Dixon Aims For Win No. 200

Jamie Dixon will never talk about his great accomplishments. When asked about some of the wins that did stand out over the years, he did reflect on a couple; which led him to reflecting back to all the players that have helped get him to 200 wins.

With a win tonight, Jamie Dixon would become just the second coach in the history of the Pitt program to achieve 200 career wins. The only difference is that Carlson picked up his 200th win in his 15th season. Less games were played back then, as Carlson's career-record at that point was 200-78. Dixon, with a win Wednesday, would be 200-55.

Dixon was also the fastest to 100 career wins, picking up win No. 100 in his 126th career game. Here's a look at some of the milestone wins he's had, through his first 199 career wins.

1 - November 14, 2003 vs. Alabama (Coaches vs. Cancer), 71-62
Pitt's first-ever appearance in the Coaches vs. Cancer, which is hard to believe after playing in a few since then. Carl Krauser scored 19 of his 21 points in a second-half run. Pitt started off the game 0-for-11 from three-point range. Freshman Chris Taft grabbed 12 rebounds, the second-highest output from a Pitt freshman in their debut.

25 - February 24, 2004 at Georgetown, 68-58
Just like Dixon's first game as head coach, Pitt had to overcome a slow first half. Pitt trailed 39-31 at halftime, yet came out with a second-half run of 17-0, en route to the victory. A three-pointer by Krauser brought the Panthers within one. A layup from Chevon Troutman put Pitt up for good. Krauser had a career-high 26 points, followed by the freshman Taft, who added his fifth career double-double.

50 - March 5, 2005 at Notre Dame, 85-77
Taft scored a career-high 26 points, joined by Chevon Troutman who scored 22. Coming off a win at then No. 5 Boston College five days earlier, the Panthers followed that up with an eight-point win in South Bend. The win clinches a first-round bye for the Panthers in the Big East Tournament.

75 - March 10, 2006 vs. Villanova (Big East Semifinals), 68-54
One of the most impressive wins in program history, and one of the biggest upsets. The Panthers came out firing, building an 11-point lead over the then No. 2-ranked Villanova Wildcats--the Big East Tournament favorite that year. Pitt led by as many as 18 in the second half, thanks to consecutive three-pointers from Krauser and Antonio Graves. Freshman Levance Fields led the Panthers with 14. Pitt dominated Villanova on the boards 45-27 for the game.

100 - February 19, 2007 at Seton Hall, 71-68
Another milestone victory for Dixon, in another game away from the Petersen Events Center. This one came much tougher than the others, as Seton Hall gave Pitt all they could handle. Playing in its first game without Aaron Gray--who sprained his ankle in the game before this one against Washington, the Panthers had to rely on sophomores Levance Fields and Sam Young. Fields scored seven of this 15 points in the final 2:30, including five free throws, to hold off a scrappy Seton Hall team.

125 - February 27, 2008 vs. Cincinnati, 73-67
Finally, Dixon hits a milestone at home. Coming off three losses in a row, Pitt was able to come from behind for a close win over the Bearcats. Pitt trailed 40-37 at halftime, but went on a 12-3 run, to regain the lead in the second half. A three-pointer by Fields gave Pitt a 68-63 lead with under a minute to play, clinching the win. In the process, Dixon became the first Pitt coach to lead a team to five consecutive 20-win seasons. Ronald Ramon scored his 1,000th point in the win.

150 - January 25, 2009 at West Virginia, 79-67
Pitt held on to a 39-37 halftime lead, before Sam Young put on a clinic in the second half. Young scored 16 of his 22 points in the second half, giving the Panthers a rare double-digit win in Morgantown. Young scored 12 of those points on a 18-5 second-half run that blew the game open. It was Dixon's third win in Morgantown--the most of any Pitt coach.

175 - January 2, 2010 at Syracuse, 82-72
Overcoming many preseason expectations, which didn't even have the Panthers going to the NCAA Tournament, Pitt pulled one of its biggest wins in school history, with a 10-point win at No. 5 Syracuse. The Orange were previously undefeated. Ashton Gibbs put in six three-pointers, on his way to a career-high 24 points. It marked the fifth straight win for Pitt at the Carrier Dome.

WINS BY CLASS
2004 - 31 (Julius Page, Jaron Brown, Toree Morris)
2005 - 51 (Chevon Troutman, Mark McCarroll
2006 - 76 (Carl Krauser, John DeGroat)
2007 - 103 (Levan Kendall, Aaron Gray, Antonio Graves, Doyle Hudson)
2008 - 101 (Keith Benjamin, Ronald Ramon, Maurice Polen)
2009 - 112 (Sam Young, Levance Fields, Tyrell Biggs)
2010 - 56 (Jermaine Dixon-two years, Chase Adams-one year)
2011 - 84 (Brad Wanamaker, Gilbert Brown, Gary McGhee, Nick Rivers)

ACCORDING TO DIXON
When asked about memorable games, Dixon said there were two games that come to mind.

"If I had to come up with one, it would have to be the game against Duke (in 2007)," Dixon said. "Solely because it was a great game. It was at the (Madison Square) Garden, but it was a big game for us. We want to measure ourselves against the best. I don't think anyone can deny that (Duke) is the best program over in how they do things and what they've done."

The first one, the win over Alabama--also at Madison Square Garden, was special just for being his first win as a head coach. Dixon remembers a lot about that game from seven years ago.

"I still have the poster," Dixon said. "It was just a single game, but that was the first game. I have the poster. I remember the game. That was when we really started trying to play in New York every single time that we could."

PLAYERS SPEAK
Dante Taylor and Brad Wanamaker met with the media this week. Taylor exhibited Dixon's humbleness, in that he wasn't aware that this game could be Dixon's 200th win. Wanamaker echoed that sentiment, that while it would be nice, his head coach isn't all about the accolades. Wanamaker's response, however, is representative of Dixon's approach to the game.

"This is the first time I'm hearing about it," Taylor said. "I don't think anybody knows, but I'm sure it's in his head that he really wants this. We have to come out and do it for him."

"It would be good for coach Dixon and the program," Wanamaker said. "For us and him, it's just another game. He's not big on accolades. Our goal this year is to make a (Final Four) run. Getting to 200 is a great compliment for him, but we still have stuff to do and ways to improve.


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