Jesse continued his excellent podcasting work for us and had a chance to sit down with Iowa State star, DeAndre Kane, recently. Kane nearly came to Pitt in the offseason and reports even broke that he was coming. That didn't work out and if you've watched him at all this year, you know that he's a player that would look pretty good in Pitt's offense.
Definitely check out the entire podcast, but the one thing you might be most interested in is a reason he cited for not coming to the program. On not coming to Pitt, Kane had some interesting words on the Panthers' offense.
"When I was deciding to go to Pitt, I forgot about the way they ran their offense and the style of play they play … Just watching the Cyclones play and watching, and knowing coach Fred’s style of play they like to get up and down, spread the floor, and they run that pro offense where you’ve got to penetrate … Pitt’s offense is kind of a stagnant slow it down run a play offense, basically for a big man. So, that played a huge factor in me coming here."
Well, yeah - that stings a little.
The talk about Dixon's offense really grew when Khem Birch left town. Birch was of course a big man, but seemed to be under the impression that Pitt was going to get out and run a little more and in more of an athletic mold. The slow it down offense was cited then and Kane brings that up again here.
Dixon's offense is more of a grind it out style and it's easy to see how some players might feel handcuffed to the system. We'll never know for sure, but it could also have been a reason for some of the other departures Pitt has had over the years. It's just what he knows, though.
The reason is simple - Dixon's teams play the game with foundations built on defense and rebounding. Those two things often don't go along with star offensive players and we can debate whether Dixon's style of play has been successful enough another time. One thing is certain, though - players are paying attention to Pitt's style of play and in some cases, it's a turn off.