Forward Durand Johnson is leaving the Pitt basketball program, but his departure seems to concern some of the fans more than it does the Panthers' head coach.
Jamie Dixon didn't slam Johnson, of course. But if you're expecting a teary-eyed farewell, well ...
"It is time to move on," Dixon said. "It is time to look for another guy to look for the opportunity to step up.“
"But let's not forget, he didn't play last year and really hasn't played much in the last two years, so we are talking about a guy who hasn't played in a game since January 2014. We had a lot of guys step up and get experience this year and they will continue to work over the summer."
Then there was this:
We will be fine, we will be able to find some players and we have a good group coming back."
It's kind of comical to see the non-PC response here. Like I said, he doesn't bash Johnson in any way. But his confidence that the team will be able to replace him and his production shouldn't go unnoticed. A lot of coaches would go out of their way to recognize his contributions to the team, etc.
And guess what? That's actually, you know, the right stance to take. As has been noted, really, he's played 1 1/2 seasons with the program on the court so overblowing what he's accomplished would be kind of silly.
As I said in the initial post about Johnson leaving, his loss certainly hurts on some level. But Pitt isn't going to fall off the face of the earth without him. Dixon seems to realize that as much as anybody.