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Mar
25
2016

Who has the better basketball job opening – Georgia Tech or Pittsburgh?

Brian_Gregory

Two pretty surprising job openings are now available in the ACC – Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh. Jamie Dixon is headed to TCU to talk over his at alma mater. In my opinion, this won’t end well for Dixon. Dixon is a good coach, but not a great recruiter. It will be tougher to recruit to a school in TCU that has no tradition and from day 1, is probably the most difficult job in a stacked Big 12.

Gregory reached the quarterfinals of the NIT and won 21 games this year. The Yellow Jackets played NCAA tournament caliber basketball the last several weeks of the year. I was never a Gregory fan as a coach, and felt he was in over his head at Georgia Tech. I did think his NIT run would give him another year. That didn’t happen and now both Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech are are looking for new coaches. Which is the better position?

This is a tough call. Both schools have proven that in the not to distant past, they can compete at the highest levels in college basketball. Within the last 12 years, Georgia Tech made the NCAA Tournament 4 out of 7 years from 2004-2010, with a national title game appearance in 2004. They have a recently rebuilt arena, sitting in the one of the southern hotbeds of basketball – Atlanta, Georgia.

Pittsburgh was consistently good, but never great under Dixon. Dixon never won fewer than 19 games at Pitt, and made the NCAA tournament 11 out of his 13 years. His teams played tough hardnosed physical basketball, but usually lacked elite talent. The Zoo creates creates one the best student section environments in college basketball.

Georgia Tech is bigger rebuilding job, as a big portion of the current roster was senior laden. Pittsburgh is younger, and returns more. You can win at Pittsburgh sooner.

Georgia Tech as a football school has to compete with SEC powers, Clemson and Florida State for in-state players. They often lose these battles for high end football players. Georgia Tech as an ACC basketball school should have their pick of Atlanta area players. It’s probably easier to recruit to Georgia Tech than Pittsburgh. The Panthers have more nearby recruiting competition.

Both being in the best basketball conference in the country makes that a wash.

I don’t think either is a considerably better job than the other. Here’s why, both have proven the recent past they can be a top 25 program. Under the right coach either can be a top 25 fixture. The question isn’t really which is the better job opening, but who ends up with the better hire.

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