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. 4 Levance Fields
Games Played: 131
Year(s) under Dixon: 2005-2009
Cardiac Hill Rankings
Aron Minkoff: 2
Jim Hammett: 4
Anson Whaley: 6
Average Ranking: 4
Fields was so phenomenal at being a true point guard. He was small, crafty, and had a quirky overhead shot that he needed to use to get his shot over the reach of defenders. Fields averaged more than seven assists per game in his senior season and was the key cog in what got the Panthers engine going.
Not an amazing scorer by any stretch of the imagination, Fields still averaged more than ten points a game over his final three years. His 7.5 assists per game led the Big East in his final season and he finished in the top three for total assists in three of his four years.
Quite frankly, I do not think anyone wanted the ball in their hands with the game unwinding more than Fields, and I don’t think anyone experienced as much success as he did with just one shot. Most notably in the Gotham Classic against seventh-ranked Duke, at the mecca of college basketball, Madison Square Garden, Fields swished a three-pointer with just five seconds remaining to give Pitt a 65-64 upset victory over Duke. While just a regular season game, the win was noteworthy since it came in the spotlight against one of the nation's traditional powers.
It's also important to note that he wasn't only a four-year player under Dixon, but a significant contributor in all four seasons. Even as a freshman, he averaged nearly seven points a game while shooting a career-best 49% from the field. Finally, Fields was also the floor general for the 2008-09 Elite Eight team, Dixon's best squad.