It's been a wild and crazy past several months of change and reported change across the college landscape. We're not done yet either. The big news coming out of the wacky world of conference alignment this past weekend was the announcement that Pittsburgh and Syracuse would be joining the ACC beginning in 2012. Pitt hoops coach Jamie Dixon as you might expect is taking the news in stride and not overreacting to the upcoming change and what it might mean to his program. On Monday, Dixon joined 93.7 The Fan o talk about moving to the ACC, why he doesn't think that the Panthers' recruiting efforts in New York will be affected by the transition, how the Panthers will deal with the change in style of play in the ACC compared to the Big East, and how new rivalries will be created provided the Panthers continue to win a lot of games like they have done in the Big East.
(Partial transcription via: Sports Radio Interviews)
On the recent Sports Illustrated column that said that Pitt hoops would suffer from not being able to easily recruit kids from New York and the other major east coast cities by virtue of their association with the Big East:
"I actually read that article, there was a lot more to that article than just that line, but I mean, there’s still planes, there’s still flights going into New York, D.C., Philly — we’re going to be in there. And hopefully we’re still going to be playing there. I’ll just have to see how it all falls out here in the near future with the rest of the league to see if there’s any more movement. But the reality of it is BC is the conference, Virginia Tech, Miami — former Big East teams — and then now with Syracuse in the league, there’s five of the 14 and there could be some others. So once it all settles, it won’t be quite as much change as it may seem initially."
If he’s concerned about the potential loss of rivalry games with schools like UCONN and, of course, West Virginia:
"Yeah, I’ve talked about that before. We’ve got some great rivalries, but we became rivals with Marquette once they joined. They think of us as their rival, Louisville thinks of us as a rival. Rivalries start back up, and rivalries will be reignited and renewed when you talk about BC, Virginia Tech, Syracuse will continue obviously, and then we’ll see where this thing goes as it plays out. But we seem to end up speculating on these things so much before they’re completed or before they even happen, so let’s see how this thing finishes out. But you know, I think if we win games, we’ll have plenty of rivalries. And that’s kind of what happened in the Big East. When you have the best record in the conference, people tend to look as you as a rival, and that game becomes a little bit more important to them. So we need to win games first and foremost, and we’ll pick up plenty of rivals real quick."