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February 2, 2008

I’m not going to be able to give this game as immediate attention as I want. Monitor duty at Fanhouse and 3 noon Big East games that are all staying close — ‘Cuse-Nova; Hall-G’town; and Marq-Cinci — means keeping a closer eye on those and then coming back to Pitt with the 1pm start.

Almost a silly premised article — Pitt struggles when going to UConn in the last 17 years. Hmm. Pitt sucked in the 90s and UConn has been a national power since the mid-90s. Guess what? Even if they were relatively even, the strong edge will go to the home team. Just like Pitt has a pretty strong edge at the Pete over UConn.

Big theme will be that both teams are undermanned. UConn though, has Wiggins available. There’s no way he doesn’t play, in my view, if he’s been practicing with the team. Even as Calhoun bitches that proper procedures weren’t followed since he didn’t determine Dyson and Wiggins should have been drug tested, not to mention the info released by the UConn campus police about the marijuana found near the car (no charges filed, though).

According to sources, athletic director Jeff Hathaway has a policy that calls for student athletes involved with any alcohol-related incident to be tested for drugs. UConn’s student athlete drug-testing policy is composed of three parts: random testing, probable cause and testing before participation in an NCAA championship event or bowl game.

Testing in this case falls under probable cause. Calhoun does not think this case called for drug testing, and the handbook says probable cause “may” be determined by a coach, doctor or trainer.

No, of course not. Found with alcohol in the car. Drugs found near the scene — even if not charged — and two players who have already failed at least one drug test each. Nothing to consider in that scene.

Let’s go Pitt.

oh well. just wasnt in the cards today

Comment by Matt D 02.02.08 @ 3:06 pm

i hate uconn..

Comment by bmac21 02.02.08 @ 3:06 pm

Well, nows its fucking over.

I don’t care if we get beat, but i FUCKING HATE when we get games stolen from us by poor officiating. This has to be the worst i’ve seen in a long time. Flat out awful. I’m going to be in a shitty mood until our next game…fuckign bullshit.

Comment by Stuart 02.02.08 @ 3:06 pm

Bye bye top 25 =-(

Comment by The Prowler 02.02.08 @ 3:07 pm

The worst part about this loss is that it is followed by a game against WVU who will surely want some Backyard Brawl revenge. Can’t afford a losing streak.

Comment by The Prowler 02.02.08 @ 3:08 pm

Poor fundamentals. Plain and simple. Pitt has traditionally always choked at the free throw line and today was no exception. Pitt beat Pitt. We can’t shot free throws and we throw up foolish threes. Dixon better get this taken care of in practice because we could be one and done in the Big East Tourney and the Big Dance.

Comment by AJ 02.02.08 @ 3:09 pm

I do wonder why FT shooing hasn’t been addressed in any way in the last 9 years under Howland/Dixon. It has cost Pitt more games than any other single factor.

Comment by The Prowler 02.02.08 @ 3:10 pm

Maybe the ability to shoot FTs should be something they look for in recruiting…

Comment by The Prowler 02.02.08 @ 3:11 pm

officiating did not cost us this game… get a grip

Comment by Jamie H 02.02.08 @ 3:11 pm

I did not get to watch the game so I can’t comment on the refs. Looking at the tracker, Benjamin and Ramon did not have a good game and that could be a main reason why we did not win.

Comment by Panthoor 02.02.08 @ 3:12 pm

We didn’t lose this game because of the officials. Pitt deserved to lose this game. They should have been up double digits at the half. Couldn’t make a shot to save their life. Couldn’t get a stop the last 5 minutes of the game against a very limited offensive team. Missing key FT. It was just a very frustrating loss.

Comment by spur 02.02.08 @ 3:14 pm

Ramon had 4 assists and only 1 to, and he was 1-2 from the field. He played just fine. But he was on the bench for the last 13 minutes of the first half, and he didn’t get any shots.

I am not sure if it was good perimeter D, or lack of working to get open, but they need to find a way to get Ramon more good looks at the basket.

Comment by The Prowler 02.02.08 @ 3:15 pm

I can’t blame the officials for this loss. Brown missed key threes and was only about fifty percent from the foul line. Young missed a couple free throws and was only four for fourteen from the floor at one point. Keith couldn’t hit the big shot today and Ramon didn’t see the ball much. Blair was our one bright spot today.

Comment by AJ 02.02.08 @ 3:17 pm

UConn really controlled the game, even when they were losing, by the fact that (especially in the first half) their shot blocking ability really caused some awful shots on the inside.

If Pitt had gotten an outside game going, they would have won big. With a non-existent outside game, you are forcing them to take tough shots against the best shot blocking team in the country.

Comment by The Prowler 02.02.08 @ 3:19 pm

They couldn’t make a shot, so they took it inside which is the correct adjustment to make. There is NOTHING you can do when you have the ball inside and your arms are getting destroyed while trying to shoot a layup or dunk. Go back to the video, you’ll see what i’m talking about.

We held them to 50 some points. Our defense was fine. There isn’t much you can do when their entire offense ended up being 1 on 1s cause we had shut down their team O. Our outside shooting was terrible, and the officiating was terrible, but we stayed in it. We play with any other officials (except maybe Burr) at any other place and we win. If we face them in the tourney we’ll take them if we don’t get screwed again.

Comment by Stuart 02.02.08 @ 3:20 pm

I thought we gave a good effort today. Tough loss, but much easier to swallow than dropping games to the likes of Rutgers, Cincinnati and getting our doors blown off by a now struggling Dayton team. Consistency is a huge issue with this Pitt squad. I guess that’s to be expected when over half the rotation consists of freshman (Blair, Brown, Wannamaker and McGhee). Hopefully this experience helps us down the road. But darn if it isn’t painful to watch.
Go Pitt!

Comment by Dave in Orlando 02.02.08 @ 3:21 pm

I think too many people are enamored with the mystique of Uconn’s “shot blocking” – they got some good clean ones in the first half, and we adjusted, and in the second half we were getting our arms raked on “blocks” – it was awful. If there was an easy way to get the tape to Youtube, i’d upload it all to see…

Comment by Stuart 02.02.08 @ 3:22 pm

The rutgers loss – you get mad at the kids for quitting. We don’t pull it out at Cinci, and Dayton was a massacre with 2 guys going down. None of those games were officiated poorly – we lost them. This one makes me fucking gag. I see us making the correct adjustments and we still get fucked. Nothing more we could do. I just don’t know how guys like Higgins and Burr still have jobs. Its unreal.

Comment by Stuart 02.02.08 @ 3:26 pm

Stuart: Do you ever not bitch and moan about the refs? Every game 75%of your posts are whining about the refs. There are bad fouls called the other way too. While I do believe UConn had the better side of the officiating today. It is not why we lost. There is no crying in basketball.

Comment by spur 02.02.08 @ 3:27 pm

I don’t disagree with you, Stuart, that many of the blocks were rapes more than blocks. It seemed as though UConn was allowed to be much more physical than Pitt was. This was true against Villanova as well.

There is no excuse for bad officiating. Officials aren’t there to alter the game, but to ensure that it is a good clean game. That is becoming harder and harder to come by these days.

If Pitt could hit perimeter shots, though, they still would have won big. But it is unacceptable that the team should have to compensate to overcome officiating.

Comment by The Prowler 02.02.08 @ 3:28 pm

Spur: go back and find the last game 75%, or even 25% of my posts were bitching about officials. Come back and post the link. Don’t just run your mouth if you can’t prove it. This was a poorly officiated game:

No offensive goaltending. Young getting massacred on TWO dunk attempts, no calls. Blair getting destroyed on shot attempts. An over the back by UConn where they knock it out – not only is there no call, they give UCONN THE BALL. Nice tackle/leg sweep on a rebound late in game, UConn gets ball and dunks… Mystery foul call on Brown on a Uconn jumper, when Ramon gets fouled on the 3, no call (meanwhile on the previous play we’re getting hacked on layup attepts down low)…. The “block” on young (actually a dive). The offensive foul on Biggs when you can see the defender is CLEARLY sliding his right leg over to get in front after Biggs has left the floor…

Comment by Stuart 02.02.08 @ 3:40 pm

Prowler: that’s what i’m saying. You can’t hit crap? Make the adjustment, take it inside. But if the other team is allowed to rape you on every shot down low, then there is NO ADJUSTMENT you can make to win that game. The other losses our team got beat, oh well. This was just awful. I can walk away feeling good about our teams effort cause even when the shots weren’t falling we played well enough to win the game. That’s all i can ask of them. But i’m still going to be shitty every time i think of this game for a couple weeks…

Comment by Stuart 02.02.08 @ 3:44 pm

The upside is that, for some reason, Pitt plays really well in the Big East tournament, where the officiating should be better since it is on a neutral floor. I agree that played anywhere else, this is a Pitt win. I also agree that I liked the effort and the way Pitt hung in the whole game. There was never a feeling to me that they were quitting or giving up on the game. It is awful when you have to leave feeling like it wasn’t the players on the floor who ultimately determined the outcome. More positive comes from this game than any of the other losses because, aside from crappy outside shooting, Pitt played a decent game (especially on defense).

Comment by The Prowler 02.02.08 @ 3:54 pm

“It is awful when you have to leave feeling like it wasn’t the players on the floor who ultimately determined the outcome.”

Prowler, we’re on the same page.

I’ll be sick about this one for a while, but even without Fields we played with great effort.

Think about this: they call that offensive goaltending, its a one point game at the end and we’re not jacking up 3s, have a chance to win at the end. Nothing we can do about it now…i just like that we’re showing more effort, and even though it was ugly, i think we’re still improving. Can’t wait for Fields to come back…

Comment by Stuart 02.02.08 @ 3:59 pm

This game was a real paradox. A+ defensive effort in diving for loose balls, rebounding, etc. D- result on the offensive end. I have to give credit to UConn disrupting us down low, but we sure missed some open looks from outside.

I don’t want to get misconstrued as some Oliver Stone kind of conspiracy nut, but I gotta say off the top of my head that every game I’ve seen the rotund gray-haired ref ever officiate over has been an officiating roller coaster. (Note: I realize I’m citing to no empirical evidence except my own biased memory.) Not to put words into Stuart’s mouth, but I feel like some of these refs are too easily worked over by a home crowd or give too much deference to a Calhoun or Boeheim. Mind you, when Jamie starts getting that level of deference, I won’t be complaining.

Comment by johnny 02.02.08 @ 4:00 pm

The only comment I had was that Benjamin has obviously not had his shot since his hand got gashed – another injury that’s not getting any press. Maybe a good reason to put him at the point. But CBS hacked him for shooting badly.

Pitt outplayed UCONN but couldn’t get the shots to fall – we’re just not a good shooting team without Fields able to penetrate and then get kickouts.

Comment by Kevin 02.02.08 @ 4:12 pm

I love Pitt, but it was a pathetic offensive effort today. We are too inconsistent. Blair and Young are the only two players who show up every game. Ramon…only on 50% of the time. Benjamin, McGhee and Brown are not consistent either. I don’t feel either team played well, but scoreboard surely proves who played better

Comment by Jen Frisco 02.02.08 @ 4:48 pm

Jen – I’m lost. Please help me understand. I got Young 7-21, 0-5 from 3 – is that good now? And was Young’s 4-17, 1-5 against Rutgers “showing up” too? Is it better to take bad shots or miss shots just for the sake of having more shot atttempts than it is to shoot a high percentage?

Comment by Stuart 02.02.08 @ 5:48 pm

Stuart, you’re right, you’re damn right. It’s admirable or politically correct or something for highnoses to just want to trash our own players for a loss. And sure, they missed shots. Y’know what, UConn missed shots too, and threw a ton of balls away. They didn’t play better than Pitt. This was mother-f**king Tranghese’s retarded goons.

They’ve always hated us in the Howland/Dixon era, I guess for daring to challenge the hallowed original schools. But it seems even more pronounced this year … could it be revenge for Pitt beating WVU in the Brawl? Cost the conference some coin and notoriety not to have a team in the NC game. Tranghese is an a**hole and NOrdenberg is an idiot for keeping us prisoners of this crap conference.

Comment by geeman2001 02.02.08 @ 7:57 pm

Obviously, everybody has a right to an opinion about the officiating. I can’t comment myself as I was forced to follow the game via CBS’s on-line game tracker. However, unless there is an official inquiry by Pitt or the Big East into the calls that were made/not made, I think we should drop it. Pitt did more than enough on its own to lose this game today.
Our weaknesses with the losses of Fields and Cook are certainly being exposed as we get into the meat of the Big East schedule. We’re either good enough to overcome them or not. Right now I think the jury is still out.
We’re currently in seventh place in the Big East and only 1.5 games ahead of the 12th-place team (Providence). We’ve lost some games to “weaker” opponents and the schedule gets more difficult from here on out. I’m more concerned with what lies ahead than with what has happened in the past.

Comment by Dave in Orlando 02.02.08 @ 8:58 pm

I count only one really really bad call today – the offensive goaltending. Otherwise, the refs were damnably inconsistent, mainly with the aggressive stuff in the paint. And one other time, I guess, when Adrien hooked someone with his elbow and didn’t get called, but threw the ball away. Bad calls went both ways – remember, UCONN had a guy foul out.

We lost only because we shot like crap, and because we forced 12 turnovers in the first half which made up for shooting like crap, but only 2 in the second. I thought Brown was the best player today but he even did poorly towards the end, and we were STILL tied with less than 3 minutes to go.

If Fields had never got hurt we might be undefeated in the conference.

Comment by Kevin 02.02.08 @ 9:14 pm

Let’s face it, this team is not great athletically. This is not a Final Four team even with Fields. But when they give their all, like they did today, we should be proud of them. Enjoy every victory.

Comment by steve 02.02.08 @ 9:44 pm

They should have had 4 guys foul out. Hey, your attitude is the better way. It certainly doesn’t help to gripe about it. As Dave mentioned, our own administration doesn’t give a flunk. As someone mentioned, when you go out there undermanned to begin with, leave your blood on the court, playing a team whose star players should be in jail or are airlifted in from Africa for the games, a coach who just oozes a**hole from every pore…to have the refs ream you too is hard to take. It’s remarkably similar to the Brawl, except we won that one.

Comment by geeman2001 02.02.08 @ 11:07 pm

I watched the game, I can’t put this one on the officials. When you shoot as bad as we did, you don’t deserve to win a game in the Big East (2 of 16 from 3!) Our shooting is bad. There were a lot of wide open shots missed. I’m not sure how much fields being back would change that. Ironically, we need to keep shooting the 3 and hope the percentages start to fall our way again. We need 3’s to win the Big East. I would like to see Ramon, Brown and Benjamin take most of those three’s, with Young, Blair and Biggs working on their inside games (way too many put backs missed). Maybe Troutman can come in and do some training with these guys!

Comment by HbgFrank 02.02.08 @ 11:21 pm

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