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The Top 67: Ranking the No. 31-35 players under Pitt basketball coach Jamie Dixon

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Today, we continue 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.

No. 35 Sheldon Jeter Position: Forward

Games Played: 32

Year(s) under Dixon: 2014-2015

MPG: 14.3

PPG: 4.7

RPG: 2.5

APG: 5

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 35

Jim Hammett: 38

Anson Whaley: 35

Average Ranking: 36


Jeter has only played for one season at Pitt, and still has two years to go after transferring from Vanderbilt. Even in that brief time, the Beaver Falls native has certainly showed flashes of greatness. He has a solid all-around game and improved as the season went on. And as he proved last year averaging 15.3 points per game in a three-game stretch against Syracuse, Louisville, and North Carolina, he has the ability to score points in bunches.

No. 34 Durand Johnson

Position: Forward

Games Played: 47

Year(s) under Dixon: 2012-2015

MPG: 18.9

PPG: 6

RPG: 1.8

APG: 0.9

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 36

Jim Hammett: 31

Anson Whaley: 34

Average Ranking: 33.7


Johnson ranks highly on the list of players with potential that never panned out for Dixon. Despite being with the program for four years, he only spent about 1 1/2 seasons on the court. Johnson had the potential to knock down shots from long-range and provide a spark off the bench for Pitt, but after an ACL injury, a year-long suspension, and now a transfer to St. John's, to say he didn't live up to his potential under Dixon would be an understatement.

33. Chris Jones

Position: Guard

Games Played: 64

Year(s) under Dixon: 2013-2015

MPG: 18.3

PPG: 5.7

RPG: 2.1

APG: 1.2

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 37

Jim Hammett: 32

Anson Whaley: 32

Average Ranking: 33.7


After a fairly irrelevant freshman year in 2013-14, Jones took a big step forward last year becoming a steady contributor in the rotation for the Panthers. He averaged 8.5 points per game and developed into one of the team's three-point threats. With two more seasons to go, he still has plenty of time to grow and become an even bigger part of the offense.

32. Josh Newkirk

Position: Guard

Games Played: 70

Year(s) under Dixon: 2013-2015

MPG: 18.9

PPG: 5.2

RPG: 1.3

APG: 2.2

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 32

Jim Hammett: 35

Anson Whaley: 33

Average Ranking: 33.3


After a strong freshman year under Jamie Dixon, Newkirk took a sizable step back last season. Overall, he is the prototype ACC guard in that he has speed, can distribute the ball well, and, at times, control the offense. Unfortunately he plays out of control at times and his turnovers nearly doubled (.8 per game to 1.4) last year despite playing about only a few more minutes per contest.

31. Keith Benjamin

Position: Guard

Games Played: 123

Year(s) under Dixon: 2004-2008

MPG: 16.7

PPG: 5.2

RPG: 2.3

APG: 1.2

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 29

Jim Hammett: 33

Anson Whaley: 30

Average Ranking: 30.7


Benjamin was a solid player under Dixon and since he played his entire career under the head coach, ranks fairly well on our list. He was a glue guy of sorts for the team and who could forget the spirited comeback that he led back in 2008? Trailing a game against West Virginia late, Benjamin first inbounded the ball to DeJuan Blair who tip-passed it right back to Benjamin for an easy dunk. A few possessions later, he drove to the hoop with Pitt trailing by two and dished it to Ronald Ramon, who hit the winning shot as the clock expired to give the Panthers the 55-54 win.