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January 20, 2018

4pm

ACC Network Affiliates or ACCDN/WatchESPN.

I went to the dentist on Tuesday, after a couple years. Not good, I know. No cavities or major issues, though. As I’m getting scraped down, however, the dentist tells me that my molars look rather worn down. She asks if I grind my teeth when I sleep or in general. No. I don’t. Never been an issue as far as I’ve known.

After a trip to the dentist, naturally you are more aware of everything involving your teeth and mouth for at least a day. As I was watching the Pitt-Syracuse game that same night, guess what I realized I was doing? Yep. Pitt basketball the last couple of years has had me in the most literal sense, grinding my teeth. One more thing to blame on Scott Barnes.

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January 17, 2018

Pitt 2018 Football Schedule

Filed under: Football,Schedule — Chas @ 3:10 pm

We’ve known the opponents for a while. Just not the order.

We now have the order. Other then the ND game, times are TBA.

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Offense Continues to Exist Only In Theory

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:35 am

A 14-point loss in an ACC game for Pitt is nothing shocking. Sure the final score of 59-45 is on the stupid low side. Even for Pitt, but Pitt has now dropped to 0-6 in the ACC with the average margin of defeat being about 17 points.

But if you put yourself through the pain of watching this game on a Tuesday night after 9pm (Eastern). Well, you know that this was a game Pitt could have won. And, forgive me for going cliche, the game was a lot closer then the final score indicated.

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January 16, 2018

Open Thread: Pitt-Syracuse, What’s Next

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 7:28 pm

9pm.

Various RSNs and WatchESPN.

The quest to achieve 0-ACC continues.

For the last two games Pitt has come out to the court either unwilling or unprepared to play. Maybe they can be excused for being blitzed by Duke. But to follow that up with a 21-1 hole over the first 6 minutes or so against Georgia Tech? Nah.

All too often — even in a few of the non-con wins — this team has come out completely unprepared. Coach Kevin Stallings has rightfully taken the blame for these bad starts, but has yet to offer any solution.

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January 13, 2018

2pm.

ACC Network Affiliates (if lucky) or ACCNetwork Extra/WatchESPN.

As you know by now, Ryan Luther is out for the season. Pitt seems confident that he will be given a medical hardship waiver for an additional year, as the NCAA seems to have gotten a little more relaxed over the years (still bitterly seething over the rejection of Mike Cook’s waiver).

“It hurts not to be out on the court and in practice with my teammates,” Luther said in a statement. “We have a good young core of players that I believe are going to continue to improve each day.

“I was hopeful that the latest MRI would show solid improvement in the foot, but it was pretty clear that it has not responded well enough to return to action without the threat of it becoming a stress fracture like last season.

“I am going to apply for a medical hardship and hope to remain at the University of Pittsburgh for another season. I love my coaches and teammates and believe in what we are building. This university and the city of Pittsburgh are home to me. I am anxious to get healthy and look forward to doing something special here next season.”

Said Stallings: “Ryan’s injury has not responded as well as we had hoped, and our medical team has recommended shutting him down for the remainder of the season. I know Ryan is frustrated with the injuries to the foot the past two years, but everyone involved agrees that it is in his best interest to rest the foot and allow it adequate time to make a complete recovery.”

It makes sense for the program as far as this year to next. It also makes what was already a tough, transition season filled with losses all the worse.

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January 11, 2018

With A Clang

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:27 am

Welp.

It’s not a good thing when the best you can come up with is, “It wasn’t the biggest beatdown in the Stallings era.”

The turnovers kept happening. The rebounding was bad. I keep trying to tell myself, that those things aren’t likely to significantly change this year. It doesn’t really work as the frustration with those things build every time I watch… but I keep trying.

Against a team like Duke that doesn’t turn the ball over and does get over offensive rebounds. That’s going to create a tremendous differential in shot attempts. Hence, why I said Pitt needed its offense to get in gear for this game.

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January 10, 2018

7pm ESPN2.

Okay, this is possibly the worst Duke team defensively under Mike Krzyzewski. It is also, quite possibly the best offensive team he’s ever had. Frankly, Duke has just overwhelmed opponents on offense.

Pitt, for all the love other coaches give Kevin Stallings for his skills regarding offenses, is not a good offense. In no small part to the problem of turnovers at a ridiculous rate. Something that destroys any offensive rhythm and efficiency.

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Hold On To The Damn Ball

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 8:41 am

There was some good news from the VT game on Saturday. Players found some range from outside the arc more consistently. There was a lot more fight inside for rebounds. Despite the final score looking like a blowout, Pitt kept it tight most of the way.

Turnovers, though… Jeez. I don’t know what to say right now. This team just does not take care of the ball.

Turnovers yet again undid the young Panthers. In a losing effort, they were forced into 17 miscues, off of which the Hokies got 22 points. A Virginia Tech team that thrives at a quick pace was regularly handed opportunities for fast breaks and easy baskets.

For Pitt, it’s not a one-game exception, either. In its past four games, the last three of which have come against ACC teams, it has been forced into 72 turnovers, an average of 18 per game. Those 72 turnovers have come on a combined 281 possessions, meaning 25.6 percent of its trips down the court have ended in a turnover. On the season, Pitt has turned it over on 21.8 percent of its possessions, the 44th-worst mark among 351 Division I teams.

Perhaps no Pitt player has struggled with turnovers more consistently than Carr, in part because the freshman point guard has the ball in his hands more than most any other player on the team. He has been forced into turnovers on 28 percent of the possessions in which he is on the court and was forced into six turnovers against Virginia Tech, the sixth time in 16 games he has had at least five turnovers.

I don’t even know where to begin.

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January 8, 2018

Last week was a surprisingly active week for Pitt football. Players left the program and it’s time to find a new coordinator.

After the early signing period, Pitt was over the 85 scholarship player. That meant transfers were on the way. It was just a matter of who and when.

That day came on Friday.

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January 6, 2018

12 pm

ACC Network Affiliates, ACCDN/WatchESPN.

Says something about the match-up when this game is listed as the ACC Network game for 12pm, and the affiliate stations are a lot sparser then usual. It really says something when the local ACC affiliate in Cleveland (WUAB) isn’t carrying the game. Why? Because the station in question is owned directly by Raycom, and the ACC Network syndication is produced and distributed by Raycom.

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January 3, 2018

In an otherwise predictable loss by Pitt to Louisville, there was the added bonus of Coach Kevin Stallings getting into it with a fan or two near the end of the game.

During the second half, with the game well out of reach, Stallings reacted to a fan near his team’s bench who the Pitt coach said was saying “something bad” about his players. At a certain point, Stallings responded, according to various reports, by saying “At least we didn’t pay our guys $100,000.”

“We’re down, the game’s over with; you don’t need to insult kids that are out there trying to fight hard and do their best,” Stallings said after the game. “I should have chosen some different words, but I’m not going to let people take shots at our players.”

When asked, the second-year Pitt coach declined to elaborate what the fan said about his players.

“That’s enough,” Stallings said.

I know, color me shocked as well that a coach who has a history of outbursts that get caught on a mike did so once more.

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January 2, 2018

9pm.

ESPNU.

Fun fact. Pitt hasn’t won a game at the Yum! Center (0-6). Kind of makes me feel even less sympathetic that the place is a giant sucking vacuum of debt for the City of Louisville, even with the Cards giving back some. Not that the City or the University can feel great about the long-term costs. Especially in the short-term damage from finally having to part ways with Rick Pitino.

Speaking of Louisville and more fallout from the scandal. (Which completely beats talking about the actual game.)

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December 30, 2017

Open Thread: Miami-Pitt, Almost New Years

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 12:45 pm

4pm.

Regional TV broadcasts if lucky, or ACC Network Extra/WatchESPN.

It’s this or hate watch the Fiesta Bowl (Go Huskies!).

A belated Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas. And an early, Happy New Year.

Sorry to have been away, yet again. Been more then a little crazy. Including few days of squirrel madness. A squirrel getting into the attic the day after Christmas, eventually finding it’s way to the basement before going back up to the attic. Culminating in trapping it last night.

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December 23, 2017

Pitt Beats Towson — Yay?

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 11:14 am

So many conflicting emotions over this game. Towson is a good team this year. They were a top-100 KenPom.com team. A top contender in the Colonial — one of the better mid-major conferences. They were the legitimate favorites in the game. This was Pitt’s first win over what could be considered a quality opponent.

On the other hand…

It’s still playing Towson. And pardon the elitism or snobbery, but that’s a hard mental block no matter how young, inexperienced and not particularly good Pitt is this year. Pitt had to comeback multiple times. The fact that Pitt was a home dog against them is more then a little troubling even with Ryan Luther on the shelf.

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December 20, 2017

Early Signing Day Is Mostly Done

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 8:10 am

The race  to get those faxes in first is amusing. They started rolling in right away at the 7 am Eastern starting time. A little more then an hour later and over half the verbals have made it official.

Pitt has a page on the website to see videos and pics of all players who have gone beyond verbal.

Hey, it beats thinking about how Pitt almost blew the game against Delaware State last night.

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