Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Durand Johnson leaves Pitt

Jamie Dixon's program continues to take shots, this time losing 6'6" small forward Durand Johnson for good. Johnson missed last season because of a suspension, and was being counted on by many to help the Panthers next season with his offensive skills. Now Dixon will be forced to scramble even more to find quality players for the upcoming season.

26 comments:

  1. wow .. what's the word ? he wants to transfer .. other ?

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  2. You have to be able to go to class it a university it's about education.

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  3. while Pitt does need more quality recruits, I don't see this as a big loss at all. The only thing he could do was shoot, and he was spotty at that. Believe Cam Johnson is a younger version of DJ ... who hopefully can play better defense and shoot more consistently

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    1. It could prove to be no loss at all, but for that to happen Dixon has to land somebody as good.

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  4. Wow, I hope Dixon can find someone. He had to know this was coming

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  5. Whole 2011 recruiting class is gone. That's like just not recruiting for one whole year. Tough to bounce back from that.

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    1. tough to bounce back ? other than DJ, seems like most of the impact was already through the system and wasn't large. Birch probably would not have hung around to this past season, DJ was ok-to-good, Gilbert was marginal and JJohnson was next to nothing. We've basically already moved on.

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  6. Durand hasn't been a factor for two years. Not too big a loss IF Dixon can fill out roster with more than depth guys.

    Chris, any realistic shot Dixon can pull Diallo and Rowan for '15?

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  7. Is it possible that DJ was cleared out so that a spot would be open for Rowan?

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  8. I am as big a Pitt fan as anyone here but I am also a realist - why would Rowan want to come to Pitt?

    If I am a player who will be recruited by all the top programs, how does Dixon sell me on his program?

    I just don't ever see him landing a big fish - EVER! When I say big fish, I am not talking a guy like Steven Adams - I am talking about landing a guy where Pitt beats out Kentucky, UCLA, Fla, UNC and signs the kid.

    Dixon doesn't have a dynamic recruiter once Slice left town and its not like Jamie can sell ice to Eskimos - not his style.

    I laugh when I read comments about landing kids like Rowan or Diallo - wake up people - not happening.

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    1. What about Dante Taylor, Khem Birch and James Robinson?

      I understand that they all under performed.

      Taylor was a McDonalds All-America - Dixon/Pitt beat out a lot of schools to get him.

      People also forget that Robinson was a top 50 player - 4 star and we got him as well.

      Birch - everybody wanted him as too....yes he transferred but, Dixon or whomever (Skerry) landed him.

      You can't discount Adams either - yeah, Dixon had an "in" but, after he committed - many of the top schools were trying to get him to flip.

      And, he didn't.

      Those are 4 big time players that Dixon (recently) got to come to Pitt.

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    2. Pitt also beat Louisville for Durand Johnson and Florida and UConn for Mike Young. And there's been others. Dixon isn't a great recruiter but he's not as bad as many make him out to be either. He's had major wins in recruiting.

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    3. How many coaches have had as much bad luck as Dixon when it comes to recruiting? Let’s look at what could have been.

      Pryor – no idea how could he could have been at basketball, but the fact he committed as a sophomore tells me he would have been a damn good college hoops player.

      Pope – had size and shooting ability, but had a bad attitude. Rough upbringing that hurt him in the growing up process. Also had Jag Off Staight gearing him away from Pitt.

      Kennedy – not a program changer, but his parents wanted him away from Pittsburgh then late in the process he wanted to be a Panther. No room for him in the end. Would he had been better than Dixon at the two? Maybe. His foul-shooting ability would have been a bonus. Having Wanamaker sort of cancelled him out.

      James Harden – as written on here last week, Dixon was delayed in hiring his Operations guy and wanted Harden’s high school coach for the role. Much was going on that spring for coach, which delayed the process of making the hire. A huge “what if” in this program’s history. Right up there with what if Brookin, Shorter and Goodson were all eligible in 1987-88.

      Zeke Marshall – I know, a stretch, but a 7-footer in the backyard and the family wants nothing to do with Pitt. He’d have redshirted and been a starter in 2011-12 and ’12-13. Maybe a Twin Tower look with Adams that one season.

      Kane – not sure if it was true the family wanted a handout if he transferred to Pitt for one season, but he and Patterson could have been terrific together. Maybe not though.

      Rowan – TBD, but a kid in his backyard whose father is involved in Adidas, etc. We all know the story. Louisville bound most likely.

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  9. If I were Rowan, I would not go to Pitt. However he is/was considering it. Diallo may want to go to Pitt because JD has a track record with big guys.

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    1. I'd have to believe that Rowan first considered Pitt because it was local, and JD was the first to recognize his talents ... a la T Pryor and Herb Pope. I would be very surprised if he leaves the greater southeast US area.

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  10. Tough luck for Durand, but not a real loss since he contributed zero points for a team that won 19 games last season. It doesn’t appear Dixon is going to land the transfer Thorne, so Artis to the three spot doesn’t seem like a lock. Hopefully Jeter makes major strides and locks down the small forward position with Jones or the redshirt sharpshooter being the backup.

    I think Pitt offers plenty for Rowan – most importantly the chance to be the guy at shooting guard and getting 10-plus shots a game in a more sped-up offense that Dixon apparently wants to play. If he goes to Louisville as expected, I wonder if Jones makes a push for the starting two spot? Gibbs leaving Seton Hall is still possible. He said he was staying, but that’s the easy thing to say after the season is over. It’s easy to graduate and sneak out through the back door during the summer. Gibbs would be crazy to stay at Seton Hall. What a mess. A better supporting cast awaits him in Pittsburgh.

    Diallo isn’t coming here and Slice was no savior as a recruiter for the Panthers either. It’d be great if Diallo did go overseas for a season so nobody in college basketball has him. Then again, if Diallo went to Kentucky, I’d feel better about landing Thorne. His presence would allow Nix to redshirt, which would be healthy for the program.

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    1. Pitt very much has a chance with Thorne

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    2. Chris .. how good is Thorne ? Can he start at UK and make a difference ? He only averaged 9.9 PPG and 7.3 RPG against Conference USA talent. Regardless, if comes in and is as good or better than what we got from McGhee as a senior, I see the team being significantly better next year. Thoughts ?

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    3. He's okay. Nothing spectacular. To be honest, I'm surprised that Kentucky offered him. He'll help them as a compliment player but he'd help Pitt a lot more. That's why I don't understand why so many Pitt fans just assume that he'll go there. Other than the fact that a lot of Pitt fans are highly pessimistic.

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  11. Based on what I have read in the newspapers and heard on various sites, Durand Johnson didn't go to class. Why did JD cater to him during the entire past year??

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    1. Maybe Dixon hoped that he would get his S together plus, he was probably pretty good to have in practice.

      Someone said that he regularly schooled Chris Jones...not that Jones learned much..... or Johnson for that matter.

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  12. We’re going to really see this staff’s ability to close with the two grad transfers, Thorne and the Mercer shooting guard. Both play key positions, both also hail from North Carolina I believe. Dixon cannot let the Mercer kid end up at Vegas, his first visit. He’ll be at Pitt Sunday and Monday. Landing these two would give the Panthers a lineup of three seniors and two juniors, just the kind of veteran team Dixon thrives at coaching. It also would allow Nix and Luther to redshirt, which both need and this roster needs long term.

    Great blog Chris that I wish had more traffic.

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    1. There's a ton of traffic actually. It gets an average of 5,000 a day and often goes 8-10,000 a day when something big happens. It's just that most don't post for some reason.

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    2. Wow, that is a lot. Definitley need more posts for sure.

      BTW Louisville has now inquired regarding the Mercer kid. I still want Rowan as I'm sure most do.

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  13. I'm ignorant on the Rowan/Adidas connection, actually knew the family pretty well before they moved, someone pls enlighten. GREAT BLOG. I'm one of those who has read forever but never posts. Great work Chris! Jodus.

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