clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Top 67: Ranking the No. 46-50 players under Pitt basketball coach Jamie Dixon

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Today, we begin to rank the careers of all of the 67 basketball players ever to suit up for Jamie Dixon. As a reminder, here's the drill. Editor Anson Whaley, contributor Jim Hammett, and myself ranked each player and our composite results are displayed.

Before we get started, we employed a few main rules here:

1. Only the Pitt portion of a player's career counted - Khem Birch played less than a season with Pitt. While he was a productive college player elsewhere, the fact that he spent so little time with the Panthers showed in our rankings.

2. Only the time a player spent under Dixon counted - A player like Julius Page, for example, would rank higher, but he spent only his senior year under Dixon.

3. Best career, not best player - This isn't about determining the best player under Dixon. It's more about who had the best career at Pitt under Dixon. Steven Adams may be a better basketball player than several of the guys on the list but he only played at Pitt for a year and has certainly developed more in the NBA since then.

As we go through this list, we want to hear from you about players slotted too high, too low, or even the ones you think we got right. I've organized the rankings and would love to hear from you on Twitter as well @AronMinkoff.

50. Cameron Johnson

Position: Guard

Games Played: 8

Year(s) under Dixon: 14.5

MPG: 14.5

PPG: 4.5

RPG: 1.1

APG: 0.5

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 47

Jim Hammett: 54

Anson Whaley: 48

Average Ranking: 49.7

Johnson showed a lot of promise and looked to be a key player off-of-the bench for Dixon in his freshman season before suffering from season-ending shoulder surgery. Johnson is a lanky, three-point shooter from Moon Township and will more than likely have four more years of eligibility remaining if he is able to get a medical hardship waiver. I expect Johnson to climb up this list during his time at Pitt, but with only one season under his belt, he still ranks near the bottom on our list.
49. Malcolm Gilbert

Position: Center

Games Played: 19

Year(s) under Dixon: 2011-2012

MPG: 4.9

PPG: 0.5

RPG: 0.8

APG: 0

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 50

Jim Hammett: 44

Anson Whaley: 52

Average Ranking: 48.7

A 2011 recruit, Gilbert looked to be a talented rim-protector and was quickly emerging as a favorite of the Oakland Zoo before transferring to Fairfield for his final three years of eligibility. He will play one final season with the Stags. He hasn't dominated at that level, but has emerged as an elite defender for the team and has averaged over 10 minutes per game in each of his two seasons with the team.

48. Joseph Uchebo

Position: Center

Games Played: 30

Year(s) under Dixon: 2013-2015

MPG: 5.1

PPG: 1.2

RPG: 1.6

APG: 0.1

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 44

Jim Hammett: 52

Anson Whaley: 44

Average Ranking: 46.7

Uchebo is a former top-100 recruit and after spending a year at junior college, he transferred to Pitt where he struggled to overcome a knee injury.
47. Aron Phillips-Nwankwo

Position: Forward

Games Played: 38

Year(s) under Dixon: 2010-2015

MPG: 3.2

PPG: 0.8

RPG: 0.8

APG: 0.1

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 46

Jim Hammett: 46

Anson Whaley: 47

Average Ranking: 46.3

Phillips-Nwankwo made it clear prior to ending his high school basketball career that he had no intention of choosing to play college basketball over pursuing his dreams of becoming a doctor. That was until Pitt offered him a full ride for academics, to join the pre-med program and then the coaching staff offered him a spot on the team as a walk-on.

A big man from Baltimore, Phillips-Nwankwo blossomed into a role player in his final year with the program and played significant minutes this past season. He spent part of the year injured but made the most of an opportunity to play in a frontcourt needing some help. He turned down a full-ride to Johns Hopkins in exchange for the opportunity to play basketball while earning a pre-med degree at Pitt.

Nwankwo did everything you could’ve asked of a walk-on. He sat at the end-of-the-bench with no complaint and played meaningful minutes by the end of his career.

46. J.J. Richardson

Position: Forward

Games Played: 45

Year(s) under Dixon: 2009-2011

MPG: 4.6

PPG: 0.9

RPG: 0.1

APG: 0

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 48

Jim Hammett: 42

Anson Whaley: 49

Average Ranking: 46.3

Richardson looked to be a decent interior force for Dixon in his two years with the program before transferring to Houston for his final two years of eligibility. He was less than impressive with the Cougars though, averaging 12.9 mpg and 4.4 ppg in Houston.