Gorman: Dixon doesn't think Pitt has a problem
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Pitt basketball fans are preparing to panic now that Steven Adams declared for the NBA Draft and the Panthers are left with only one returning player taller than 6-foot-6.
Down on Jamie Dixon?
The Pitt coach was unflappable in addressing Adams' decision and the transfer of Trey Zeigler, which reduced the roster to six.
“We've been out recruiting,” Dixon said. “We're going to find someone. We always do. We've found a couple guys in the summer that have been great additions for us over the years. That's what we've got to do.”
It's easy to forget that Dixon has shown some past recruiting creativity.
Dixon discovered a July gem in Ontario Lett, who hadn't played the previous junior-college season.
And one of Dixon's first orders upon succeeding Ben Howland in 2003 was to salvage the recruiting class.
Not only did Dixon keep Chris Taft in the fold but when center Walter Waters wanted a release from his scholarship, Dixon found a late August replacement in Ohio guard Antonio Graves.
The departures of Adams and Malcolm Gilbert, who transferred to Fairfield, have left Pitt in a predicament in the post. Only 6-9 power forward Talib Zanna has any experience. The Panthers have signed 6-8 Mike Young, a McKeesport native playing at St. Benedict's Prep, but desperately need to add more presence in the paint.
Dixon is underappreciated as a recruiter, with a keen eye for untapped talent and strong work ethic.
Don't forget that he has signed five-star frontcourt players in three of his past four classes, even if Dante Taylor didn't live up to his McDonald's All-America billing, Khem Birch transferred midway through his freshman year and Adams went pro after one season.
If Pitt has a problem, it's with retention. Only three of seven players remain from the past two recruiting classes, and at least one player has flamed out in every class since 2006.
But Dixon has four scholarships with which to rebuild his roster. And it's worth noting that Pitt won 25 games in each of the seasons after losing Taft and DeJuan Blair to NBA early entry.
“It's a different climate out there with recruiting,” Dixon said. “There's more guys available in the spring because of these new rules that they've put into place.”
The Pitt coach likes the idea of having scholarships in the spring, so don't judge Dixon until he's done.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kobani emerges as pivot point
- Steelers notebook: Ex-Steeler Sanders living up to his word
- Georgia Tech runs all over mistake-prone Pitt
- Play to watch: Colts, Luck like to confuse defenses
- West Virginia whips Oklahoma State for 4th straight win
- Motorcyclist flown to Pittsburgh hospital from Tarentum wreck
- High school roundup: Springdale football wins 4th in a row
- Predators GM Poile: Penguins’ firing of Shero not fair
- Frye: Chronic wasting disease news and hunter trends
- Allegheny Valley beats Freeport in OT to win youth league Super Bowl
- New rules may be in offing for some special trout streams