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May 24, 2017

You’ve read all the hot takes this week.  This one you’re about to read:  I’m taking it up another notch.  Because here’s the thing:  We can rant about the NCAA, transfer restrictions on scholarship athletes in primarily basketball and football.  I’m sure there’s transfer issues in other college sports, but who cares?  It doesn’t generate the mouse-clicks, retweets, likes, f***s given, etc.  We can also feel bad about the non-scholarship students who have to take out loans and probably pay them for next 20 years depending on how much they have to defer them because they can’t find a decent enough job to pay them off.  Meanwhile, Joe Athlete is upset because he wants to transfer to play basketball at Kentucky where he’ll still have a free ride despite having to sit out a year.

Cam Johnson has graduated.  He should be free to move on. Actually, he is already is.   He has his degree.   He can go find a job somewhere in North Carolina if he likes.  He wants to continue playing college hoops which unfortunately has a different set of rules given the whole amateur thing.  He can actually play almost anywhere he wants and play right away, except for the ACC.  He wants to play at North Carolina.  He still can, but he has to sit a year.  He will still get a free ride.

Ok so enough of the rambling the same stuff over.  How do we solve this?  It’s pretty simple, the NCAA needs to read the tweets of Jay Bilas and realize they need to get involved.   There’s a lot of outrage over this.   I’m sure this happens at other program, but that’s not the point.   The point is Pitt is letting a player transfer to another ACC school, but has to sit out.   So the NCAA needs to ban Kevin Stallings from college coaching and sanction the Pitt Basketball Programs.

Kevin Stallings has a history of putting restrictions on players.  He’s not first coach to do it, but again we’re only focusing on him.  Plus his behavior doesn’t fit with today’s more sensitive culture.  He yells and curses at his players.  You just can’t do that these days.  Pitt players needed their safe space, which is why almost all them left for other programs.  So get him out of here.   The man is pure evil.

Pitt also needs to be put in check.  They poached Heather Lyke from Eastern Michigan which upset people like Jay Bilas.   We can’t have that.  Sure Pitt needed to hire a new AD because Oregon State took Scott Barnes in barely even a year after Pitt was hired.  Again, that’s not important.  Neither is other Big East schools contacting the ACC for membership when Pitt looked out for its own interests and left.   Same with Joe Paterno’s Eastern Conference.  Sure it was probably doomed to fail, but Pitt should’ve joined it even if benefited Penn State the most.   Instead…again, Pitt looked for its own interests.  Typical Pitt.  Evil Pitt.

The NCAA must make this right.  They need to sanction Pitt basketball to send a message to Pitt and ban Kevin Stallings from coaching college basketball.  Sure other schools and coaches do the same things, but Pitt is just evil.  Now if you don’t mind when this Cam Johnson issue passes, I’ll stop caring and just wait until the similar situation occurs to capitalize to tweets, pages clicks, comments, etc.

By the way…..Screw them all.   HAIL TO PITT!!!!!

 

 

May 22, 2017

This is so stupid.

It has been seven weeks since Cam Johnson made it known that he was transferring from Pitt as a grad transfer with two full years of eligibility left. To no one’s surprise the process of finding a new home has been a slow one.

A long-armed, tall guard who shoots better then 40% on 3s. From a Power conference. He was going to be in demand. And he was. Teams like Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon and others all contacted him. He took plenty of visits.

It was clear that Johnson was looking to play at a big name school where he would get plenty of exposure.

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May 19, 2017

Still Trying to Add Pieces

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting,Transfer — Chas @ 7:11 am

I don’t know about you, but I needed to do a refresher on Pitt’s scholarship roster before even talking about the remaining recruiting stuff.

Returning players:

Ryan Luther, Forward, Senior

Jonathan Milligan, Guard, Senior

Zach Smith, Guard, Senior

Incoming freshmen:

Marcus Carr, Guard

Khameron Davis, Guard

Shamiel Stevenson, Small Forward

Terrell Brown, Power Forward

Peace Ilegomah, Center

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May 18, 2017

Finding the Right Road

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 6:41 am

A very good piece from Craig Meyer in the Post-Gazette. Talking about Pitt basketball trying to regain more then simply its footing.

In the past three years, going back to its later years under former coach Jamie Dixon, the program has faded from the national relevancy it once relished. In that time, it has posted a win percentage of .560, down significantly from the .763 percentage it posted in its 13-year peak from 2001-14. If anything, its recent mark is a regression to the mean, much closer to the .550 all-time win percentage the program owned prior to the 2001-02 season.

With those numbers come pressing queries. What can this program become? And where does it go from here?

I suspect this will be the sort of topic revisited more then a few times over the summer. There’s no easy answer — regardless of who the coach is or will be.

It strikes me as important not to react like this article is saying Pitt sucks or that the basketball program is a historically poor one. The fair reading of Pitt’s overall basketball history — especially if you look back before the past 15 years or so — is of slightly above average. Not dominant for extended periods, but rarely a perennial basement program.

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May 11, 2017

Sure, dump three bits of news on one day. It’s not like this time of year is starved for content or anything.

Pat Narduzzi is not a quick starter on the recruiting trail. We all know it. It is a bit maddening. Yet, even by his standards, this class has been slow to start. Pitt finally added commit number two. A QB from New Jersey.

Nick Patti, a 6-foot-3 quarterback from St. Joseph Regional High School in Montvale, N.J., has committed to Pitt.

Patti announced the news Wednesday afternoon on Twitter, becoming the second verbal pledge in coach Pat Narduzzi’s 2018 recruiting class. He’s rated a two-star prospect by Rivals.com and a three-star by some other scouting sites.

According to Rivals, Patti chose Pitt over offers from Boston College, Cincinnati, Rutgers and others. He’s considered a pro-style passer, and figures to be Narduzzi’s only quarterback in the class of 2018.

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May 10, 2017

Stallings Has A Plan

Filed under: Basketball,Coaches,Stallings — Chas @ 7:30 am

Just before the weekend, articles were published following a sit-down with basketball head coach Kevin Stallings. A transcript of the interview was also put out on Saturday, to help flesh things a little further.

This is Stallings at his best and worst as far as a public figure. He is candid, open about a lot of things and doesn’t hide behind as much coachspeak. That same honesty, though, can make him come off like an ass, and someone who puts the blame everywhere but on himself.

[Editor note. I had this drafted on Sunday, I swear. But I kept revisiting, and adding to it. SO much to chew on in this.Just posting it at this point before I do more revisions.]

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May 5, 2017

So the  two weeks have been close to positive for Pitt basketball and coach Kevin Stallings. Or at least as good as it’s been since the season ended.

No one else left, a couple coaches hired, a NLI signed and now a transfer. Let’s review.

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May 3, 2017

Taleni Gone And Draft Thoughts

Filed under: Draft,Football,NFL,Scandal — Chas @ 7:37 am

Sorry, about the absence. Some family stuff came up last week that had me in-and-out-of-town through the past week plus. Nothing major, but time was at a premium.

Glad to be done with April. Fridays in April have been a month of bad news dropping. Most of it was related to basketball, but football decided to get in on the action with the dismissal of Jeremiah Taleni for disciplinary reasons.

To say this was surprising is being polite. Taleni was going to be a senior and expected to start at Defensive Tackle. He was receiving high praise from the coaches all spring for his leadership off-the-field and and his performance in practices.

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April 27, 2017

Pitt Players and the NFL Draft

Filed under: Draft,Football,Players — Justin @ 4:31 am

The NFL Draft was my first dive into the world of amateur football over-analysis. While I unfortunately lack the time these days to dedicate more to the hobby, I’m still able to keep close tabs on Pitt players and what we can expect from them next week when they find their new, hopefully long-term, homes. A huge point of emphasis that any negative thing I post has nothing to do with what I think of players during their time at Pitt, but how they project to the NFL. I also want to be wrong to the benefit of players. Nothing makes me happier than Pitt players I know and love kicking ass and taking names in the NFL Larry Fitzgerald style. (more…)

April 26, 2017

No Bad News Is Some Good News

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting — Chas @ 7:33 am

No one else has left Pitt’s basketball program. One of the late verbals even made it official by signing his Letter of Intent.

Pitt has added to its 2017 recruiting class with the official signing of a national letter of intent by 6-10 center Peace Ilegomah. The talented big man joins a solid three-man class of Rivals Top 100 point guard Marcus Carr, big man Terrell Brown and junior college standout Jared Wilson-Frame.

“We are excited about our incoming class,” said head coach Kevin Stallings. “We are going to build around players committed to one another, the community and the university and this is a talented group of players that will help form the foundation of this program.”

Ilegomah averaged a double-double with 14.0 points and 12.0 rebounds per game along with 3.0 blocks per game to help guide the CBD Montverde [Fla.] postgrad team to a 25-7 record and a runner-up finish in the National Prep Championship. The native of Lagos, Nigeria played two seasons at Roselle Catholic [N.J.] prior to doing a postgrad year at Montverde Academy. He is listed as the No. 27 center in the class by 247Sports.

It is expected that small forward Shamiel Stevenson will sign his LOI this weekend.

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April 22, 2017

I Need a Miracle Everyday

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting — Chas @ 3:51 pm

Is Pitt basketball coach Kevin Stallings trying to test the conventional wisdom of colleges coaches being reasonably expected to get three years, or is he just that bad that no one could fault Pitt for pulling the plug after two years — crap, still 11 months to go?

That someone who has been (at least by the fringe) called a Stallings apologist — for not demanding his firing within 12 months of his hiring —  needs to think aloud if all conventional wisdom and logic needs to be tossed out the window. That Pitt just needs to make the break in the midst of the late signing period and while grad transfers are considering their futures. That’s just not a good sign.

In case you missed the late news on Friday, the best incoming freshman guard in Pitt’s class was released from his National Letter of Intent (NLI) to Pitt.

Now, that list of past Panthers includes his very first recruit.

Guard Aaron Thompson, regarded as one of the top players in Pitt’s 2017 recruiting class, was granted a release from his national letter of intent, the school announced Friday. Thompson committed to the Panthers in May 2016, about five weeks after Stallings was introduced as the program’s new coach.

Rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals, Thompson (6 feet 2) averaged 10.9 points per game for a talented squad at Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, Va. His performance earned him a spot on The Washington Post’s All-Met first team.

Thompson had had a great senior season and had been elevated in recruiting rankings to a 4-star and in some instances a top-150 national recruit.

He was also a high school teammate of Cory Manigault– formerly a freshman at Pitt and now a kid in search of a new school. How much that had an impact is unknown.

On my list of things to do since March is a post on where Pitt basketball stands, overall. Keep having to trash posts because the basic tentpoles of the team keep leaving.

In addition, Pitt just lost out on Longwood University graduate transfer Khris Lane to VCU. This is where you wonder. I mean, wonder with concern and a touch of panic even if you are the guy talking poeple off the ledge.

Jeremy Ballard, who had been a VCU assistant before moving to Illinois St for a year, and then hired at Pitt. But after only one season, jumped (down/back?) to VCU at the same position as he was at Pitt. Now, Pitt loses Thompson from the DC area and a grad transfer Pitt pursued with the ardor of a hop head for an Alchemist Heady Topper… well, there are concerns issues fuck it, panic.

April 20, 2017

Opening Vote of Confidence

Filed under: Basketball,Coaches — Chas @ 7:43 am

These numbers are bad no matter how you massage them.

Since the end of Stallings’ first season – and the first losing season at Pitt (16-17, 4-14 ACC) since 2000 — four players have announced plans to transfer, including sophomore Cam Johnson, who would have been Pitt’s top returning scorer. A fifth player — point guard Justice Kithcart — was dismissed by Stallings near the end of the season.

That’s in addition to the loss of four seniors, all of whom were starters.

Nine players out, and six coming in (at the moment). It stands to reason that sooner or later, new AD Heather Lyke would get asked about basketball coach Kevin Stallings and Pitt basketball.

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April 18, 2017

Quick Links, 4/18

Filed under: Football — Chas @ 7:42 am

Sorry. Just a little rushed today in the offline world. A few links and topics.

Pitt offensive lineman and defending Piesman Trophy winner, Brian O’Neill is apparently hurt and will be spending his summer vacation getting healthy. He should be ready for the start of the season, but still.

Penn State will “celebrate” their Big Ten Championship during their second home game. Hmm. Who do they play that week? Why not the first week? Since, you know, they are unrivaled? Actions speak louder then words.

Elijah Zeise just cannot stay healthy come game time. Even spring game time. He had a tremendous spring practice by all accounts and the accolades of the Ed Conway Award, but was a scratch for the spring game. Here’s hoping come September 2, he can be out on the field for more then just one game.

Qadree Ollison got more carries, but Chawntez Moss was more productive at RB  in the spring game. As the article notes, Coach Pat Narduzzi and the offensive assistants talks of spreading the wealth, but do tend to lean heavily on one back once the season starts.

April 17, 2017

Hope everyone had a good Easter weekend. My son and I went to the Spring Game on Saturday — I’ll get to that subject a bit later this week.

On late Friday evening it leaked out that Pitt was no longer the destination of guard Troy Simons. Simons was the leading scorer in all of junior college and a native of Pittsburgh. He had committed to Pitt back in March.

Simons is now looking hard at New Mexico.

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April 13, 2017

Awkward Holding Pattern

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting,Transfer — Chas @ 7:37 am

Sorry about the gap in posting. As usual, I put off doing the taxes until the final week. And naturally, that coincided with a crunch week of 12-hour work days.

There’s not much to really write about what is happening in Pitt basketball at the moment. Pitt is pursuing transfers — grad and regular — visits are on the table. Yet, it doesn’t seem like anything is happening. Even as it also feels like a period of total chaos and a desperate need for something. Anything to happen.

The team for next year will not have one returning starter. A recruiting class that is sevendeep, and it still isn’t enough. There are still rumors of at least one more possible transfer out of the program. I mean, at least it isn’t Memphis, but this is still a mess (or as Pat Forde put it as an aside in a column about this year’s coaching hire — “blooming disaster”).

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