One of the things Jamie Dixon wanted when he became head coach was for all former players to come back to campus every summer to reconnect with the university and the new players entering the program. For the few summers, several former Panthers return to work Dixon’s camps and help tutor the players currently in the program.
Freshman Chris Jones has been befriended by former Panther Gilbert Brown, and the bond between them has made Jones’ transition to Pitt easier this summer.
“He’s kind of taken me under his wing,” Jones said Wednesday night before his game at the PBC summer league in Green Tree. “He’s been a real big help. When we got here there was an instant connection. We play the same position and we’d go at it in pick-up games. He’d just take me under his wing and explain stuff to me.”
Jones is a 6-foot-5 guard/forward who says he doesn’t want to have a position. Rather, he’d like to be able to play point guard, shooting guard and small forward, which would make him a valuable member of Dixon’s roster.
“I just want to be versatile because there are minutes at every position,” he said.
Jones did not sign with Pitt until the spring, and he did not arrive on campus until the second summer semester began a few weeks ago. But in that time he has become familiar with Dixon’s system and has benefitted from the tutoring of players such as Brown.
The staff envisions Jones as someone who can be a defensive specialist in the future.
“They saw my role being a guy who plays defense first, be a playmaker and hit shots,” he said. “I’m trying to work on all of those things.”
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