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Friday, March 07, 2008

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Pitt basketball Q&A with Ray Fittipaldo

Pitt basketball Q&A with Ray Fittipaldo
Monday, March 03, 2008
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Q: When Pitt was searching for Ben Howland's replacement, I favored John Calipari because of his ability to recruit NBA-type players. In light of his accomplishments at Memphis - in a less-prestigious conference and smaller media market - and Pitt's continued inabilty to land All-American type players, I would like to hear your hindsight appraisal of Pitt's decision that seemed to be based in part on the players support of Dixon. The most vocal, Chris Taft, quickly left Pitt.

Rock Dillaman, Pittsburgh

FITTIPALDO: Dixon is on the verge of leading Pitt to a seventh consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, the fifth in a row since he has become head coach. That is impressive even if he has failed to bring in blue-chip recruits. I suppose one could argue that Calipari would have taken Pitt deeper into the NCAA tournament because of his ability to recruit future NBA players, but there was no guarantee of that. Calipari would have left Memphis in a minute to come home to Pittsburgh, but Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg would not bring him in for an interview. It's worked out well for both parties. Pitt has maintained its standing as one of the top teams in the Big East under Dixon and Memphis could be in the hunt for a national championship next month.

First published on March 3, 2008 at 2:04 pm

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