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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.





I know when I hear the name Rhoads, I start to cry too.

Comment by Jeff 02.26.07 @ 4:28 pm

Jeff, you wrote exactly what I was thinking. My crying usually then turned to screaming.

Comment by frankinchicago 02.26.07 @ 4:40 pm

its easy to cry when you give up 500 yards rushing.

Comment by Rex 02.26.07 @ 6:03 pm

Not to go off topic, but doesn’t Syracuse’s win over Georgetown tonight put us right back in the Big East regular season title hunt?

Comment by Jimbo Covert's my dad 02.26.07 @ 9:02 pm

Not to go off topic, but doesn’t Syracuse’s win over Georgetown tonight put us right back in the Big East regular season title hunt?

Comment by Jimbo Covert's my dad 02.26.07 @ 9:02 pm

Georgetown’s loss only helps us if we win both remaining games and they lose their last game (I think at home against St. John’s)

Comment by Ann B. 02.26.07 @ 9:14 pm

Gt’s last game is against UCONN on saturday

Comment by TMGPanther 02.26.07 @ 9:19 pm

Sorry, Georgetown plays UCONN.

Comment by Ann B. 02.26.07 @ 9:20 pm

Was anyone else not surprised that Georgetown lost to Syracuse tonight? Syracuse needed the game to make the tournament and Georgetown was coming off Saturday’s big win.

Comment by Sean 02.26.07 @ 9:43 pm

its a rivalry game..typically good games..check out the tie breaker formula-lawyer in the house?

link to cstv.com

Comment by scoocher 02.26.07 @ 10:09 pm

Ann B. is wrong. There are no tie-breakers for the regular season title. Tie-breakers count only for BET seeding purposes.

Basically, we win last two, we clinch a share of the regular season title, regardless of what GT does.

Comment by baudolino 02.26.07 @ 10:13 pm

Syracuse beats Georgetown by 14 points. The Hoyas shoot 29.8% overall (6-25 from three). Why couldn’t they have a shooting performance like that against us?

Comment by Omar 02.26.07 @ 10:23 pm

what’s the tie breaker for the Big East basketball regular season championship…or are they just co-champs?

Comment by Marco 02.26.07 @ 11:55 pm

Just co-champs. NO TIE BREAKERS FOR THE REGULAR SEASON TITLE.

Comment by baudolino 02.27.07 @ 12:18 am

Well, as long as we’re all way off topic…

Omar: It isn’t like they lit it up against us – 58 instead of 61 points still beats us. It was out offense that lost the game. I have them going 3-15 from three, 20%…

And I am certain that the bums at pitt, as soon as they heard they have a chance to be co-champs, got back into their regular thoughts of “we’re going to win just by showing up these last two games.” I think it just assured us there is no chance we’ll win both the last two games. This is the mental equivalent of being up 8 with 12 minutes left. “Time to start worrying about the tournament instead of taking care of business…”

Comment by Stuart 02.27.07 @ 12:42 am

As long as we are off topic, to go back to the previous post about rushing the court.. I have been a student here for the last four years and trust me, we would all love to rush the court. You can not find a school where students do not want to rush the court. In the last 4 years, we may have had 1 opportunity, that is when we upset UCONN. That was not a huge upset though. 4 years, maybe one opportunity. We dont not rush the court due to respect of the game. Plus, for the 1400 students in the Oakland Zoo, PITT employees about 1000 yellowed shirt guards. Nobody has the balls to be the first “and probably only” person to get out there.

Comment by Scott 02.27.07 @ 2:36 am

Watching the ‘Cuse game last night, there were two things I noticed. First, down low, they contested shots. No standing still with arms up in the air. Yes, they’ve got a few longer, lankier guys who can do that, but nevertheless, they did it and were rewarded for it.

Second, when the Orangemen got a 9 point lead with about 9-10 minutes left, they stayed on the gas both on offense and defense. They had a few stupid turnovers, but otherwise played very hard. I know it was a home game, but, still, they wanted that game more than Georgetown.

Maybe tonight the Zoo needs to alter their T-shirts and just put “40 HARD MINUTES” on the front. Maybe that will send some sort of message to the players and coaches. Nothing else has seemed to work.

Comment by Carmen 02.27.07 @ 8:28 am

Great post Stuart. You are on a roll. I especially enjoyed the “bums at Pitt.” remark. Why do you even watch the games?

Comment by Omar 02.27.07 @ 9:12 am

I can’t wait for Paul Rhoads to get the heck out of the Burgh…

Comment by Marco 02.27.07 @ 10:09 am

Do the Penn State basketball fans rush the court after their wins?

Oh, that’s right…..

Comment by Reed 02.27.07 @ 1:07 pm

BTW, Coach Rhoads will have a ‘break out year’ in 2007, with a startling change in defensive success.

Seriously, I think we’ll see an improvement in the defense this years with the lessening of his duties.

Comment by Reed 02.27.07 @ 1:09 pm

Omar: You have watched the same team I as have the last few years, right? You saw them celebrating with 12 minutes left at GU the other night? You were at the tourney game last year, when it got easier with Kansas out, when we knew we’d roll? You were at the last game last year when the packed it up early knowing they’d get a bye in the tourney? Pacific? I’ve yet to see a Pitt team that was mentally tough enough to get it done, especially when it gets easier for them. Pitt is chronically underacheiving (this isn’t just complaining, it is a fact – read the article on espn.com a few weeks ago explaining it). Especially when the road gets easier for us, historically, we have gotten softer. I can’t wait until we have a Pitt team that doesn’t. Until then, I’ll keep buying my season tickets, going to tourney games, watching every game i can’t get to – but will call a spade a spade. Speaking the truth doesn’t make me less of a fan.

Comment by Stuart 02.28.07 @ 1:45 am

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