When Jermaine Dixon arrived at Pitt as a junior college transfer, some of his teammates warned him about the hostile environments at opposing Big East schools.
But Dixon, who had never played in front of more than a couple thousand fans, still wasn’t prepared for Louisville’s 20,000-seat Freedom Hall in Pitt’s 69-63 loss last weekend.
“Louisville is the craziest place I’ve ever played,” he said on Thursday afternoon at Pitt’s media availability prior to Sunday’s West Virginia game. “I couldn’t hear anything. All I heard was ringing. Every time (point guard) Levance (Fields) called a play, I had to ask Brad (Wanamaker) what he called. I couldn’t hear anything.
“You expect it, but you never know what you are going to get until you get there. It was definitely outrageous.”
Now, Pitt readies to travel to another notoriously loud arena – the WVU Coliseum. The No. 4 Panthers (17-1, 5-1 Big East) travels to West Virginia (14-4, 3-2) on Sunday afternoon.
Dixon, a junior shooting guard, has a family friend who played for Massachusetts and played at Morgantown. He was duly warned.
“He said it’s crazy,” Dixon said. “It gets real loud.”
Clearly, Dixon isn’t fazed by a noisy gym; he scored a career-high 19 points at Louisville.
“I like playing in front of big crowds,” he said. “I never did in high school or junior college. It’s something I always wanted to do.”
Dixon, who played at Blake High School in Baltimore and Maine Central Institute prep school, said the biggest crowd he ever played in front came at Tallahassee (Fla.) Community College.
“We played the No. 1 team in the country,” he said. “It (the crowd) was about 2,000.”