For the last couple of weeks, Pittsburgh Sports Now has talked to some of the top names in college basketball about the Pitt basketball job. Experts such as Doug Gottlieb, Mike DeCourcy and Seth Greenberg have all given us their opinion on Kevin Stallings and the current state of Pitt basketball.
This morning, PSN spoke to one of the top insiders in college basketball.
Over the last couple of years, it would be hard to find someone that’s broken more college basketball news than Jon Rothstein from CBS Sports. This is Rothstein’s busiest time of the year as he’s all over the radio and on CBS Sports Network so we appreciate the couple minutes he gave PSN to talk about the Pitt basketball job opening.
PSN: Considering the current position of the program, who are some realistic and smart candidates that Pitt should be pursuing?
Jon Rothstein: I’m not going to get into any specific candidates, I’ll just say that whoever takes this job has to understand this is going to be a 25-hour a day job in order to rebuild this job in the ACC. They need to hire someone that’s willing to fight windmills everyday and someone that’s going to enjoy everything that goes into a massive rebuild in the best conference in college basketball.
PSN: As you know, it wasn’t that long ago that Pitt was one of the more consistent and successful programs in the country. Are you surprised at how fast it fell apart?
Rothstein: I think obviously, the Pitt fan base took Jamie Dixon for granted. They took going to the NCAA Tournament for granted and the unfortunate thing for Kevin Stallings was that he wasn’t able to get into the NCAA Tournament in his first season at Pitt because I think that team was setup to go to the NCAA Tournament and for one reason or another, they weren’t able to achieve it. Obviously, we’ve seen the last couple of years the recruiting blueprint that they’ve used in the past to achieve their success in the Big East has been swept under them. I think Jamie Dixon deserves a lot of credit for getting his last team at Pitt to the NCAA Tournament because that 2013 team that won 26 games was recruited to play in the Big East.
PSN: You referred to Pitt as a massive rebuild. If that’s the case, what’s the profile of the coach they need to be targeting? Younger or someone with experience and who’s experienced success?
Rothstein: Pitt needs to get someone that’s a proven commodity there’s no doubt about that. I don’t think you can go into the ACC and having to restock a roster without someone that’s proven that he’s won at the highest level before or someone that hasn’t rebuilt a program before.