Pitt Basketball: Jamie Dixon "Doesn't Play Freshmen"

I've been as guilty of that perception as the next guy. Still, I'm not, you know, actually playing on the team. So I was a little surprised when I heard J.J. Moore utter that phrase.

Moore, in speaking with the Post-Gazette, had this to say:

"I knew that was going to happen because of the way his rotation is," Moore said. "He doesn't play freshmen. I heard about that. I knew that was going to happen sooner or later."

Moore was referring to the fact that he lost minutes once Big East play began. No, that's not a wildly outrageous quote, but it is pretty telling that Dixon has that perception among his players. The funny thing is that it's not really true.

What is true is that you won't see a ton of freshmen starting on Dixon's teams. DeJuan Blair did, but not right away. That was also on a team that had no other real option at center. The only other one I can think of is Chris Taft.

Playing? That's another matter entirely. In addition to those two, Sam Young, Levance Fields, and Ronald Ramon played more than 20 minutes a game as a freshman while Dante Taylor got about 15 minutes per game. In addition, there were several players who tallied more than ten per game under Dixon's tenure.

J.J.'s going to be in for a bit of a shock if that's what he truly believes. Khem Birch may not start right away (in fact, I'm of the mindset that he won't), but he will certainly get his fair share of minutes and could end up starting later on in the season.

Further, I think Moore could have continued to get minutes in Big East play. But there were simply times he looked a bit lost on the court and with such a deep team last year, he would have really needed to step up. That said, I think he'll be a big time player for Pitt and expect him to contribute a good deal this season.

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