter what someone did in college as things change down the road. Pitt isn’t located in a hotbed of BB recruiting, far from it IMO. The ACC move is a wash from the Big East – as a matter of fact I think the old Big East was a more exciting type of ball albeit the conference didn’t have the great history the ACC did and does.

But it was a big deal to be in the bE and Pitt did very well there. Now we are small fish in a big pond and, to agree with Chas, will be for some time. When you lose a 13 year HC and he leaves on his own volition… even for the best of reasons, it looks somewhat negative to the outside world.

We made a splash hire with Narduzzi as it turns out… but the good history of the FB program and the excellent FB recruiting area PITT sits in the middle of was a big draw for Narduzzi to come here… plus he had small shoes to fill in our last two HCs before him so there was no grand expectations of a 180 degree turnaround in the first season.

Not so with BB. I think it will take a LOT of convincing and $$$ to get an established guy to come here – regardless of if Pitt is their alma mater or not.

I agree with Chas in that we can expect a dip in BB over the next few years. PITT wasn’t a ‘destination’ school for BB recruits in the first place and losing an established coach – who everyone but Pitt fans thought was a top shelf guy – is not good for the program.

Let’s hope that Pitt BB can start the same upward trend that Pitt FB seems to be on. FB got a spark from a new HC hire and it is Barnes’s job to make sure the same thing happens this spring with his new hire.

Comment by Reed 03.22.16 @ 6:18 am

Correction: ^^^ “Big news on the FB front…”

Comment by Reed 03.22.16 @ 6:18 am

This is a great read about all that went down the past few days plus a little insight in Pitt BB future:

link to sportsblogs.post-gazette.com

Comment by wbb 03.22.16 @ 6:21 am

BTW, I was clicking around the dial last night and saw that Georgia Tech was absolutely destroying South Carolina in the NIT by nearly 30 points. This was the SC team that was ranked for much of the year and allegedly a bubble team.

BY now, we should realize just how good the ACC really was this year … and that includes the likes of Geo Tech, VA Tech and Clemson … all 3 of them may not have been NCAA caliber but they all possess some pretty attractive wins.

Comment by wbb 03.22.16 @ 6:29 am

wbb – Paul Zeise hits the nail on the head again. It makes absolutely no sense to try to keep a coach on staff if he isn’t committed 100% to the program.

The point of Dixon positioning his recruiting to maximize his hiring potential is an interesting point. Without coming straight out and saying it Ziese is saying that Dixon was shopping himself as early as last season…

“*** I wrote here in this blog that Dixon had recruited and scheduled like a guy who was hoping to hit lightning in a bottle and get back to the NCAA Tournament then parlay that into another job. I was ridiculed for that but it is exactly how it played out – he put together a class of transfers and graduate transfers to fill just enough holes to make a run to the NCAA Tournament. The Panthers got there, barley, and that meant he was a coach coming off an NCAA Tournament bid – as opposed to a guy who had missed the tournament his last two years.”

He softens that stance a bit but the bottom line is that a hC everyone at Pitt thought was 100% dedicated to the university and the athletic department actually wasn’t.

I have read here on the Blqther commenters stating that all those job offers Dixon has been getting over the recent years were soundly rejected by Dixon… and that may be the case. But it sure looks like the opposite happened – that Dixon had an inkling he wasn’t going to be at Pitt for the long future run and was setting himself up for departure.

Which – when looking at the mediocre way in which the team and apparently the HC went about their business this season leads me to believe Pitt was going to be a past job for Dixon as soon as he got an offer he could live with.

Was he waiting for only the TCU job offer? I know Pitt fans want to believe that but Ziese makes it pretty clear that TCU wasn’t the only job Dixon would entertain. Hey, from what I’ve read, and that has actually been a lot since these rumors of his departure started, TCU wouldn’t give a rat’s ass if Dixon missed the NCAAs in 2016 – they would welcome him back home with welcome arms wide open.

Which exactly mirrors the situation Paul Chryst was in with Wisconsin. Wisconsin didn’t care one bit Chryst was coming off a losing season – he was a UW ex FB player alumni and they wanted him there.

The same thing took place this time on the BB side with TCU and Dixon – they were going to offer him first as soon as the job opened and Dixon knew that. It was OTHER HC jobs that Dixon was positioning himself and trying to make himself more attractive for in case TCU didn’t have an opening.

I’m not saying Dixon was actively looking to leave PITT – I don’t believe that. But it sure does look like he wasn’t 100% committed to staying at Pitt should a lucrative job offer he could live with came his way and that’s exactly what happened.

I think this is a very good example of what we have been saying on here over the last 12 months about the FB program. No HC in college football – save for a few at the Top 10 monster FB programs – is a lock to stay at any school for longer than a a few years if something better comes along.

I believe that hold true for Pat Narduzzi also and we need to be prepared for that should it happen. I hope it doesn’t, I’m very happy he’s here right now and doing well, but what the past 18 months have shown us is that Pitt HCs will leave if what THEY feel is a better job offer comes their way. Narduzzi won’t be immune to that either, just like Chryst and Dixon weren’t.

We have a new and aggressive administration and that means new era in Pitt sports – here is Barnes’s 1st big decision and I think he’ll figure it out well and BB will still be a fun thing for Pitt fans to be a part of.

Comment by Reed 03.22.16 @ 6:54 am

I would be worried about losing those two local football recruits.. If the current staff couldn’t recruit worth damn or if they were really passive in their recruiting tactics kinda like Mr. Personality Paul Chryst staff.. But this staff has shown they can recruit plus they are aggressive.. And they will go anywhere to find talent.. Rob Harley was all out way in California trying find players late in the recruiting process.. I forgot which coach it was.. That was in down Florida hunting for future panthers.. When he got call from DT Keyshon Camp’s father saying he need talk him about his son possibly changing commitment to Pitt.. Also just recently wasn’t are TE coach out in Arizona on vacation.. When he decided on his own volition to go out and offer 2 or 3 tight ends while he was out there.. So basically I’m not at all worried that some local kids don’t want buy into what HCPN is selling.. Because HCPN and his staff aren’t going seat around saying woo is me.. And panic then go start grabbing up commitments from 1,2 or no star jabronis.. They are going aggressively go out find players who mentally and physically tough football players with high upsides.. No matter whether local kids,Jersey kids,Virginia kids,Ohio kids,Carolina kids or from wherever…

Comment by NickC 03.22.16 @ 6:58 am

Chas>
I disagree. Here is my letter to my brother on the left coast explaining my view of what happened.

Dixon coasted after he got an undeserved extension from Pederson.

Dixon couldn’t recruit and refused to challenge his team by playing meaningful games in December. Those 8/9 home games were all against cupcakes and no one wanted to see cupcake U play. I had to drop full season tickets this year because I couldn’t find anyone willing to split them with me. Fans stopped buying tickets and I can’t blame them. Dixon’s OCS was a national joke and only he seemed to not get it.

Barnes was going to force Dixon to play WVU and Dixon was objecting. Funny, he gets to play them twice a year now.
Barnes was going to can an assistant, maybe two because they can’t coach and they can’t recruit….Dixon objected to this also.
The game against Wisconsin set basketball back 75 years .

Dixon had a huge contract that had several years remaining…a platinum parachute that Nordenberg, Pederson and Dixon all benefitted from over the last two years of the Pederson regime. Pederson (who everyone knew was miserable) got a huge raise and extension in Nordenberg’ s last 6 months. It was legal stealing IMO and as popular as Nordenberg was, laying these big contracts on Pitt as he was headed out he door tarnished his legacy abit.

Pederson was a miserable, horrible AD and was liked only by Dixon…everyone else despised the guy.

In comes Gallagher and he is no one’s fool. Pitt used a long time administrator named Juhl to come in and act as interim AD right after Pederson was fired. He was fired you might recall 10 minutes before Paul chryst was named coach at Wisconsin.

Under Juhl, the Pitt athletic department finally acted like a meaningful organization…the change was remarkable. The 180 degree turnaround from mind boggling stupid decisions to an attitude of “you had better have your act together and expect to be the best” was instant and noticed by all.

Dixon’s average record (44-45 in conference play) over the last five years was coming under serious heat…he has thin skin and wanted out.

Barnes being a basketball guy could not have been pleased with the program and while he is publicly polished, you could sense the tension. Dixon had his run of the place for a long time and kept getting raises (21st highest paid coach in CBB), but his results did not match his salary.

Dixon? Yeah, he is a nice guy but so am I. So are a lot of people. I think he underserved Pitt for a long time and while he may have been a nice guy, he always came out of any coaching search that whispered his name with a raise. I would be nice too under those circumstances.

TCU likely wanted to get someone with the skill set to coach, a national name and a grad to boot (so he won’t leave).

They got what they wanted…Pitt got what it needed.

I’d rather have what I need than what I want.

Comment by sfpitt 03.22.16 @ 7:13 am

While some sentimentalists are negotiating their tears I’m celebrating. I’ve waited 1825 days for this day. March 11 2011 I left Verizon Center disgusted, Dixon made so many fundamental mistakes in Butler game he clearly didn’t know how to win outside of a BE gym. He had learned nothing from blowing the Villanova game.

This is all about objectives. If your goal is winning a NC Dixon had to leave. Dixon had become so ineffective he appeared to have lost his objective to win games.

1825 days ago I knew he wasn’t ever getting us to the NC.

Comment by Old School Panther 03.22.16 @ 7:18 am

The following from Joe Starkey from the Trib Review. A person I seldom agree with.

********
The defeatist portion of the Pitt fan base is shivering right now. Freaking out. From what I can tell, its default position in the wake of losing Jamie Dixon to TCU goes something like this …

We’re never going to the NCAA Tournament again.

Be careful what you wish for.

We’re headed back to the Ralph Willard days.

********

Comment by PittofDreams 03.22.16 @ 7:29 am

Unreal. The intensity on JD was not the act of a person playing out the string as some on this blog would suggest.At least one other coach in this town had mediocre years and all he did was follow it up with a Super Bowl win. (Cowher) Of course Cowher did not have to swap leagues or change styles of play. JD had the misfortune of both losing kids who may have worked out and having kids stick around who didn’t. In his final year he had wins at Notre Dame, 3 wins against Syracuse and a win against Duke. Not what you’d expect from a lame duck coach. If his heart wasn’t in it, neither would his players have been.

Comment by Joe Bro 03.22.16 @ 7:50 am

SFPitt —
My thoughts exactly.

Emel — Welcome back! You have been sorely missed.

Comment by PetePitt73 03.22.16 @ 7:51 am

A couple quick comments:

Folks shouldn’t complain about the negativity in the comments when the articles set the tone.

The last I checked Jamie left us. Don’t let the door hit you in the arse. It’s business, nothing personal.

I agree with sfpitt, Dan 72 and many others. It was time.

OSP – I was at that game too. It still hurts.

Finally, something nobody has commented on. My opinion is that realized Jamie he is no longer the media darling at Pitt. HCPN came in and captured the attention of all and made Jamie look very average. The athletic bar was raised at Pitt with the new administration and Jamie was barely above it. Smart folks know when their time to move on has come and I would not doubt that was set in motion last year. The culture has changed and he realized he no longer fit.

Pitt will have to make a splash hire to compete with football.

Comment by Yeti 03.22.16 @ 7:51 am

I’m curious as to the threshold of patience some of the Dixon dissenters will have in the coming years. A coaching change doesn’t completely flip a negative fan’s deposition. I’m reminded of the threads after the Miami and Navy FB losses. People having complete meltdowns over a couple bad games under a first year coach.

Comment by tacocat 03.22.16 @ 8:00 am

Chas.. I disagree .. Depending on the hire .. Proper guy could bring some energy that this program has been lacking especially in the recruiting arena.

Comment by BigB 03.22.16 @ 8:01 am

sfpitt-Spot on! Jamie didn’t feel appreciated and he had an option and he took it. Money, low expectations, region, all played into it. I think Barnes probably told Jamie things nobody else ever did and Jamie didn’t like hearing it. I have a hard time believing this happened in 3 days since Pitt lost to Wisconsin. Thanks Jamie for the first 7-8 years but for $3 M, you have to maintain it. He didn’t. The good news is that Gallagher has to be on the same page as Barnes, that Pitt has the potential to be great.

Comment by Sam_in_215 03.22.16 @ 8:04 am

It will get better before it gets worse. I trust Gallagher and Barnes. They were perfectly ok with Jamie leaving, didn’t even try to talk him into staying. That is telling.

As far as these recruits go, maybe it’s best for everyone involved to have a clean break.

Comment by Bj 03.22.16 @ 8:06 am

I’ll wait and see who they hire before I start to form any expectations. This program and it’s facilities have quite a bit to offer to a HC and hopefully the administration will be able to lure a first rate guy here. If you’re a JD jock sniffer, then you better get over it instead of sitting there wringing your hands and fretting over why he’s gone. It is what it is. It’s time for a fresh start whether you like it or not. H2P.

Comment by Panther Pride 03.22.16 @ 8:12 am

You ungrateful, delusional fools.

All of you fans who think things are actually going to get better in the near future are completely delusional and have no understanding of college basketball.

I’d much rather we win, but since I’m fairly certain we won’t do much of that over the coming years, I hope you ungrateful fools remind yourselves every year when we miss the tournament how obnoxious you are.

Comment by PantherP 03.22.16 @ 8:13 am

His butt buddy Pederson left and he was lonely.

Comment by JohnRamella 03.22.16 @ 8:30 am

This sucks.

Comment by Dave 03.22.16 @ 8:41 am

I’m voting it will get better before it gets much better. Because before yesterday things were worse and likely to get much worse.

Comment by jrnpitt 03.22.16 @ 8:50 am

Whoever the new coach is can certainly match the performance of the last few years, we have sucked. Jamie had great years here and was a super guy but his recent teams have been a poor imitation of what he used to put on the floor. Even Robert Morris can make the dance every other year or so. We didn’t lose anything and this is a great opportunity to step up large.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.22.16 @ 9:07 am

For those having a pity party…..

Dixon left Pitt.

Comment by Dan 03.22.16 @ 9:18 am

Dixon’s comment “… can’t feel comfortable with a guy I spent 2 hours with” w/ regarding Barnes just shows how hurt he was when Pederson was axed by Gallagher. So… he hated Gallagher and Barnes by proxy.

Let the fool go. Huggs will treat him like he deserves to be treated down there and I will love it every time WVU smashes TCU.

Comment by JohnRamella 03.22.16 @ 9:28 am

Chas touches on it but we’re in a weird place in regard to a coaching switch. Most of the time when a guy leaves the team is abysmal or is totally bereft of talent but we have a squad of seniors and few younger guys who could be a great core going forward.

Let me ask this: as we will have essentially the same team next year (minus JR, plus Wilson and maybe a couple good freshmen) does the new coach get a pass for not making the NCAA or finishing worse than 9th in the ACC? We generally agree that a new coach will bring a boost of enthusiasm regardless of who’s hired. Does that push us from over the top of the 2016 results?

To me, on paper, we should be as good if not better next year. But lots of intangibles to be determined between now and next year. I’m just wondering if this new coach is afforded what most new coaches get, which is 1-3 years to get their guys in. Despite the word mediocre being thrown around like party confetti I believe our guys are already pretty good.

Comment by tacocat 03.22.16 @ 9:46 am

This outcome answers — in my mind — why Jamie coached the Wisconsin game so tight. I wonder what would have happened had Pitt beaten Wisconsin or even Xavier? Just sayin’. I do wish Jamie good luck at TCU. It’s better for Pitt if that’s where Jamie wants to be. Let’s move on… Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 03.22.16 @ 10:13 am

there are some excellent comments in this thread….both for and against Dixon.

great back and forth.

I know very little about hoops….but i do know this; if the next coach can bring in an up tempo brand of basketball i think some big time players will come to Pitt.

And…it is a guarantee that this never would happen had Dixon stayed.

i can only compare to FSU hoops. Hamilton brings in studs….they play in a half empty building and do nothing in March on an annual basis…..all in a country ass town like Tallahassee.

Pitt otoh…….has a resume…..has a facility and has a great city to be part of.

My personal thought is this is a net win for Pitt. i trust Barnes to get a solid coach in the fold.

Comment by tallahassee panther 03.22.16 @ 10:19 am

I had missed this thread, having posted on the other two, but there are really insightful posts. I’m impressed with IQ quotient here on Blather. Especially after reading the moronic comments on other blogs.

Comment by Justinian 03.22.16 @ 11:14 am

By the way, I don’t think things will get worse. I think the Panthers will do fine next year. If they hire the right guy who can recruit, I think things will get better. The Pitt basketball program had been trending down for some time. It was time to see what the University to do going forward.

Comment by Justinian 03.22.16 @ 11:20 am

If things get worst, it will only be because JD has failed to recruit a true center since Steven Adams. Next season’s team will be similar to this year’s team — lacking a true center.

Enough with the slim-bodied 4s trying to play center – that does not work.

The good news is that a good coach can change a BB team quickly – only takes a couple of the right players.

Go Pitt.

Comment by MajorMajors 03.22.16 @ 12:28 pm

I think it was Zeiss this morning who said that the TCU AD was pretty sure last year, that their coach would not be asked to come back after this season.

I’d speculate that JD’s people have been in discussions with TCU for some time. As SB said earlier, “Every smart AD keeps a list in his back pocket.” It only took JD a few days to tie up the loose ends of the deal.

I’ve liked JD for a number of years, but have become gradually soured by his recent 5 year decline. I was hoping – since about midseason (when I quit watching Pitt BB) – that there could be a graceful divorce. As with most of you, I think this is a win-win. I trust SB to get a really good replacement. After all, he’s seen what won’t work in the ACC. And I’ll be surprised if we lose any of the three recruits. I’m betting the “Big Splash” will be able to keep them all – unless he’s bringing some better recruits with him!!

There’s that damn half full glass, again!

Comment by Savannah Panther 03.22.16 @ 12:32 pm

Doug Gottlieb CBS radio show reports Sean and Archie Miller have no interest in Pitt Job

Comment by Steve h 03.22.16 @ 3:07 pm

S Miller was Barnes first choice and Miller turned down the offer. Because he is the first offer doesn’t mean a good coach won’t be hired. Barnes has extensive BB experience and will hire a coach who meets his criteria.

Comment by Chethejet 03.22.16 @ 3:33 pm

It will get worse before it gets better. Well you can’t say that about TCU BB because that’s just not possible even if they had just hired Donald Duck. Dixon didn’t leave to go to UNC,Kansas, or Duke. He didn’t even leave for a Okla State,USC, or Az State. He left to go to one of the worst power 5 programs ever. That says more about Dixon than the state of Pitt BB. Let’s see who they hire before we make statements so bold.

Comment by Steve h 03.22.16 @ 3:37 pm

Teams that have a better BB program than TCU=everybody

Comment by Steve h 03.22.16 @ 3:40 pm

Dixon is using I’m going back to my alma mater as an excuse. Nobody that’s good wants Dixon right now.

Comment by Steve h 03.22.16 @ 3:44 pm

And that includes AD Barnes

Comment by Steve h 03.22.16 @ 3:45 pm

Good reads guys. I never expected any Miller to come here and never really wanted them either…but I didn’t not want them.
The beauty of this is that great coaches ARE OUT THERE. The challenge is that most of them look odinary unles you hunt for the proven beauty queens.
Barnes reeks with confidence and more importantly, he has wisdom.
I have no idea who will be named coach. But I know we will get a good coach who will motivate these guys to play hard in 16-17 and will recruit his but off.
Those are 2 skill sets that have been lacking the last 5 years.

Comment by Sfpitt 03.22.16 @ 5:53 pm

BJ – I think you need to listen to Barnes’s press conference again. He talked for a full day with Dixon trying to keep him at Pitt. If Pitt didn’t want Dixon there would be a three sentence exchange.

JD: TCU offered me and I’m going to take it.

SB: OK, have a good time at your alma mater.

JD: Thanks – I’ll have my office cleaned out by the end of the week.

Let’s don’t think that this was a Paul Chryst type of move where everyone and his brother saw it coming as soon as the current HC at Wisconsin moved on… Hell, we knew he’d take that Wisconsin job after his 2nd year at Pitt.

Paul Zeise clearly relays some of the conversations he had with the Pitt administration in this blog excerpt:

“As of Sunday night, most of the people I talked to said Dixon would not leave Pitt. But Monday morning, I had some of the same people saying “well, he is considering it but I don’t think he will leave” and then by noon it was “he is going through the process but ultimately he will change his mind and stay.” By early afternoon it was “actually, he is really leaning that way and it will take a real change of heart for him to stay.”

Now, read that three times slowly and you’ll see that Pitt very much wanted Dixon to stay and were trying to talk themselves into believing that he’d do so.

Again, Pitt fans need to look at things squarely as the actually and not try to spin things the way they themselves want them to be.

Dixon bagged on Pitt – it certainly wasn’t the other way around.

Comment by Reed 03.22.16 @ 6:30 pm

good riddance. his teams never could beat a higher seed in the tourney..

Comment by goalie44 03.22.16 @ 8:25 pm

Chas, the main reason things will get worst was the poor recruiting. The new coaches should not make that much difference the first year.

7 and 5 that’s the years Dixon was at PITT. Seven good, five not so good.

I’m starting to realize why Barnes cut him (Dixon) loose.

I an a Dixon guy.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 03.23.16 @ 12:55 am

Never won a NC and with an impressive resume (per standard media deception) and neither too old nor too young he takes a step down to a lower rung on the ladder, going to a program that has no chance of winning a NC. Indicates to me he has no intention of winning a NC. Says it all. I maintain he couldn’t handle the pressure. His comfort level was BE gyms, where his initial conditioning was as asst to a real coach. The right guy is out there. You couldn’t bring in A Miller after his bro declined. PN has a burning desire to win which implies wanting a NC whether stated or not. Barnes needs to hire a man with the same fire who views Pitt as the vehicle and can import and resupply the talent. By moving to TCU Dixon is abandoning the quest that drives the great ones.

Comment by Old School Panther 03.23.16 @ 6:48 am

Pitt’s AD had to correct a wrong that his predecessor made. Jamie is a good coach, just not a $3M type of coach with a career-ending contract. The stars were aligned for Jamie, TCU and Pitt. Jamie took Pitt as far as he could. The next “CEO” will be someone who can take Pitt to a higher tier in the ACC and NCCAA in general.

I give AD Barnes credit for saving Pitt $$ and giving him freedom to move Pitt’s program up a notch. It may take a year or two (or even a coach or two) but Pitt will compete for an ACC championship just as they did in the Big East.

Blatherites working in corporate America know the drill — what have you done for me lately.

Jamie had a good run at Pitt and will have another good run at TCU.

Comment by MariettaMike 03.23.16 @ 7:35 am

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