Pitt is, for right now, on the NCAA bubble, but I’m fairly confident, based on how we played yesterday, that we should be able to get in. Going 3-1 over the last four games, along with a win in the first round of the Big East tournament, should solidify that, but I’ll take two wins in the tournament just to make it a sure thing. We might not make the Sweet 16 this year (it really depends on matchups), but I really wanted to write about how everybody shouldn’t panic about this Pitt basketball program. A few people complained about my last post, saying I was overreacting and that the program isn’t completely screwed, and that wasn’t the point I was trying to make. I was saying we were playing poor basketball for the moment, but I really think our outlook is very positive at the moment.
Jamie knows the kind of basketball he wants to play, and he’s now getting the kind of recruits he needs to play it. The next class (and already the 2009 class) have some solid shooters and great defensive players who are going to love Dixon’s style of play, and along with the growing maturity and skill of our current freshmen, our next few years should be increasingly good to watch. Nasir Robinson’s Chester team just won the PIAA District 1 AAAA title, and I very much enjoyed the following:
“Pittsburgh-bound Robinson added 18 points and 12 rebounds and Johnson collected 12 points and five rebounds. What won’t show [in the boxscore] is the stellar defense Johnson, Jefferson, Robinson, Burrell and Mark Collins played.”
This whole season, scouts have raved about Robinson’s tenacity and defensive intensity, so I can imagine this will only pick up under Dixon, and Nasir should be a fantastic player for Pitt- if not his freshman year, definitely by his sophomore. Ashton Gibbs and Travon Woodall are both very solid guard recruits for next year, as is JUCO transfer Jermaine Dixon. By my junior year, this Pitt team will have an abundance of talent, defensive know-how and intensity, as well as what should be a very dominant inside-outside game. DeJuan Blair, Gary McGhee, as well as Nasir Robinson and Lamar Patterson should be really hustling for offensive boards, and Patterson, Robinson, Gibbs, Woodall, Wanamaker, and Brown will all be able to shoot from anywhere on the court. I don’t want to say to forget about this year, but thinking ahead to the future is something that shouldn’t worry any Pitt fan. This is a team that is going to flourish in the next few years, and I’m excited to see who else Jamie Dixon can bring to Pittsburgh.