Brief and to the Point …
>> My Wednesday column tries like crazy to get Jamie Dixon to open up about this rough season at Pitt. I can assure you it wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t necessarily successful.
Dixon, by the way, gets my vote from our little poll yesterday about Pittsburgh’s best coach. Yes, Mike Tomlin and Dan Bylsma have won championships, and Dixon hasn’t reached the Final Four. But nothing impresses me more than sustained excellence, and Dixon’s got a few years on both.
I see that at least a handful of your replies yesterday agreed.
>> One thing to watch tonight in the Pitt game is how the Panthers handle the St. John’s matchup-zone defense. Dixon said it will be a rarity for his team.
Might help if Ashton Gibbs sinks his first 3-pointer in, oh, four games now.
>> On that note, let me as another question of those who follow the Panthers: What was most responsible for this team’s downfall in 2011-12:
- Injuries to Nasir Robinson and Tray Woodall
- Khem Birch walking out
- Poor coaching
>> Ben Howland and his UCLA program are expected to get buried by a Sports Illustrated report today. Guess we’ll have to wait and see.
>> James Neal makes his triumphant return to Dallas tonight with the Penguins. Imagine what kind of feeling that will be for all concerned.
Say what you will about the Stars finding a nice player in Alex Goligoski, but make no mistake: This was robbery by Ray Shero and his staff. All you need to know is that Shero and counterpart Joe Nieuwendyk had months of discussions regarding Neal/Goligoski, but it wasn’t until Nieuwendyk relented and threw in Matt Niskanen that Shero accepted.
>> The soccer is coming soon. Seriously. Probably Monday, barring news developments.
I’ll be doing it just to sell hits and/or bring in cheap internet hits.