Remember earlier in the week when I confidently stated that Jamie Dixon wasn’t going anywhere? Well, there’s legit reason to worry now.
Dixon’s name had come up for the Arizona job ever since it was announced that there would be an opening. Then, Gonzaga’s Mark Few was the leader for the job. Oklahoma’s Jeff Capel’s name was tossed around before the Wildcats settled on Lute Olsen’s permanent replacement…former USC coach Tim Floyd.
Floyd is pretty much the anti-Dixon. Jamie has had nonstop success in his 6 years as coach, but has never been a great recruiter. Floyd, with the media attention of a school like Southern Cal, was able to get one-and-done prospects like OJ Mayo and DeMar DeRozan amidst varying levels of organizational accomplishments. But ‘Zona gets a big-name guy who used to coach in the NBA and clearly has the ability to attract awesome recruits.
Floyd’s departure leaves a prime vacancy in the state of California, which is where Dixon originally hails from. UCLA seemed to be the only “dream job” that would take Dixon out of the ‘Burgh, but former colleague Ben Howland isn’t really looking to move out of that cush job.
However, USC would give Dixon a chance to move back to his home state while setting up a twice-a-year showdown between bitter rivals USC and UCLA in the Pac-10…and could you imagine the storylines of Dixon vs. Howland twice every year? That alone could give USC reason enough to drop big bucks (which they’re fully capable of) on Dixon.
The only thing keeping Dixon at Pitt is his loyalty to the program, since he’s still under contract, and the fact that his recruiting power just got a huge boost with the play of guys like Fields, Young and Blair. Stud prospect Dante Taylor is on his way, and Pitt may have a shot at JUCO player Will Coleman, who turned down Pitt in order to commit to Memphis. Calipari’s move from Memphis to Kentucky might let Coleman re-think his destination next year.
Don’t you just love the tangled webs created by the basketball coaching movements at this time of the year?
So will Dixon leave Taylor and possibly Coleman for a shot to work with Lil Romeo while bringing new life to the USC/UCLA rivalry? God, I hope not.
Floyd blew everyones’ minds and will stay at USC. Now Arizona and Memphis need to leave Jamie alone.