Panther Rants is The Onion of Pitt Sports. Formerly a serious recruiting blog written by a serious recruiting writer, the site was taken over by mediocre bloggers that provide satire, sarcasm and anything but serious information. Everything on this site is tongue-in-cheek and is not meant for serious consumption.
Friday, May 25, 2012
Pitt Basketball Silences Critics with National Championship
Critics of Pitt Basketball say many things. Jamie Dixon is a bad hire, Jamie can't recruit, and Jamie is living off the Ben Howland era. Nearly ten years later, Dixon is still at Pitt. Ben Howland has been gone for a long time and we can say this is Jamie Dixon's program. As for recruiting, Dixon has landed his share of great players such as Levance Fields, Sam Young, Dejuan Blair, Gilbert Brown, and the list will go on.
The biggest question Dixon faced from his critics is would he ever be able to reach a Final Four let alone win a national title with his system?
It didn't look that way at the start of the 2011-2012 season. Pitt's season started with a loss to Long Beach State in just the third game of the season. The Panthers would recover to win the next 8 games to be at 11-1. Their world would turn upside down starting late December when they lost 8 straight games to be at 11-9. During that time, Pitt would also lose a player and be without another. Freshman Khem Birch would leave Pitt taking his blonde streak and diva-like attitude with him. Tray Woodall was hurt most the season putting Ashton Gibbs in a bad spot and no depth at point guard.
Despite all that, Pitt was able to pull it together and earn another spot in postseason play. An upset over Princeton, gave Pitt their first Final Four since the 1940's. This would silence the critics about the Final Four, but they would also question if Dixon could bring home a national title to Pitt. To reach that debate, Pitt would face Butler in a rematch from last year's second round matchup where Nasir Robinson fouled that hippy looking douchebag with seconds left on the clock.
Pitt and Butler played two brutal halves where both teams kept exchanging punches. They would end up in overtime where Pitt eventually pulled away. Players like JJ Moore and Talib Zanna stepped up their games. Lamar Patterson would have his coming out party. Along with Travon Woodall, these players would lead Pitt to a National Championship by dismantling Washington State.
You can see why it's so calm at the Pete. No critics, No drama, No hair dye, and No divas. The only noise you may hear is from the practices at Pitt Basketball. They are gearing up for another storm and this time they will be bringing it...and hopefully a back-to-back National Championship.