“Twenty-two wins is not enough for us,” Dixon said. “We’re not used to that. … We were young, but at the same time we had injuries at key positions. … We weren’t what we’ve been, and we got what we earned. …
“We have unrivaled support. We have 11,000 on our waiting list. We’re the only school that we know of, and I’ve talked to Kansas and Duke, where we have a seating license for every seat. … We’ve won some games, and that’s had something to do with it, but it’s an unbelievable sports town. I think they respect the kids we’ve had. They’ve grown with them they’ve watched them get better. … We’ve gotten good kids, we’re graduating our players and they’re not getting into trouble.”
Dixon, 46, not only graduated from TCU but also earned a master’s in economics at Cal-Santa Barbara in his native state.
“Jamie’s a lot like Frank (Beamer) is in football,” Pederson said, “where every year you’re there (contending). … It’s pretty phenomenal. That’s harder to do in football and basketball (than in other sports).”
Some other quick notes to wrap up my pregame interviews here in the Steel City.
* Pederson on the ACC going all in with ESPN on media rights rather than split its package a la the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference: “I know there’s a lot of ways to do this, but anybody’s that’s being honest with themselves would tell you that the only channel that every kids knows in their house is ESPN. And if you walk into any restaurant or bar, it’s ESPN. … So I think the long-term benefits to the conference are going to be dramatic.”
* Pedersen on the spring chatter about Florida State and Clemson possibly leaving the ACC: “We land at ACC meetings, and that’s when all that stuff was going on. But I have to say, I never felt any real angst over that because I was sitting in the same room with (FSU athletic director) Randy Spetman, and I was sitting in the same room as (Clemson AD) Terry Don Phillips, and they couldn’t have been more committed to and focused on the ACC.
“They both never wavered in what they said. And their presidents were strong in their support. So internally you never felt that. But externally it wasn’t good to have that stuff floating out there. There’s 56 million reasons why that’s a dead issue now.”
That’s a none-too-veiled reference to the ACC’s new exit fee, which the conference announced as approximately $50 million.
* Chryst was jazzed when he learned I work in Newport News. At Wisconsin, he coached Nick Toon, the son of former Badgers and New York Jets great Al Toon, a Menchville High graduate. He was also close to Wisconsin track coach Ed Nuttycombe, whose father, Charlie, is a Peninsula coaching icon.
“I did not know that,” he said. “Shame on me. I knew he went to William and Mary.”
The 757 forgives you, Coach.
I can be reached at 247-4636 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Follow me at twitter.com/DavidTeelatDP
Here’s a link to my Daily Press print columns, including Saturday's on the state of Pitt athletics one year before its ACC arrival.