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In Dixon, Pitt has winner

February 8, 2008 - Neil Rudel

The job Jamie Dixon has done as Pitt's basketball coach gets more impressive with each passing victory.

Despite losing two of his best players in Levance Fields and Mike Cook, the Panthers regrouped and are making another strong run toward the NCAA Tournament.

Pitt loses Fields and Cook and doesn't miss a beat. Penn State loses Geary Claxton and practically has to cancel the season.

You could just feel the emotion of Thursday night's stirring 55-54 victory over rival West Virginia, won on Ronald Ramon's buzzerbeating 3-pointer, at The Pete.

That pushed Pitt to 17-4.

Since replacing Ben Howland, Dixon has clearly established himself as one of the top young coaches in the country -- one who could be a prime candidate for just about any opening.

He's won 122 games and he's not yet through his fifth season. He's also turned over part of his staff in sending former assistants Barry Rohrssen and Joe Lombardi off to head-coaching jobs at Manhattan and IUP.

Here's hoping Dixon remains at Pitt, and takes the Panthers even deeper than they've gotten so far in the Big Dance.







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