Team preview: Pittsburgh

Blue Ribbon Illustrated previews the 2004-05 college basketball season, exclusively on Insider.

Updated: October 20, 2004, 5:20 PM ET
Blue Ribbon Yearbook
Editor's Note: Insider has teamed with Blue Ribbon College Basketball Yearbook, long known as the Bible of college basketball, to provide a comprehensive look at all 326 Division I teams.


Former Pittsburgh coach Ben Howland certainly left some talent behind for replacement Jamie Dixon, but few could have envisioned the sort of rookie season Dixon posted a year ago. Dixon guided the Panthers to their third consecutive Big East regular-season title, third consecutive appearance in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen and a school-record 31 victories. Those accomplishments made him a no-brainer choice for conference coach of the year.

Dixon's 31 wins were the third-best, first-season win total in NCAA Division I history (only North Carolina's Bill Guthridge, who posted 34 victories in 1997-98, and Indiana State's Bill Hodges, who registered 33 in 1978-79, won more games in their first seasons).