- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Seen and heard last night at MCI Center:

ENDORSEMENT — Georgetown coach Craig Esherick already has made his choice. “[Pittsburgh first-year coach] Jamie Dixon has done a heck of a job. He’s got my vote for coach of the year right now in our league,” Esherick said Monday.

Dixon, 38, also is a candidate for national coach of the year, but the coaches of the country’s two undefeated teams — Stanford’s Mike Montgomery and Saint Joseph’s Phil Martelli — likely are the front-runners.

WINNINGEST TEAM IN BIG EAST? — The last three seasons, it’s not defending national champion Syracuse or perennial contender Connecticut. Try Pittsburgh.

Before the game against the Hoyas, Pittsburgh was 81-13 (36-8 Big East) for an .862 winning percentage. UConn has gone 70-22 (.760) and Syracuse 71-24 (.747) in the past three seasons.

GOOD KNIGHT — Brandin Knight got more than his share of the credit for leading Pittsburgh to 89 victories in his four years at the school, including consecutive Sweet 16 appearances.

Carl Krauser has done a more than adequate job this season as his replacement at point guard. Krauser, at 6-2, has two inches on Knight and has averaged 15.0 points and 4.9 assists this season compared to Knight’s 11.2 and 6.3. More importantly, Krauser shoots considerably better than his predecessor, hitting 44.7 percent from the floor and 75 percent from the line. Knight made only 36.7 percent from the field and 57.5 percent from the line.

ORGAN DONATION — Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson made a halftime appeal to students in attendance on the importance of organ and tissue donation. More than 80,000 people are on the nation’s organ transplant waiting list, including more than 1,700 in the Washington area.

Ken Wright

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