TribLIVE

| Sports


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Gorman: Dixon doesn't think Pitt has a problem

TribLIVE Sports Videos

Top high school sports
Sunday, April 7, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

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?

Don't be.

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

Most-Read Stories

  1. U.S. Steel, Penguins, government leaders call press conference at Consol
  2. Clues to Chief Justice John Roberts’ thinking on new ObamaCare case
  3. Iraqi family, torn apart for opposing Saddam, reunites in Pittsburgh
  4. CT scans can find smokers’ lung cancer early
  5. Pirates trade Davis to A’s for international signing bonus money
  6. NFL parity makes playoff chase a multi-team muddle
  7. Stores creating Thanksgiving dine-and-dash dilemma
  8. Starkey: No explaining Steelers, AFC North
  9. Horse racing industry banks on Wolf
  10. Pitt notebook: Chryst keeps Panthers motivated amid adversity
  11. For Steelers, a fight to finish for playoff berth
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.