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February 26, 2007

While lurking around the message boards over at Panther Digest, I came across the link to an interesting interview a few days ago with H.B. Blades. I hate to look back at the season that was, especially how it ended, but perhaps Blades knows why some things happened that maybe shouldn’t have.

HOW FRUSTRATING WAS IT THAT PITT STRUGGLED THE LAST TWO YEARS AFTER BEING IN A BCS BOWL GAME AS A SOPHOMORE?
“Personally, it was heartbreaking. You play this game to win, especially as much as you put into it through spring ball and winter conditioning and the summer camp, then to go .500 or don’t even make a bowl game, it’s heartbreaking. It was one of those things that just happened. There was adversity, so I appreciate things a little bit more when they happen. We went to the BCS game my sophomore and then we got kind of complacent. It was one of those things where we had guys that weren’t thinking about the games. They were thinking about what they were going to do after college football.”

The last two lines that I bolded there are the key. The only guys who should have had NFL thoughts were Revis, Palko, and Blades himself. I’m pretty sure none of those guys mailed it in early. I’d love to be a fly on the wall of the locker room there to see what guys weren’t focused on Pitt games and instead were looking towards the next level.

It should also be known that Paul Rhoads likes a good cry or two.

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PAUL RHOADS AND CURTIS BRAY?
“Coach Rhoads is very intense. He will be there for us, he will cry with us, he will make you want to play for him. Coach Bray was more humble and laid back.”

It’s probably safe to assume that even the mention of the name “Rhoads” will start some sort of outlash towards him.

Get It While It’s Hot

Filed under: Basketball,Internet,Media,NCAA Tourney — Dennis @ 3:18 pm

No doubt you’ve seen some sort of ad for this: March Madness On Demand from CBS where you can watch streaming video of games from outside of your viewing network online for free. I used it last year and enjoyed it since I don’t have any extra TV packages for the March Madness holiday. To sign up early for a “VIP pass” to avoid waiting time when the games actually roll around, go here. I don’t believe you’ll be able to watch Pitt games at work using this however due to certain restrictions. My solution: just stay home!

Also on that page is a countdown with days, hours, minutes, and seconds to Selection Sunday. Yes, I’m excited.

A Note To Pitt Fans

Filed under: Basketball,Fans,General Stupidity,Media — Dennis @ 8:31 am

Last weekend when Vanderbuilt upset Florida in that wacko gym they have down there in Neashville, the fans rushed the court. I didn’t have a huge problem with it and still don’t, even though the media promptly took some shots at the Vandy students; it really hurt that the SEC has a rule against it and therefore they cost the athletic department some money. Vandy isn’t a horrible team (the win was enough to propel them into the Top 25) but it’s not everyday that you defeat the current #1 and defending champion team.

Then on Tuesday, the Michigan State fans stormed the court after #1/2 Wisconsin went down. More people voiced their displeasure.

Finally, yesterday’#1 vs. #1 (sort of) game went down in Columbus. Ohio State beat Wisconsin by one point in a good game that came down to the final shot — and the fans ran out onto the court. To be honest, it was a lazy “should we or should we not” court rushing but it still happened. And it wasn’t like a few dozen dumb kids ran out. There were plenty of people who decided to do it.

Bottom line: Pitt fans, never rush the court. Never. Ever. Over the last eight years, we’ve become one of the best basketball programs in the nation. At some point (speaking in a matter of years, not anytime soon) we won’t be in the Top 25 but if, during that time, we beat a team like UConn or Syracuse that is ranked #1, it is still not enough to rush the court. Thankfully it hasn’t happened during this eight year period because our fans aren’t stupid enough, so let’s keep it that way.

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