Tuesday, February 19, 2008


February 19, 2008

Verbal Commitment Alert: Jermaine Dixon, 6'3 (G) from Tallahassee CC

Jermaine Dixon comes from a basketball family and after stops at Blake High School, Maine Central Institute and Tallahassee Community College, the Former Baltimore Select Standout Chooses the Pittsburgh Panthers to finish his college basketball career.


Seniors: Levance Fields (PG), Sam Young (F), Tyrell Biggs (F), Cassin Diggs (C)
Juniors: Jermaine Dixon (G)
Sophomores: Gilbert Brown (SF/G), Austin Wallace (BF), Bradley Wanamaker (G), Gary McGhee (C), DeJuan Blair (PF)
Freshmen: Travon Woodall (PG), Nasir Robinson (G/F), Ashton Gibbs (G), Dwight Miller (PF)
2009 Commit: Lamar Patterson (SG)


Pittsburgh head coach Jamie Dixon has apparently learned his lesson from the injury riddled 2007-2008 season that you can never have enough guards. In the early signing period, Pittsburgh inked PG Travon Woodall, G Ashton Gibbs and G/F Nasir Robinson to letters of intent along with BF Dwight Miller. After seeing Levance Fields and Mike Cook go down in December to injury and the pinch the Panther line-up was in, the Pitt staff went out and locked up one of the top JUCO guards in the country in Jermaine Dixon out of Tallahassee CC.

Dixon, who played at Blake HS in Maryland as Jermaine Cooper, is the younger brother of former Maryland star Juan Dixon. As a sophomore at Tallahassee, Jermaine is averaging nearly 21 PPG, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and three steals a game. He shoots 44% fromt he field and nearly 80% from the foul line. He will be expected to compete with sophomore (to-be) Brad Wanamaker for a starting position at the two-guard and can also fill in at the point if need be.

The addition of Dixon gives the Panther roster 14 players allocated for scholarships next season, one over the NCAA limit. Speculating on the source of the opening scholarship is often fruitless as the possibilities can come from anywhere (transfer, qualifying status, NBA entry, etc), but the Panthers have a couple injured players who return to health could be a question (Cassin Diggs and Austin Wallace) and a source of medical hardship, thus opening a scholarship.

Pitt has also added their first 2009 recruit this winter as Lamar Patterson, a 6’5” wing from Lancaster's (PA) McCaskey HS, commited to Pitt earlier this winter. Patterson can play both small forward and shooting guard at the college level, is an excellent outside shooter that can score from all over the floor, and he is very athletic. Others who offered included Penn State, Minnesota, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Miami and Michigan. He has also taken his SAT already and is expected to qualify academically.

Also, we reported earlier this month that Darnell Dodson, who was originally part of Pitt's highly rated 2007 class is likely to be part of the 2009 class. Dodson is a 6'7 forward with unlimited shooting range. He had trouble with the NCAA Clearinghouse last fall and is enrolled at Miami-Dade CC. Dodson is not playing basketball this season, but will suit up next year at Miami-Dade and the plan for him is to then return to Pitt with three years of eligibility. See our Miami-Dade Story for more.

The Panthers will look to fill at least two more openings for the class and are currently involved with some high profile players, including 6’11 local big man, Zeke Marshall of McKeesport HS and 6’8” power forward Dante Taylor of National Christian Academy in Fort Washington, MD. Also mentioned in the Miami-Dade article is 6’9, 230 pound forward Will Coleman. Coleman, originally from Columbus, GA, committed to Arkansas- Little Rock out of high school, but was not able to attend because of academic issues. At Miami-Dade, he has turned into a bigger and better prospect and Pitt will monitor his situation. Greg Echenique of St. Benedict's in NJ is also on the Panther radar.

Other than Marshall, there are no other local products being considered for the 2009 class, but there are two possibilities for the 2010 class in 6’4 wing Tom Droney of Sewickley Academy as Pitt, Duke and Others Are After 2010 PG Droney. Deandre Kane, 6'4 wing of Schenley HS is also on the Pitt radar. Kane is a senior this year (2008), and has re-opened his recruitment after committing to Duquesne earlier. However, it’s a strong possibility that grades will force him to junior college for two years. If he excels both on the court and in the classroom after that time, the Panthers are expected to be interested again.



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