Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Q & A for April 21

By Chris Dokish

Q: Is the staff still looking to use the last scholarship, and if so, are they close to getting someone?

A: They are still looking and aren't close as of yesterday. If they can't find anybody, they will just not use it, but they are still looking everywhere. Personally I would just save it if they can't find a real gem late, but they didn't ask me.

Q: Why didn't Jamie Dixon offer Jarrid Famous earlier? Clearly by waiting too long he had little chance.

A: His chances were actually none because they never offered him, despite an internet report that stated otherwise. Tom Herrion checked him out a few months ago and they didn't think he was good enough, but thought a 6'11" junior college center could be a good addition so they kept him in mind for later. Well, later came and Herrion took Dixon to see Famous. Like Herrion before him, Dixon didn't think Famous was worth an offer so they passed.

Q: Is there still a chance that Pitt can get Will Coleman?

A: No, as expected, he is staying with Memphis.

Q: Is Pitt pursuing Kevin Parrom and where would he fit in?

A: They are looking at him, and they are not alone. He is a pretty good player and any program that still has an opening will come after him, thus making him more recruited than he normally would be. Where he will fit, I don't know. He's a small forward that Pitt thinks can play some power forward. They have Gilbert Brown, Brad Wanamaker, Nasir Robinson, and Lamar Patterson as possible threes and Dante Taylor, Dwight Miller, J.J. Richardson, and Talib Zanna in the low post. Even though Parrom is a good player, I personally don't see the need, but like I said before, they don't ask me my opinion.

Q: A lot of people are complaining about J.J. Richardson and think his lack of stats in his senior year means he is a reach. Do you agree?

A: Not at all. The kid is a solidly built 6'7" and 240 pounds, he is an aggressive and physical player with a die hard attitude, he is a good athlete, has long arms, can pass, can shoot a little, and does all the little things like a champ. Trust me, he is not a worry. All coaches look for is the raw material, not stats. Besides, Yuri Demtris averaged 31 ppg as a high school senior. How did that work out?

Q: How good is the New York City sophomore Mike Taylor and does Pitt have a chance?

A: He's excellent and will be highly coveted from a lot of the biggies. Too early to tell where Pitt stands right now. Herrion fell in love with him a few months ago and wanted Dixon to see him so they went together. Dixon fell in love with him, too, so Pitt is going to try hard for him.

Q: What was the final story with DeAndre Kane?

A: The final story is that Pitt thinks he is going to have a very good college career, but they realized that he would never be able to meet Pitt's academic standards currently. He won't have that problem at Marshall.

Q: I have been hearing many people say Nasir Robinson will be a power forward from now on? Is that true?

A: I was actually talking to somebody on the Pitt staff yesterday about this and they want, and hope, that he will be a three for them, so I'm not sure how that rumor got started. He's 6'4" and isn't one of those 6'4" big butted power forwards. He's going to be a three and hopefully he can score without being able to shoot.

Q: I heard Jamie Dixon say that Gary McGhee was going to see more minutes next year. I didn't even think he was going to be on the team anymore. What's the scoop?

A: What did you expect Dixon to say? I think McGhee wants to stay because he sees himself as the only true center on the team and probably thinks he will get more minutes. Personally, I would be shocked if he saw more minutes, but hey, it's his life. If he wants to stay then I hope he turns into a productive player because like I have said many times before, he is a great person. But the truth is, if Pitt liked Famous, and they ended up signing him, I doubt that McGhee would be back.

From McGhee's perspective, the lack of anybody else on the roster over 6'9" may be what's keeping him around, and from Pitt's perspective, they have nobody to currently take his spot so there's no point in helping him find someplace else that would be more suitable for his talent level. But, hopefully if Pitt does find somebody that they feel better suits their program, that they and McGhee agree amiably to find someplace else for him. I know that a lot of fans find such a thing distasteful, but a coach owes it to the school, the fans, and the players to make the team the best it can be. If that means adding somebody that pushes McGhee out, then that's what will have to happen. These guys don't get four year deals. Scholarships are for one year at a time so you can look at it as having to try out for the team every season. If you aren't one of the top thirteen that season then you have to go. I'm not saying that will happen to McGhee. Like I said, the kid is awesome so I hope he stays and shocks us all with his progress. But we all have to come to the conclusion that it may not end that way and that's just the way it goes.

Q: This may be a question that makes people angry, but I hope you answer it honestly. Is Jamie Dixon a great recruiter?

A: I always answer honestly. No, I don't think anybody in the college basketball world would consider Dixon a great recruiter. At least not as far as getting elite prospects. He's not in the same league as guys like Jim Calhoun, Rick Pitino, Jay Wright, Jeff Capel, John Calipari, and a few others. He's not as aggressive and he isn't a great closer like those guys. But, he is a great recruiter as far as finding the right players and that's a great skill, too.

Q: Is Tom Droney ever coming to Pitt?

A: Doesn't look like it. They really like him, but he doesn't seem to fit in with the current roster. But he hasn't signed anywhere yet and Pitt still has an opening, so you never know.

Q: Was the Pitt coaches worried to hear that Isaiah Epps wanted to be one and done?

A: No, because coaches hear that all the time. Plus they know it's not going to happen. Very, very few point guards are good enough to leave after one season.

Q: Lamar Patterson is not rated highly on either of the two recruiting networks and even dropped in both. Should we be worried?

A: No, Patterson is a better prospect now than he was at this time last year. Always take rankings with a grain of salt when a player transfers to a much better high school program, is their best player, and then drops from No. 8 to No. 124.

Q: Pitt is in the final ten for Kyrie Irving. Do they have a chance?

A: Doubtful. He and Epps are both point guards so why would Irving go somewhere where there is already an elite player at his position? I know fans will think that maybe either Irving or Epps can play the two, but why would they want to? They both have the potential to be a point guard in the NBA and college is their audition. It will help them much more to actually play the point in college. And the same can be said about Trae Golden.


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