February 2, 2004

More Krauser Hype

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chas @ 9:58 pm

Last week there was lots of love for Krauser. It continues in the New York Times.

“My favorite player in the world, right here,” said Krauser, the point guard of the seventh-ranked Pittsburgh Panthers. “I love Isiah Thomas because he’s such a competitive person. He steps on a court, he wants to win. If he’s in a business suit, he wants to win. I want to meet him and get his autograph.”

Krauser, who has a few things in common with Thomas, the Knicks’ president of basketball operations, may have that opportunity in March at the Big East tournament in Madison Square Garden. Krauser’s Panthers will stop at the Garden to defend their conference tournament championship on the way to the N.C.A.A. tournament.

It will be interesting to see how he plays after a week of pub in Sports Illustrated and the Times.

Recruiting Waiting and Tension

Filed under: Uncategorized — Chas @ 9:53 pm

It’s all needless speculation as signing day is getting closer. No one knows where in Pennsylvania Morelli is going.

JoePa: Is PSU gonna steel Morelli or what??

Tom Lemming: With five QBs already committed, Penn State is not completely sold on any of them. A couple could play DB and could be switched if Morelli ends up at Penn State. It still looks 50/50 between the Panthers and Nittany Lions.

And Morelli seems worried about starting behind Palko and Getsy? He’s getting a lot more of the soap opera attention, when Pitt’s real concern should be Andrew Johnson, given the need at running back. He hasn’t said much other than to eliminate Ohio St. from his list. It will be Pitt, Miami or Florida.

Our recruiting arguments are now repeated in Smizik’s column.

There’s simply no fool-proof method of evaluating high school talent, regardless of how many “gurus” are out there claiming to do just that. For every touted sensation who lives up to his billing, like Larry Fitzgerald, there are several others who disappear. Likewise, there are virtually unknown and passed-over talents, like Antonio Bryant, who become outstanding players.

There’s no figuring the day, not by anyone, which usually means it’s not the grandest and most significant day in college football, but the most overrated.

But not this year, not in Pittsburgh.

For the University of Pittsburgh and for coach Walt Harris there never has been a more meaningful letter of intent day.

These are trying times for Pitt. Not only did their season fail to live up to expectations, but the departures from the Big East Conference of Miami and Virginia Tech have left that league with a considerably lower status. Recruits suddenly see Pitt as less attractive. Facilities are important, and Pitt has facilities, but the ability to compete for the national championship, to play in front of packed stadiums and to appear regularly in meaningful games on television are just as or more important.

This sounds familiar.

Consequently, and not surprisingly, recruiting has become more difficult. Most notably, the two prime recruits from Western Pennsylvania, quarterback Anthony Morelli of Penn Hills and running back Andrew Johnson of North Hills, have visited other schools after earlier verbally committing to Pitt. Additionally, three recruits from Florida, wide receiver Johnny Peyton, tight end-quarterback Darrell Strong and defensive back Alphonso Smith, also are said to be looking elsewhere after committing to Pitt.

Morelli and Johnson are the keys. If they sign with Pitt, the recruiting season is a success and the perception remains that Pitt controls its own back yard and that big-time players will still enroll there.

Very familiar.

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