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The Top 67: Ranking the No. 21-25 players under Pitt basketball coach Jamie Dixon

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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.

25. Cameron Wright

Position: Guard

Games Played: 130

Year(s) under Dixon: 2011-2015

MPG: 20.9

PPG: 6.4

RPG: 2.3

APG: 1.7

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 31

Jim Hammett: 25

Anson Whaley: 20

Average Ranking: 25.3


Primarily used for his defensive prowess earlier on his career he slowly began to develop a shot as his career evolved at Pitt. Wright possessed a lengthy wingspan that could really clog the passing lanes. Our three writers varied quite a bit on him, which is understandable considering his somewhat streaky game. While he did get better over the course of his career, Wright never did take that giant step forward and become the offensive leader the team could have used. With a limited outside shot, he simply failed to develop into a primary scorer. Still, Wright became a solid option if only for the fact that he shot nearly 47% from the field over his final three years.

24. Gary McGhee

Position: Center

Games Played: 120

Year(s) under Dixon: 2007-2011

MPG: 15.5

PPG: 4.9

RPG: 4.7

APG: 0.3

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 25

Jim Hammett: 22

Anson Whaley: 25

Average Ranking: 24

If you weren't a Pitt fan, McGhee was one of those guys you hated. He wasn't a statistical giant, but McGhee contributed so much more than the totals in the box score.  He was a force in the paint, limiting opposing centers and helping to keep guards out of the paint. Few could have imagined the progress he'd make and by his junior year, he stepped into a starting role. His career totals were hurt by the limited amount of time he played earlier in his career, but as an upperclassman, McGhee averaged 6.9 points, more than seven rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game over his final two seasons. His 19.4 rebounding percentage led the Big East in 2010-11 and he was a strong interior post presence.

23. Jermaine Dixon

Position: Guard

Games Played: 61

Year(s) under Dixon: 2008-2010

MPG: 26.2

PPG: 9.3

RPG: 3.1

APG: 2.1

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 21

Jim Hammett: 23

Anson Whaley: 24

Average Ranking: 22.7

The younger brother of University of Maryland legend Juan Dixon, Jermaine transferred to Pitt following two years at Tallahassee Junior College and immediately emerged as an important player for the Panthers. He ranks pretty high on our list considering he only played two seasons under Coach Dixon. But he was a starter for nearly his entire career in blue and gold and was a calming force in a backcourt that transitioned from Levance Fields to Ashton Gibbs. Averaging 26.2 mpg in his two seasons with the team, he was a consistent defensive presence (averaged 1.3 steals per contest over two seasons) and a solid scorer.

22. Jaron Brown

Position: Guard

Games Played: 36

Year(s) under Dixon: 2003-2004

MPG: 34.4

PPG: 11.7

RPG: 5.4

APG: 2.8

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 22

Jim Hammett: 20

Anson Whaley: 22

Average Ranking: 21.3

Brown would surely rank significantly higher on our list had he played more than one season under Dixon. Alongside Julius Page, he was one of the handful of early players largely responsible for Pitt’s resurgence as a powerhouse. Brown was a solid scorer, but known more for his toughness and rebounding ability. Over his career, he shot better than 50% from the field and averaged nearly five rebounds per game.

21. Steven Adams

Position: Center

Games Played: 32

Year(s) under Dixon: 2012-2013

MPG: 23.4

PPG: 7.2

RPG: 6.3

APG: 0.6

Cardiac Hill Rankings

Aron Minkoff: 23

Jim Hammett: 12

Anson Whaley: 28

Average Ranking: 21


Buoyed by a high ranking by Jim, Adams nearly broke into our Top 20. Adams came to Pitt by way of New Zealand and while he was only here for a year, he certainly made a splash. He was an elite, five-star recruit and prized Kentucky recruit Nerlens Noel once called Adams the best player that he had ever played against. Adams was instantly a starter and while it took him a while to get going, by the end of the year he had developed into a threat. Adams was the lone bright spot in the team's disappointing NCAA Tournament loss to Wichita State, when he led the Panthers with a double double (13 points/11 rebounds). After that game, he jumped to the NBA and was a lottery draft pick by the Oklahoma City Thunder.