It's time to push away from the rise to No. 1 and that 17-0 start as well as the 7-10 finish in UT's 24-10 season. Time to move on from the NCAA first-round flameout, the missed free throws and missed layups and ever-changing rotations and figure out where things go from here.[details]
2010 (Senior):HEADER DEXTER JEROME PITTMAN Center University of Texas Longhorns #34 6:09.5-303 Rosenberg, Texas Terry High School
OVERVIEW Pittman's college career has been on an upswing the last two seasons, thanks to his victory with the battle of the bulge.
Having arrived on the Austin campus at a generously listed 366 pounds as a freshman -- some reports put his weight at 388 pounds during his high school senior year) -- he applied himself in the team's offseason training program, shedding close to 70 pounds during his first two seasons.
When he first joined the Longhorns in 2006, Pittman's body fat measured at 41.6 percent. In the late spring of 2009, his body fat was measured at 13.5 percent, earning him the nickname, "Dex-a-Trim" by his teammates and staff. During tests at the Chicago pre-draft camp in May 2010, he showed a 20.8-percent body fat measurement. With his new svelte frame, he started 57 of his final 68 games.
The weight loss was the result of Pittman receiving weight loss tips from Texas' strength and conditioning coach Todd Wright. Earlier in his career, his weight prevented him from doing basic drills in practice, which caused various back and knee aches. He dedicated himself to a workout program with Wright, which included 5:30 a.m. workouts and a completely revamped diet.
Pittman agreed to call Wright before every meal to evaluate his choices. He later characterized the workout regimen as so tough that "I wanted to cry and say, 'Man, I want to give up.'" Since losing almost 100 pounds, he became an icon for admirers, like Hall of Famer Charles Barkley.
Impossible for defenders to move out once he establishes position under the rim, Pittman's ability to set screens and clog the action in the middle saw the Longhorn shooters have a field day the last two seasons.
With his improving offensive skills, Pittman saw increased opportunities as a scoring option the last two seasons. He made 63.5 percent of his field goal attempts (270-of-425), producing 709 of his 882 points as a Longhorn. One of just five players to ever make more than 60 percent of his field goal attempts in a season, he holds two of the top three spots on the UT annual record chart (61.6 percent in 2008-09 rank third and 65.4 percent in 2009-10 set the school record).
By making 65.42 percent of his field goal chances as a senior, he just inched past the Big Twelve Conference season-record of 65.36 percent by Blake Griffin of Oklahoma (300-of-459, 2008-09). He would close out his career by making 62.29 percent of his field goals (337-541), becoming only the fourth player in league history to make more than 60 percent of his shots from the field in a career. Only Chianti Roberts of Oklahoma State (62.46 percent, 178-of-285, 1996-97) had a better field goal percentage in Big Twelve annals.
Pittman also showed a strong defensive presence. He hauled in 529 rebounds during his career, including 390 in his final two seasons. He also showed excellent elevation and an impressive 90-inch wingspan to block 124 shots, including 63 as a senior, finishing seventh all-time among Longhorn frontcourt performers.
The son of Johnny Pittman, who starred for the Oklahoma State basketball team (1989-91), Pittman was rated the 86th-best overall prospect in the nation by Scout.com after his senior season at Terry High School. The three-year starter in the pivot, he scored 1,154 points during his prep career, averaging 15.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per contest. He was named first-team All-Greater Houston by the Houston Chronicle following his final campaign.
Pittman averaged 17.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game while leading Terry to a 25-11 mark and the Class 4A Region III semifinals as a senior. He was named MVP and Offensive Player of the Year for District 24-4A. That season was highlighted by 23 points and 21 rebounds in a game vs. Angleton High that clinched the District 24-4A title. The two-time Fort Bend Herald Area MVP led the team to the District 24-4A title as a junior, averaging 15.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and three blocks per game while helping Terry to a 24-8 mark.
In summer league action, he posted 20 points, seven boards and two blocks and claimed MVP honors for the Black team in the Adidas Superstar Slam, an all-star game featuring the top seniors from the Houston area. He also tallied a game-high 30 points (14-of-18 field goals) and 12 rebounds to earn MVP honors for the victorious South squad at the Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star game in Austin.
Pittman was used sparingly during his first two years at Texas, as the staff worked to get him into playing condition. He appeared in 29 games during the 2006-07 campaign, leading the team in field goal percentage at .604 (29-of-48) while ranking ranked fifth in blocked shots (10).
As a sophomore, Pittman garnered Academic All-Big Twelve Conference first-team honors. He played in 36 games, earning one start vs. Baylor. He led the team in field goal percentage (.559) and ranked in a tie for third in blocks (18). He also pulled down an impressive 87 rebounds in just 246 minutes of court action.
Pittman was named to the Academic All-Big Twelve second-team as a junior. He played in all 35 games (24 starts) in 2008-09, as he averaged 15.4 points and 10.4 rebounds in 27.6 minutes per game during UT's five postseason contests (Phillips 66 Big Twelve Champion-ship and NCAA Tournament) and was one of five players named to the Phillips 66 Big Twelve Championship All-Tournament team, after averaging averaged 17.3 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks in 28.7 minutes per game in three games during the league tourney.
The junior reached double-figures in scoring 15 times after doing so just three times in his first two seasons. He led the team in field-goal percentage (.616), finished second in rebounding (5.5 rebounds per game) and blocks (33) and third in scoring (10.1 points per game) and free throw percentage (.691).
Pittman earned All-Big Twelve Conference second-team honors in 2009-10. A candidate for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, he joined forward Damion James as the only Longhorns to start all 34 games. His improved offensive game saw him register at least 10 points in 17 contests. He set the school and league season-records by making 65.4 percent of his field goal attempts, finishing third on the team with a 10.4-point scoring average. He ranked second on the squad with 5.9 rebounds per game and led the team while placing third in the conference with 63 blocked shots.
GAME ANALYSIS During the Horns' two Big Twelve Championship games, Pittman averaged 15.0 points and 5.5 rebounds in 20.0 minutes per contest while hitting 14-of-22 (.636) field goals...Opened the season with a career-high 10 made FG on 11 attempts for 21 points, in addition to seven rebounds and three blocks vs. UC Irvine...Posted 15 points (7-of-9 FG), eight rebounds and three blocks vs. Iowa...Recorded 21 points (7-of-8 FG) with a season-high seven made FT, nine rebounds and three blocks at Rice...Set a career high with seven blocks (second on the UT single-game list) to go along with 13 points (5-of-8 FG) vs. USC...Registered 14 points (5-of-7 FG) and seven rebounds vs. Texas-Pan American and set career highs with both 23 points (9-of-16 FG) and 15 rebounds vs. then tenth-ranked North Carolina...Tallied 15 points (7-of-8 FG) and nine rebounds vs. Gardner-Webb and totaled 18 points (6-of-7 FG), nine rebounds and five blocks vs. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi...Matched his career high with 10 made FG on 15 attempts for 21 points in addition to 10 rebounds at Arkansas and blocked six shots vs. Texas A&M...Scored 14 points (7-of-10 FG) in a season-high 29 minutes vs. Baylor and collected 13 rebounds with eight points (4-of-5 FG) at Oklahoma...Blocked four shots vs. No. 1/1 Kansas and posted 16 points (5-of-5 FG), eight rebounds and three blocks vs. Oklahoma State...Notched 14 points (5-of-8 FG, 4-of-4 FT), six rebounds and two steals vs. Oklahoma...Produced 16 points (7-of-9 FG) and five rebounds vs. Iowa State and followed with 14 points (7-of-13 FG) and six rebounds vs. Baylor in the Big Twelve Tournament.
2009-10 SEASON All-Big Twelve Conference second-team selection by The NBA Draft Report...Joined Damion James as the only Longhorns to start all 34 games, finishing third on the team with a career-best 355 points (10.4 per game), setting the school season-record with a field goal percentage of .6542 (140-of-214), as he also delivered on 75-of-135 free throws (55.6 percent)...Led the team and ranked third in the conference with a career-high 63 blocked shots (10th on the school season-record list)...Grabbed 199 rebounds (5.9 per game), as he doled out 17 assists and had 12 steals...Had some foul trouble, as he was disqualified a team-high three times, finishing second with 90 personals and 60 turnovers...Scored in double figures 17 times and recorded three double-double performance.
2008-09 SEASON Academic All-Big Twelve second-team...Played in all 35 games, starting 24 times at center...Finished third on the team with 354 points (10.1 per game), hitting on 130-of-211 field goals, as his percentage of .616 rank third on the school season-record list, making him just the fourth Big Twelve player to make more than 60 percent of his field goals in a season...Registered 69.1 percent from the charity stripe (94-of-136) and pulled down 191 rebounds (5.5 per game)...Handed out 13 assists to go with 13 steals and was second on the team with 33 blocked shots...Tied for the team lead with 94 personal fouls and turned the ball over 50 times...Averaged 15.4 points and 10.4 rebounds in 27.6 minutes per game during UT's five postseason contests (Phillips 66 Big Twelve Championship and NCAA Tournament), as he was one of five players named to the Big Twelve All-Tournament team...Reached double-figures in scoring 15 times after doing so just three times in his first two seasons...Earned a spot on the Fall 2008 Big Twelve Commissioner's Honor Roll (minimum 3.0 GPA).
2007-08 SEASON Academic All-Big Twelve Conference first-team selection...Played in 36 games, earning his only start vs. Baylor in early February...Led the team in field goal percentage (.559), making 38-of-68 chances...Hit on 23-of-41 free throws (56.1 percent)...Ranked in a tie for third in blocks (18) and averaged 2.4 rebounds per game (2.4 per game)...One of 12 team members to earn a spot on the Spring 2008 Big Twelve Commissioner's Honor Roll (minimum 3.0 GPA).
2006-07 SEASON Played in 29 of the 35 games...Earned the Lowe's Home Improvement Most Improved Player award (team honor) following the season...Scored 74 points, as led the team in field goal percentage at .604 (29-of-48)...Ranked fifth on the team in blocks (10)...Added 52 rebounds (1.8 per game), five steals and two assists.
CAREER NOTES Pittman started 59-of-134 games at Texas, scoring 882 points (6.6 per game)...Made 337-of-541 field goals, as his percentage of 62.29 percent not only set the school career-record, but rank second in Big Twelve Conference annals, topped by only Chianti Roberts of Oklahoma State (62.46 percent, 178-of-285, 1996-97)...One of just four players in league history to average more than 60 percent of field goals made in a season, he is the only Big Twelve athlete to accomplish that feat twice, as his 61.6 percent in 2008-09 rank third and 65.4 percent in 2009-10 set the school record...His senior season field goal percentage also inched past the Big Twelve Conference season-record of 65.36 percent by Blake Griffin of Oklahoma (300-of-459, 2008-09)...Averaged 3.9 rebounds per game (529 total), had 38 assists and 33 steals in 1,629 minutes of action...Blocked 124 shots during his career (eighth all-time in UT annals), as his team-best 63 blocks in 2009-10 rank tenth on the school season-record chart.
HIGH SCHOOL Attended Terry (Rosenberg, Tex.) High School, where he was rated the 86th-best overall prospect in the nation by Scout.com after his senior season...The three-year starter in the pivot, he scored 1,154 points during his prep career, averaging 15.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per contest...Named first-team All-Greater Houston by the Houston Chronicle following his final campaign...Averaged 17.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game while leading Terry to a 25-11 mark and the Class 4A Region III semifinals as a senior...Named MVP and Offensive Player of the Year for District 24-4A...That season was highlighted by 23 points and 21 rebounds in a game vs. Angleton High that clinched the District 24-4A title...The two-time Fort Bend Herald Area MVP led the team to the District 24-4A title as a junior, averaging 15.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and three blocks per game while helping Terry to a 24-8 mark.
OTHER TOURNAMENTS/TEAMS SUMMER LEAGUE In 2006 summer league play, he posted 20 points, seven boards and two blocks and claimed MVP honors for the Black team in the Adidas Superstar Slam, an all-star game featuring the top seniors from the Houston area...Also tallied a game-high 30 points (14-of-18 FG) and 12 rebounds to earn MVP honors for the victorious South squad at the Texas High School Coaches Association All-Star game in Austin.
PERSONAL Communications major...Son of Selma Harris and Johnny Pittman...Father played basketball at Oklahoma State (1989-91)...Born Dexter Jerome Pittman on 3/02/88 in Rosenberg, Texas.
SCOUTING REPORT Positives: Pittman lost over 70 pounds since arriving at the Texas campus as a freshman, reducing his body fat from 41.6 percent as a freshman to 20.8 percent in May 2010...Has the size, strength, wingspan (7-foot-6) and standing reach (9-foot-3) to be a disruptive force altering opponents' shots and defending around the rim...With above-average strength and bulk, he is impossible to dislodge once he establishes position under the basket...Has the large, soft hands to secure the offensive rebound and execute the put-back (265 of his 529 rebounds came from the offensive glass)...Needs to improve his leaping ability, but with his length and reach, he has become an efficient rebounder...Has enough hops to elevate and extend to score and uses his body well to draw contact when attempting to finish around the rim...Not the type who will ever develop a mid-range game, but he's had good success using a quick drop-step into the lane, where he will generally finish with a dunk or utilize a quick baby hook shot...Best in a half-court game, but will surprise teams with how quick and agile he can be getting up and down the court for a player his size...Has a quick release, high release point and a fluid stroke with a smooth follow-through to deliver with touch when shooting around the rim...Knows how to use his size to set the pick-and-rolls and is very effective at sealing off opponents in the paint...Highly intelligent player (two-time conference academic pick) and not the type that can be fooled by hesitation moves or pump fakes...Shows a soft touch around the rim and though he lacks that 7-foot frame, he plays bigger than his size indicates...His wingspan allows him to elevate above the rim to get his fair share of blocked shots...Playing off the offensive glass, he has a quick second bounce to get the ball...Gets to most of those put-backs off the offensive side due to his lower-body strength, which he has learned to use more effectively last year to box out the big men...Plays with true aggression, but will get reckless and draw fouls when he fails to keep his hands inside his frame...Does a good job squaring his shoulders, staying low in his stance and rooting out the big men in the paint...When fed the ball off the pass, he is quick to drive and get it to the rim...Despite his size, he is very effective at getting down court on the fast break...Best with his back to the basket, but has no face-up game and needs to work on developing a mid-range jumper that is NBA caliber...Catches the ball well working inside and has the upper-body strength to win battles on the offensive glass...Good help defender who will do the "garbage work" on the court, whether setting a pick or chasing after lose balls.
Negatives: Even though he dropped more than half of his body's fat percentage since arriving at school as a freshman, some teams are concerned, as he checked in with a 20.8-percent body fat measurement at the Chicago pre-draft camp in May 2010. In September 2009, his body fat measurement was 13.5 percent. Some teams have concerns that he will need to be constantly monitored for wellness decisions...Has no face-up game whatsoever and is very reluctant to take any shots from the perimeter and even from mid-range (never attempts a shot from more than 15 feet out as a Longhorn -- 134 games and 1,629 minutes of court time)...Physical presence under the basket, but even though he moves well in the paint, he will generally be far behind, failing to get back in time to defend on the fast break...Aggressiveness gets him in trouble; constantly flailing his arms, which leads to lots of early foul issues (led the team in disqualifications and second in personal fouls as a senior)...Lacks stamina to be much of a contributor when logging high minutes...Has the size to stay in front of forwards and centers when defending out of the paint, but must improve his lateral mobility...Must improve protecting the ball in the paint.
--Report by Dave-Te' Thomas
Compares To: GLEN DAVIS, Boston -- Pittman potential for drastic weight fluctuation and questionable conditioning will raise a red flag for some teams. He lost 70 pounds since his freshman year, but will run out of gas as the game progresses. He is a foul magnet who has to learn how to use his body for position and arm length to change shots without making contact -- and avoid hatchet fouls with his flailing arms. He is a physical presence in the paint with good touch on his intermediate jumper. His size and back-to-the-basket skills will earn him a paycheck. His freakish wingspan allows him to get to the boards and come down with the ball, especially on the offensive glass. He won't likely be drafted in the first round but has value as a long-range developmental big man.