Friday, July 25, 2014

How Pitt compares to others as far as signing 4 and 5 star prospects

For the sake of comparison, the number of 4 and 5 star prospects (Rivals) for a select group of programs in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 classes.

Alabama 51
Ohio State 39
Texas A&M 39
Notre Dame 36
Florida State 34
USC 32
Tennessee 31
Michigan 29
Clemson 27
Penn State 21
Miami 21
Oregon 18
Kentucky 17
Stanford 15
Virginia Tech 13
Arizona State 11
Arkansas 11
Michigan State 11
Washington 11
Vanderbilt 10
Maryland 10
Wisconsin 9
West Virginia 9
Arizona 9
Virginia 8
Northwestern 7
Pittsburgh  7
Texas Tech 4
Boston College 3
Duke 3
Louisville 3
Iowa 2
Temple 2
Georgia Tech 1
Rutgers 1
Syracuse 0
Wake Forest 0

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pitt needs more elite prospects to be elite program

With the current Pitt football staff recruiting a lot of 2 and 3 star caliber prospects, a lot of fans are saying that's good enough and that elite prospects often fail anyway. It remains to be seen if getting mostly 3 star players will be enough for Paul Chryst to have success, but life without elite prospects would have made the Pitt football look a lot different over the last 40+ years. Here is a list of some of the best Pitt players ever, who also happened to be elite prospects at the time they came to Pitt.

Tony Dorsett- One of the best college players ever and an NFL Hall of Famer.
Dan Marino- Hall of Famer and one of the best quarterbacks in history.
LeSean McCoy- Currently one of the biggest stars in the NFL and a possible future Hall of Famer.
Larry Fitzgerald- Maybe the best wide receiver in college football history and a definite future Hall of Famer.
Tyler Palko- Very successful career at Pitt.
Rod Rutherford- Same as Palko.
Craig Heyward- Big college star and an All-American.
Tyler Boyd- Current star and possible future All-American.
Aaron Donald- He was not lowly rated as is often reported. One of Pitt's best players ever.
Jonathan Baldwin- First round draft pick.
Dorin Dickerson- All-American.
Jeff Otah- First round draft pick.
Jason Pinkston- Good college player who also started in the NFL.
Bill Fralic- Maybe the best college offensive lineman of all-time.
Mark Stepnoski- All-American and NFL All-Pro.
Ruben Brown- All-American and NFL All-Pro. Probably future Hall of Famer.
Keith Hamilton- All-American and successful NFL career.
Tom Tumulty- Very successful college career on some awful teams.
Curtis Martin- Hall of Famer and one of the best NFL running backs ever.

Bottom line, do all elite prospects pan out? Of course not. And likewise a lot of lesser rated players turn into stars. And I have no doubt that Chryst and his staff will turn less heralded prospects into elite college players.  On the other hand, it's extremely difficult to win big without exceptionally talented prospects, too. Last season, Pitt's best two players- Boyd and Donald- were elite prospects. That's not a coincidence. More players of that caliber are needed if Pitt ever wants to be considered a national power. Without enough of those players Pitt could still be a good program, but an excellent program would probably be out of the question.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Jamie Dixon against the best coaches in the country

ESPN recently ranked Jamie Dixon a too low No. 25 when ranking the best college basketball coaches in the country. Dixon coached against twelve of the coaches ranked in front of him, and he has a record of 36-29 against them. He had a winning record against five of the twelve, he is even with four, and only three of the coaches has a winning record against him. And one of those he only met once.

3. Tom Izzo  0-1
4. Mike Krzyzewski 1-1
5. Rick Pitino 5-7
7. Bo Ryan 2-1
8. Gregg Marshall 1-1
9. John Beilen 4-4
10. Kevin Ollie 1-0
11. Sean Miller 1-0
12. Jim Boeheim 10-6
14. Tony Bennett 0-2
16. Roy Williams  1-1
19. Jay Wright 10-5

6 of the 24 coaches ranked higher than Dixon have also not been to the Final Four:

11. Sean Miller
14. Tony Bennett
15. Fred Hoiberg
17. Mark Few
22. Tommy Amaker
24. Bob McKillop

4 of those- Bennett, Hoiberg, Few, and Amaker- never made the Elite 8.