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January 22, 2007

An Uneasy Monday

Filed under: Basketball,Big East,Conference,Opponent(s),Players — Dennis @ 11:41 am

Chas handled all of the media views and opinions but here are a few more after yesterday’s loss.

I’ll start by asking a question open to anyone and everyone; does Aaron Gray have blocks of cement for hands? He has the hardest time grasping the ball firmly and pulling it in. Generally he tries to tip it up to himself or just has it bounce right off and go to a defender or out of bounds.

And then there’s the unlucky aspect to yesterday, quoting commenter JLA in the game open thread.

What drives me nuts is watching a team bury deep threes OFF THE BACKBOARD. Banked 3-pt shots are a sign of bad luck for Pitt.

Was anyone able to hear what Dixon said to warrant the technical foul? Perhaps someone was there and sits somewhere relatively close to the Pitt bench? Usually Jamie is able to keep his cool under the most frustrating situations at times when I would have taken a chair from the scorer’s table and assaulted the ref.

It also seems there might have been some sort of problems down in the Zoo according to the Oakland Zoo Blog.

To everybody who threw their towels on the court you realize in basketball they give out technical fouls for s*** like that. Thats two free points to the other team. I was pissed too but I don’t want us to give up two points for it. Say whatever you want I’m not going to be the one who gives you crap for that but when the Zoo is putting us in danger of losing points on the court it has to stop. It stopped for the most part in the second half but it shouldn’t happen at all.

The headlines after the game were stupid, as pointed out over at Cracked Sidewalks. For example, ESPN went with “Marquette blows big lead but stuns No. 6 Pitt in OT.” Yeah, losing to a team ranked 24th in one poll and 29th in another and with a top 30 RPI is a complete stunner. So if we were to lose to South Florida then what it that called? A “suicide inducer”?

As Chas stated earlier, Levance Fields played well below where he should have been yesterday. Add Mike Cook to that list, mainly for the fact that he’s our best guy driving to the hoop but he looked reluctant to do it yesterday.

Since I am not able to read Ronald Ramon’s mind (at least not yet) I believe he was on his way up to shoot a three pointer and therefore should have been awarded three foul shots instead of the two on the double bonus. I doubt he was going to try to pass it with that little time left on the clock and we could have won right there in regulation if he hit three FT’s.

After all of that, being down for so long then finally forcing overtime, we had a one point lead and the ball with 20 seconds left in the OT. On top of all that, we were coming out of a timeout with something drawn up, but as Dixon claims, “It just didn’t go the way we wanted it to.”

Lastly, it would be impossible to not say “great job” to both Ramon and James for their clutch foul shots.

One other thing about this game, I think playing our three biggest home games of the year in a one week period did not help. The atmosphere yesterday in the Pete was tremendous, but I think it didn’t give us as much of a lift because of the Georgetown and UCONN games. I wish we could have spread these games out. The players would have fed off the crowd a bit more if that was the case.

The whole “we have beaten a ranked team argument is nonsense”, in my opinion. How many ranked teams have Ohio State (none), Florida (1 versus Ohio State), UNC (1 versus Ohio State), or Alabama beaten, let alone played? Secondly, who cares if you beat a ranked team in January. March is what matters. We clearly demonstrated in 2 out of 3 losses that we are very capable of beating a ranked team. In fact, yesterday we played like shit for 30 out of 40 minutes and still managed to send the game to overtime. We still get to play Marquette again. I had already planned to go to Milaukee for that one and now I am even more psyched.

Comment by Omar 01.22.07 @ 12:31 pm

Omar I agree. The sky is not falling. We played horrible yesterday, yet, when it came down to it we still almost won.

Comment by DAN 01.22.07 @ 12:40 pm

refs should not be as big a factor as they were yesterday. Can’t bail James out when his shot is cleanly blocked–and some of the calls on Gray were riduculous. Good cameback from 9 pts down-unlike the football team, this team never quits. Losing this game is not that big of a deal-we were too sloppy with the ball. Ever since we had the top assist to turnover rate in the country, we have been laxadaisical with the ball. Levance has had 2 off games in a row–he has to be more confident in handling pressure–hell, he played in NYC so he must be used to it!!Ramon should have been the guy with the ball in our last possession-either take the shot or get fouled. Aaron is not the guy you want at the foul line at the end of the game.

Comment by tph60 01.22.07 @ 1:13 pm

apparently no one thinks this loss was that bad cause we are still in the top 10 in both polls

Comment by DAN 01.22.07 @ 2:14 pm

Right on Dan, and we’re ranked ahead of Duke. Just how bad are we?

Comment by TMGPanther 01.22.07 @ 2:56 pm

I love how people are flaunting this “0-3 vs ranked teams” BS, without looking at the actual games. It’s lies, damn lies, and statistics.

We lost (handily, yes) a game at a place where practically nobody ever wins; at a team that was 1,500 miles away in 2OT; and by 1 in OT to the second best team in our conference.

And the combined record of these three teams?

Exactly, Dan, the sky isn’t falling.

Comment by Aaron 01.22.07 @ 3:32 pm

I am really beginning to hate Marquette’s coach and fans. Crean is an asshole, simply. I can’t wait for the rematch.

2 times in 3 games versus Marquette, A. Gray has missed two key free throws. Last year he could have sent the game into OT and this year he would have given us a commanding lead in OT. The third time is the charm hopefully.

Comment by Omar 01.22.07 @ 3:40 pm

As an addendum, we’re 3-3 vs the RPI Top 50, which is more Top 50 wins than 95% of the teams out there. The “record vs. ranked teams” stat really means jack in terms of a resume for the tournament.

I guess the polls really don’t mean much to me after the last few years of being shafted by the committee, albeit having a high poll ranking.

Comment by Aaron 01.22.07 @ 3:40 pm

The selection committee will also look at our resume and see we are 6-0 against teams ranked 50-100 in the RPI. We are going to lose games, however, we are not losing games to bad teams.

Comment by DAN 01.22.07 @ 4:00 pm

Ramon is playing like the best player on this team, dixon needs to get him more minutes and more looks for him to knock down those 3’s. Kendall is playing sooo bad this year its crazy i dont understand what happned from last year to this year and the fact that he gets so much credit is really starting to get old

Comment by max 01.22.07 @ 4:03 pm

Kendall is not playing bad if you factor in his entire play. He is a solid post defender and good rebounder/passer. Just because he can’t shoot doesn’t make him bad. He just needs to know that he shouldn’t shoot the ball unless he is putting back a rebound or has an easy layup. If that was the case, he would not hurt us offensively. As for this team, I’m glad things are not going their way now. The “law of averages” tells me that it will happen at some point. I’m just hoping it is in MARCH!!

Comment by TWhite 01.22.07 @ 9:34 pm

Thirteen of the teams in the AP top 25 lost at least one game last week

Comment by TMGPanther 01.22.07 @ 10:26 pm

Call me bad but this team does not play consistently. I believe team wise they are deficient D wise and overconfident/lackadasical O wise.

I love U Pitt but I always leave that at the door of reason. I am hoping that they prove me wrong but as they are now, they will not go far in the tourney. A tourney where almost every team will be good and have the ability to expose this team’s weaknesses.

Comment by Kenny 01.23.07 @ 9:12 am

Kenny what team is always consistent? We have had 3 bad nights out of 20. That is pretty damn good. Secondly, the tournament is all about getting hot. You will find no one who would say Florida was the best team in the nation during the middle or the end of the regular season. They hit their stride during the tournament as all great teams do. If we can get hot at the right time there is no reason we cannot get to the Final Four.

Comment by DAN 01.23.07 @ 9:25 am

If you go back and look at those games, can you honestly say that in those 17 wins they were consistent both O and D wise in most of those games?

Also, as for getting hot in the tourney, yes a team needs to be hot BUT being hot is facilitated by having consistent play during and just as important before the tourney.

I am not placing my hopes on this team getting hot before the tourney. The only hope I have for this team is that they grow in consistency, play smart, hard, selfless ball every game, and realize that aint no one giving them a pass.

Comment by Kenny 01.23.07 @ 12:41 pm

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