Jamie Dixon means it this time. No, really, he does.
The Pittsburgh coach insists he's not kidding when he says it might be time to loosen the reins as the Panthers move from the bruising and brutal Big East to the more wide open ACC.
''We'll run a little better and be a little bit more skilled on the floor,'' Dixon said. ''I think we've got a good group and I think we've got a versatile group.''
One Dixon hopes can still bring the intensity on defense. Just because he's more willing to let the Panthers get out on the open floor doesn't mean he wants them entirely abandon the formula that made them perennial contenders in one of the nation's toughest conferences, including a 24-9 mark last year.
The ACC figures to be just as tough, if in a slightly different way. The question, sophomore forward Durand Johnson said, might not be whether Pitt is ready for the ACC but whether the ACC is ready for the Panthers.