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February 26, 2007

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.

Two posts down, one of the commenters mentioned in an excellent report on the Gtown game that he is tired of seeing Cook’s rants on or near the sideline.

Having gone through nearly a whole season, I have to wonder what Cook has brought to this team? He is not the slasher/scorer he was supposed to be. And that’s mostly because he is just not explosive. He can get to the hoop, but he can’t elevate over or go through bigger players. That’s obvious.

His defense seems to have improved, but he still seems to get caught too often on screens and lets his man get open shots.

Often, though, he is in the game, but you’d hardly know it. I even see some reluctance by Fields at times pass Cook the ball.

He has his moments, like early in the second Gtown game, and we would not have beaten Gtown the first time without him, but other than that one performance, he just doesn’t seem to get it. I know this is his first season, but he sat out last year and watched how Dixon operates and you would think he would understand by now how he can be most effective. But he just seems to go about doing the same old thing.

It will be interesting to see what happens next year. I had hopes this year that Benjamin might emerge and be the impact player Cook was supposed to be, but clearly that’s not the case.

Hopefully Dixon can get sit down with these guys, talk through the mental issues, the playing time issues, and they can reach some agreement on what they need to do collectively to make that elusive run in the tourney.

Comment by Carmen 02.26.07 @ 8:49 am

I more or less agree. To be fair, and to his credit he has looked much, much better over the past several games. Still nowhere near the hype the year or so leading up to this season. Perhaps he’s a “victim” of unrealistic expectations.

Comment by B.B. 02.26.07 @ 9:09 am

Completely agree on rushing the court. You shouldn’t give another team that much credit and you shouldn’t discredit yourself. To me, the same is true of the “Over-Rated” chant. Don’t do that either.

Comment by Shablinky 02.26.07 @ 9:52 am

Absolutely agree on the Cook points. The interesting thing is going to be whether Dixon breaks his pattern and plays Brown and the recruits in front of Cook next year.

As I’ve mentioned in other posts, it’s Cook’s play against a zone that kills Pitt. He’s no threat from the outside and gets called for travelling when he tries to drive. Having him out there completely shuts down Pitt’s zone offense. When you combine the fact that he’s under-sized at the 3man and isn’t a strong rebounder or defender, it seems like the only thing he does well is play offense when he’s guarded man-to-man…..and that’s not enough.

Comment by tiger paul 02.26.07 @ 10:36 am

“Over the last eight years, we’ve become one of the best basketball programs in the nation”?????

How many national championships were won in that time period??
How about, how many final four appearances???
Even, how many elite eight appearances???

To say we have become one of the bests, you have to beat the best, this program has become very good – but not one of the bests!!

Comment by paulhackett 02.26.07 @ 11:55 am

Look at the overall records of all the b-ball programs in the country. Combined with Pitt’s tourney record, Pitt is easily in the top twenty programs, out of over 300. That, by any standard, is “one of the best.”
Also, I agree with don’t rush the court.

Comment by crackbaldo 02.26.07 @ 12:40 pm

Sorry to yet again hijack the same thread with an off-topic comment/question, but I’ll be in D.C. tomorrow for work and wanted to know if there are any spots where people get together to watch the game? I usually just watched at home or at a local sports bar in Bethesda when I lived there, but I’ll be searching out the game tomorrow night, so figured I’d ask.

Comment by Carmen 02.26.07 @ 12:45 pm


I would contact the dc alumni chpater..they are pretty active down there.

Comment by scoocher 02.26.07 @ 12:49 pm

So, Paul, you’d consider Bradley, Pacific, and Kent State to be better _programs_ than us, because they all made it one step further in the tourney then we did the last few years? I wouldn’t exactly label those guys the “best”.

On freak year doesn’t make you “the best” either – so, there’s OK State and Marquette for you (although both those schools happed to be very good basketball schools – we just hit them at their absolute peak of the last 10-15 years when we played them).

In essence – because we’ve run into a bad matchup, gotten screwed by the selection committee, or been outplayed by a freak athlete (Wade) in a couple of games, we’re not a great program? Please.

Comment by Aaron 02.26.07 @ 12:50 pm

On a related note to Carmen’s post, we should definitely have a Pitt Blather meetup for the DC contingency on this board – for a tourney game at a bar somewhere? It sounds like there are a decent number of us.

Comment by Aaron 02.26.07 @ 12:55 pm

wow, i missed where i said that Bradley, Pacific, and Kent State are better and probably nobody has heard those programs called on of the bests. I said the program is very good! “one of the bests” is just a very strong statement….

Oh, and please cut the crap with the excuses “In essence – because we’ve run into a bad matchup, gotten screwed by the selection committee, or been outplayed by a freak athlete (Wade) in a couple of games”…….

How about this……..WIN, go far into the march madness…….

Comment by paulhackett 02.26.07 @ 1:15 pm

For those in the DC area: Join fellow alumni at Finn mac Cools on Tuesday, February 27th to watch Pitt take on West Virginia. Finn mac Cools is located at 713 8th Street SE, two blocks from the Eastern Market Metro. Parking is available on 8th street and also in the residential areas.

Not sure if game-watching will take place on the main level of the bar or upstairs.

Comment by Cris 02.26.07 @ 1:17 pm

Im also in DC. As Cris posted, the DC alumni chapter often meets at Finn Mac Cools for almost all of the games. Its up near Capitol Hill although I’ve never been there for a game.

Comment by Rex 02.26.07 @ 1:48 pm

If anyone is interested, maybe we should get together somewhere in DC for the last game against Marquette? Or just join the alumni club at their bar (they havent listed that they are planning a get together for Marquette yet though).

Comment by Rex 02.26.07 @ 1:51 pm

I really don’t see THAT much wrong with rushing the court.

I mean, should we just go ahead and take every last ounce of emotion out of sport?

Now granted, you shouldn’t do it excessively and you definitely shouldn’t hurt anyone.

But if you just scored a huge upset over a great team, and the emotion takes over and no one gets hurt, it’s just good clean fun to me.

Comment by Jimbo Covert's my dad 02.26.07 @ 2:09 pm

Btw, if you are in the DC area tonight the women’s team plays G’town @ 7:30. Head Coach Agnus Berenato will talk to Pitt fans before the game (6:00, I think).

Comment by Cris 02.26.07 @ 2:21 pm

Weird. I was at Finn Mac for a happy hour last time I was in town . Hopefully I’ll get out of work in time to make it down there.

Comment by Carmen 02.26.07 @ 2:29 pm

i rushed the field when we beat Miami at old pitt stadium way back when and was part of the group trying to take the goalpost out into oakland.

does that make me a bad person?

Comment by cousin j 02.26.07 @ 3:02 pm

In case everyone hasnt already seen, Pitt has tumbled to #12 in both polls – I believe thats the first time we’ve dropped out of the top ten this season.

Comment by Rex 02.26.07 @ 3:16 pm

You people are looking into this rushing the court thing way too far. It’s fun for students to rush the court. As long as no one gets hurt, who cares about anything else.

Comment by Chris 02.26.07 @ 3:35 pm

i rushed the field… does that make me a bad person? cousin j : maybe/ maybe not. good question

Comment by Neil 02.26.07 @ 4:27 pm

“How about this……..WIN, go far into the march madness…….”

Yes, but by infering that we’re not one of the best because we haven’t gotten to any of the levels of nat’l champ, final four, or elite eight, you’re saying that teams that HAVE gotten there must have a step-up on our status as a program right? Or am I missing something?

Hey, Kent State’s gotten to an elite eight!

In all seriousness, though. My point, and perhaps I did put it too harshly, was this: perhaps Pitt’s individual TEAMS fell way short of being the best TEAM – but as a collective PROGRAM, I don’t doubt they are one of the best in the country.

Also, I can make any excuse I want for this team. Growing up in upstate New York, it comes from cheering for Syracuse for so many years – you just get really, really adept at making excuses. And if that wasn’t bad enough, my freshman year at Pitt, when I had finally, after so many years, gave up and switched my allegances to another Big East team – Syracuse won it all without me. So you know what? I’ll make as many excuses as I want, thanks.

Comment by Aaron 02.26.07 @ 4:58 pm

I would put the program around 20-25. AS far as rushing the court, it’s embarrasing to give a team that much credit some times but also (and this is not counting the people on this board) most Pitt fans are total bandwagon and not that into basketball. For as much as I hear about the Zoo, well, I can tell you when I was at Pitt no students even went to the games and the team couldn’t even fill Fitzgerald. Yes, they sucked but that shit doesn’t happen at other “best” programs. You’d like to at some point see the fans into it enough that a court rush would be an outpouring of emotion for a big win. Of course, we’re going to first have to beat a team at home that we’re not favored against and there ain’t too many teams of that caliber.

Comment by J-Maile 02.26.07 @ 6:07 pm

The only time you should rush the court: you are a directional school that just upset a team ranked in the top 5. Your team will never do better, that is your superbowl, go ahead rush the court.

Real programs (top 25 year in and year out) should NEVER rush the court. It is an embarassment to your school. I’ve NEVER even heard of students rushing a court after beating a school ranked LOWER in a poll than you – OSU fans and alumni should be embarassed. You’re number one – you’re SUPPOSED to win that game.

Our football team was terrible when we upset miami, who was a good program at the time, and we came from behind, that is why we rushed the field.

Comment by Stuart 02.27.07 @ 1:01 am

Notre Dame’s preseason court rush against Alabama may have been the most embarrasing of all time.

Comment by J-Maile 02.27.07 @ 6:18 am

The comment about no rushing the court in the last eight years is not accurate.

When I was a freshman at Pitt during the 2001-2002 season, the student section rushed the court in a packed Fitzgerald Fieldhouse after the unranked Pitt basketball team defeated the then-ranked Syracuse team. It was a big win for the program, and to this day remains one of my most memorable moments as a student-fan. For those here who are concerned about student pride, this was the kind of event that generated excitement and interest on campus.

Comment by Ben 03.02.07 @ 2:14 am

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