January 14, 2007

LeSean McCoy Verbals

Filed under: Coaches,Football,Recruiting,Wannstedt — Chas @ 9:42 pm

A big game atmosphere, an electric crowd at the Pete, and fans letting him know he’s wanted badly would appear to have been the final thing to get RB LeSean McCoy to give his verbal to Pitt. Granted, McCoy could change his mind again — especially if he the game helped push his decision over the top, since that could recede and/or you know he could get caught up in the excitement of a Penn State women’s basketball game. Suffice to say, there will be questions about the strength of his verbal until signing day.

I wonder if that will change the minds at all of other RB verbals such as Xavier Stinson, Greg Williams and/or Shariff Harris. Something to watch, I suppose. McCoy, is ranked as a 4-Star recruit by and the 10th best prep school prospect (his teammate at Milford, RB Graig Cooper is ranked as the #1 prep prospect). has him as a 5-star recruit and the #8 RB prospect for 2007.

It will be interesting to see the impact on the recruiting class rankings when updated in the next day or so.

That was the big thing people were taking away from what Pitt did last night.

It’s a chicken vs. egg argument.

Are Pittsburgh’s shooters hitting so many 3-pointers because center Aaron Gray is so dominant? Or is the Panther big man so dominant because his guards are knocking down those outside shots?

It doesn’t matter much to seventh-ranked Pitt, but its opponents would love to know the secret.

“They are balanced in every sense of the word,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said of the Panthers.

“They can put three or four shooters around Gray,” Thompson continued. “It’s hard to focus on Gray because you could leave a terrific shooter.”

Andy Katz from also wrote of the balance.

The reason Pitt is in this position? The Panthers are the most experienced and balanced team in the Big East. That may or may not equate to a No. 1 seed or a Final Four run. But if you look at the Big East, who has as complete a team as the Panthers?

The box score is fascinating in the pace of the game was actually quite slow. Under 100 shots taken in the game. Yet because both Pitt and Georgetown were shooting and executing their offense so well, it was a very high scoring game despite not a lot of possessions. Pitt and G-town regularly ran plenty of time off the clock, but few turnovers and not even much fouling.

It really was a tremendously well-played game by both teams.

“I just know that’s a very, very good team,” said Thompson, when asked if he ever had a team shoot 60 percent and lose. “I don’t think we played poorly. When you make a mistake, they capitalize on it. It seems like every mistake you make, they capitalize on it. At both ends of the floor, that’s a very deep and experienced team.”

It was so well-played that on the rare times that Pitt or Georgetown would actually fail to score on consecutive possessions you would get nervous for your side. It leaves Pitt as the only unbeaten in Big East conference play. Even Bob Smizik seems encouraged.

About the closest to a “negative” would be that the anticipated battle of the big men didn’t materialize as both Pitt and Georgetown play as a team and know to keep everyone involved. Of course, someone has to be a little down on Gray not dominating as anticipated this season.

More later.

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