Is Jamie Dixon too Sam Young dependent?
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Q: Hi Ray, maybe you can help me understand something. The seven man rotation Dixon runs, with Gilbert Brown and Brad Wannamaker off the bench ... I beleive they were all 20-plus point scorers in high school, so why in the world does 70% of the offense go through Sam Young? It seems that Dixon does not give any of his players except Young an opportuntity to find there shooting groove which I think will come to haunt them late in the season. Dixon leans on Young too much and he will be beat up tournament time. Do you agree that Dixon needs to use all of his offensive threats? If you could give Dixon an FYI ... tell him he won't win anything with just one guy doing all the scoring! And how in the world does Jermaine Dixon start over Brown in his first season when Brown played a huge role in winning the Big East Championship while Dixon is out there building Pitt a new university with all those bricks he's laying?
Todd Bryant, Washington, D.C.
FITTIPALDO: I wrote a story a few weeks back about how Young has broken the mold at Pitt by becoming a player who averages 20 points per game. I asked Dixon about it and he had no qualms saying it was by design. This is the way he wants it. He obviously feels like it's the best way for his team to win games. Listen, most fans complained when Pitt did not have a player like Young and the team was getting bounced in the Sweet 16. Now that Dixon has a bone fide star at his disposal he is using him. I like it. It shows that he is willing to change from a philosophy that had been working.
As for the Dixon starting, Brown can play shooting guard, but it's not his natural position. He is a small forward who can also play shooting guard and power forward. The fact that he does not start does not diminish his role on the team in my opinion. There will be games this season when Brown is one of the best players on the floor. He has had some trouble with his consistency, but I think that's because he had been battling a stress fracture in his left foot early on. Look for Brown to get better and better as the season progresses.
First Published December 24, 2008 12:00 am