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July 6, 2010

So Nice, Shown Twice

Filed under: Basketball,Marketing — Chas @ 12:23 pm

This is the poster for some of Pitt’s upcoming games in Ireland (hattip to Asst. AD Hotchkiss Twitter).

I realize that Pitt is not a team that has stars, per se, but why is Brad Wanamaker shown twice in one montage?

Do they think it is Brad and his twin brother Brian? They do know that Brian doesn’t play at Pitt.

And yes, the Jamie Dixon picture with the word bubble is amusing.

From Steelton to Italy

Filed under: Alumni,Basketball,Good — Chas @ 12:06 pm

A couple alumni stories.

The first, and closest, is on Chevy Troutman visiting in Pittsburgh while off from playing European basketball.

“It’s a lot different,” he said. “I still do the pick and roll. A lot of times, I play defense on big guys, but I switch out on guards a lot. Sometimes, I’ll guard the best wing player or shooter because I’m versatile.

“I went overseas to explore my face-up game. It’s a lot more fun. It’s a little more freedom for me. I basically call my shots. I’m one of the leaders. It’s nice.”

In Italian Serie A each team is allowed three American players. Adapting to a different style of basketball was challenging at first, but Troutman has developed into one of the league’s top players.

“The coaches over there, they let you do what you do best,” he said. “If you try something new, they don’t care too much. The Americans are supposed to be the guys that make things happen. We have a lot of pressure on us to make things happen as opposed to being in a team-oriented situation like we had at Pitt. For an American over there, it’s either you [produce] or you go home.”

Troutman is back in Pittsburgh for the next few weeks before heading back to Italy. He plays pickup games with Pitt players at the Petersen Events Center and has not ruled out playing in the Pittsburgh Basketball Club Pro-Am, which continues until the third week of July.

He is in a good situation overseas with money and the game. He also doesn’t have to worry about an impending lockout in the NBA. Yet another Pitt player of recent years who seems to want to come back and be around the program.

Meanwhile, further removed in time from his playing days at Pitt, Rod Brookin is trying to get back to high school basketball coaching in his hometown.

Although Brookin’s been out of the coaching biz for a handful of years — he piloted the Burgettstown High School program for two seasons at the beginning of the century and spent one season at the Community College of Allegheny County — he’s always been tuned in back home.

“I never lost touch with what was going on in Steelton,” said Brookin, who scored 1,047 career points during a four-year run at Pitt (1986-90) that included three NCAA tournament appearances. “I knew when they were winning, I knew when they were losing, I knew when things weren’t going well.

“There’s some things you don’t forget. You may forget how to play, but you never forget how to coach the game to kids,” Brookin added. “I learned that from [former Steel-High coach] Jack Hoerner all the way up to [Pitt coach] Paul Evans. When I was at Pitt, my assistant coach was John Calipari.

“They told me you’re going to forget how to play, because you’re going to get old. So, before your mind goes, get into coaching. Looking at that, when I walk into the gym [at Steel-High], I see that scoring list up there and my name is up top. The reason why my name is there is I had great teachers.”

Good luck to Rod. He seems quite sincere about this, and wanting to help the kids beyond simply being a coach.

Still Big in New Zealand

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting — Chas @ 10:05 am

Traveling for the 4th of July weekend really put a crimp in any posting. Drinking, however, was unimpeded.

Never forget that Coach Jamie Dixon has a history in New Zealand, so it is about time to see that come into play. Granted, at this time we know next to nothing about new 2012 verbal commit, Steve Adams.

The kid is a center in the 6-11 to 7-0 range. Even though, he is 16-years old, he is now playing at the U-19 level in NZ.

At just 16-years-old, the 2.11-metre Wellingtonian was the MVP at last weekend’s national under-19 championships, scoring 33 points and hauling in 23 rebounds as Wellington beat North Harbour 98-75 in the final.

Toss in some spectacular alley-oop dunks and blocked shots, and Adams is clearly a young man going places.

“I want to try and make the NBA,” Adams said. “My hero is [Orlando Magic superstar] Dwight Howard.”

Adams attends Scots College and has been in the Wellington team for three years since moving down from Rotorua. The lanky centre has blossomed under the guidance of Wellington under-19 coach Kenny McFadden.

Pitt Script has some more details, as does Cardiac Hill.

Chris Dokish was also surprised by this one, but notes that as Adams is not just a big kid, but one that actually wants to play center. What this does, though, is give Pitt the option with other bigs to recruit them to play power forward. Something that has become the first choice for so many big guys starting with Kevin Garnett and Dirk Nowitzki through Amare Stoudemire and Chris Bosh.

Whether this strategy pays off, remains to be seen. This is still a verbal for 2012. That is still a long time before the kid can even sign. Plus as a New Zealander, there is still the option of bypassing coming to the US right away and signing in Europe or some other professional league.

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