Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Exhibitions Are Dixon's Choice

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Exhibitions Are Dixon's Choice

Article excerpt

The NCAA allows Division I men's basketball teams two options to get ready for an upcoming season: exhibition games against non- Division I teams or scrimmages against other Division I teams.

There is one key difference. Exhibition games can be played as if they are normal games; the scrimmages must be in secret with no media or fans, and coaches are not supposed to talk about them.

For that reason, primarily, that coach Jamie Dixon chooses to have Pitt play two exhibition games instead of two scrimmages, though he isn't completely opposed to playing one of each if the right scrimmage opportunity ever presents itself.

Pitt plays IUP at 7 p.m. today at Petersen Events Center in the first of two exhibitions. The Panthers will host Philadelphia University next Friday in the other game.

"There are a couple of reasons [for playing exhibitions]," Dixon said. "Obviously there is the revenue aspect to them [ticket sales, concessions, etc.] and also I do like the game-like aspect to them. I like the crowd watching us because I think that has an impact on how guys play, it is good for freshman to go through that routine.

"We also try to get the best [Division II team] in our area and that league [the PSAC] is pretty good for Division II so we are usually getting a pretty good team out of it and opportunities to play. …

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