March 10, 2007

Getting close to game time. I’m starting to sweat once more. Great.

9:11: Pitt down 6-2, 15:57 to halftime. Gray has missed three shots already.

9:21: No, not a great start. Still, only down 4.

9:37: Okay, now down 11. Gray shooting playing poorly. The whole team shooting poorly. Just 24-13 with 4:37 left.

9:47: Hibbert had his way with Gray and anyone else forced to go at him on offense. Otherwise, the G-town offense was it’s usual efficient self.

Just didn’t expect Pitt to just have no offense. Gray 0-9 and 1 point. 7-28 shooting overall. Shots are just not going down. Some of it is the G-town defense, but a lot of it is just not making the shots or taking the opportunities.

10:13: Gray now 0-10. On defense, he has let himself be abused by Hibbert. Either he is having his worst game ever, he is worn out physically in the 3d game in 3 days, or he’s got other things on his mind.

10:35: Don’t know what to say. Pitt is simply not hitting shots. I don’t think it’s fatigue. Just an absolutely pitiful shooting performance. When your best player doesn’t make a basket until halfway into the second half, it takes a toll. The rest of the team seemed to start press even more.

Pitt was able to overcome Gray as a non-factor for one game, but this was actually worse.

10:44: Credit Georgetown for their great energy and not stopping. They are still fighting and pushing Pitt.

10:55: Congratulations to Georgetown. They were the best team in the Big East this season and in the BET.

Pitt will have to wait for the seed tomorrow. I’m still thinking Pitt doesn’t do worse than a 3.

After that, Pitt has to be disappointed in the ending. It was a poor game. Still, they essentially have to forget it and get ready for the NCAA Tournament.

I don’t want to hear this Tony Harrisburg bullshit about “You aren’t a real fan unless you you happy with anything and everything.” I sat there and watched every BE game to the bitter end with G-Town fans screaming in my face and had to suck it up. What an embarrasment to the city, the school, bleh.

Really though, it was 2 things, and both should be obvious:

1. Gray sucked. And when he sucks or doesn’t get the ball, no one else gets open shots.

2. We can’t play a fucking man to man D. This is painfully obvious when G-Town is backdooring us left and right but also, Gray is a huge liability in a man to man scenario. EVERY coach we play says “Our goal is to get Gray AWAY from the hoop” so they pull their 5 man out to the perimiter, where Gray can’t play D and also, can’t rebound. Without Gray inside, Sammy is the only one who can grab a board. Kendall played 35 min. the other night, mostly at center and grabbed 2 defensive boards. We need Gray down low.

As an aside, this wasn’t why we lost, but Keith Benjamin is fucking atrocious and should not see the court again. Why was he in when we were down 13 and needed 3s?

Overall though, I am encouraged going into the NCAAs as long as we keep going to Gray-Day. Don’t let one bad game discourage you, or the win vs. Louisville where he didn’t play, when it comes down to it, he’s where it begins and ends for us.


Comment by J-Maile 03.11.07 @ 5:10 am

And by the way, this is our last chance for an NCAA run for a while so we better make the most of it. See you at the BE tourney Wednesday next year!

Comment by J-Maile 03.11.07 @ 5:11 am

wow, another OVER-RATED pitt team!! big game, on tv and what does pitt show…….NOTHING!!!!

Looked like a preformance from the football team, and now – its not hard to figure out how to beat pitt, some school is going to have a couple of days to prepare….look out below, pitt is falling HARD!!!!!!!

Comment by hoopster 03.11.07 @ 6:29 am

Everything starts with the coach and branches out from that point. If you’re unable to discipline your team and maturity is an issue then it will show bigtime in big games. It certainly doesn’t help when you read comments such as: “Our offense is great”, “The next tournament is the one that really counts”, etc. That is immaturity and poor sportsmanship and that starts from the top. Go ahead players, add some more fuel to your opponents fire.

Comment by Old Man Pitt 03.11.07 @ 6:42 am

No offense taken, Neil, but playing Hibbert, who is good but by no means a game in and game out dominating center, to a standstill is not what I call playing well. Gray is an alleged first round draft pick, but please point to one game where he was facing a legit center and had a dominating performance. Simply negating the opponent’s center is not enough. He is supposed to be a difference maker – well, he made a big difference tonight, just like he made a big difference against Bradley last year.

Even when he has good games, he is timid around the hoop and misses layups (which should be dunks!), he brings the ball down and gets it taken away from him, and he gets balls swatted out of his hands as he’s going up for shots. It happens game after game. Does it take electro-shock therapy to learn to go hard to the hoop and keep the ball up?

Maybe this game will finally be the kick in the ass he needs and he will come into the big dance pumped and even a little angry.

The loss wasn’t entirely Gray’s fault; Young and Graves did their best to keep the team in the game, but it obviously wasn’t to be.

The Marquette and Louisville games demonstrated what this team can do. We’ll see if they can pull it together for a good run. Like any true fan, I’m still hopeful.

Comment by Carmen 03.11.07 @ 7:26 am

First, congrats to the team on getting to the championship. Georgetown IS playing at an extremely high level right now and remember, we only beat them at the Pete because we shot over 60%. Bad matchup all over for us. I only thought we were going to win one game, so it was a pleasant surprise for me. Next year is where we’ll see how Jamie is as a coach, with all the new kids.

I agree with Len Elmore – if Hibbert and Green stay in school, Georgetown will be might scary next year.

Comment by Kevin 03.11.07 @ 7:28 am

Carmen – good points in your post – and Gray was a lot angry against Marquette, and look how he did. Last night, I wonder if the fouls in the Louisville game screwed with his head, cause he was way timid.

Comment by Kevin 03.11.07 @ 7:30 am

just got back from nyc…disappointed in the loss (or how bad the loss was) but..

Really enjoy going every year meeting up with my boys from college and making a run to the finals (which seems like every year).

We played bad, but thurs. and fri. were awesome games for pitt fans and for once, and i can’t explain it, I feel confident getting into the elite eight this year.

Comment by scoocher 03.11.07 @ 1:17 pm

It was a bad game for sure. I do believe Gray’s foul trouble in the Louisville game, messed his mind up for the game. But with Gtown’s skill, athleticism, and level of play, it would not have mattered if Gray played better. Every player would have had to play thier best to even have a chance of winning that game.

In reality as I look at the first two games, I can say they were 50/50. The MU game was good because they played good for basically the whole game. Of course their best D player was out, and on O he drives to the hole and hits 3s.

The Louisville game was facilitated by their opponent making mistakes, in particular shot selection, and unforced TOs.

I am really not down on the team because they do the best they can with what they have. Also, you wonder why Pitt don’t press teams, it is because they do not have the athletes to do it. You can’t fit square peg into a round hole.

As for seeding, does it really matter? As some have said the NCAAs are about playing good every game. This year’s Pitt squad has a track record of struggling to do so.

Comment by Kenny 03.11.07 @ 3:41 pm

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