- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said upperclassmen Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna have proven to be leaders early in the first few weeks of workouts. The freshmen -- Steven Adams, James Robinson and Chris Jones -- have stood out as being physically and mentally mature to contribute at the beginning of the season. Pitt has had a history of developing its players and not getting the maximum from the freshmen. But this program will need, and now it looks like it will get, immediate production from the freshmen class. This is a must that will likely lead to quite a turnaround from a 22-17 CBI champ (5-13 Big East) season.
2. Our ESPN.com recruiting analyst Dave Telep made a terrific point in his Chris Jones to Louisville column Monday that the last Tennessee recruiting class under Bruce Pearl has ended up at Louisville. Jones, who played for former Pearl assistant Steve Forbes at NW Florida JC, joins Kevin Ware from the 2011 Vols' class. But the Vols shouldn't fret. Cuonzo Martin is doing a tremendous job of increasing the talent and perception of Tennessee basketball. Martin secured another commitment Monday for 2013 in landing 6-5 shooting guard Robert Hubbs. The Vols will be just fine going forward in the SEC under Martin.
3. While Kevin Ollie has to defend his hire -- even in the short term -- it made me wonder why is there no issue that Mike Hopkins is already the coach-in-waiting at Syracuse for whenever Jim Boeheim retires? Why doesn't Syracuse have to do a national search whenever Boeheim retires? The answer is the Orange don't. Last time I checked Jamie Dixon was an assistant at Pitt and Tom Izzo was an assistant at Michigan State before being bumped up to head coach. Izzo is a future Hall of Fame coach. Dixon is having a stellar career. Oh, Brad Stevens was an assistant too at Butler. I could go on (Frank Martin took over for Bob Huggins at Kansas State and was originally ripped for getting the gig and now look at him). Ollie doesn't have as much experience as the assistants mentioned. But he deserves a real chance -- not seven months -- just like the previous coaches and Hopkins will get when it's his time at Syracuse.
1. Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said upperclassmen Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna have proven to be leaders early in the first few weeks of workouts. The freshmen -- Steven Adams, James Robinson and Chris Jones -- have stood out as being physically and mentally mature to contribute at the beginning of the season.