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July 27, 2010

A couple things of note.

Pitt appears to have only one shot at winning a game in the Big East/SEC Invitational.

The future of the Big East-SEC Invitational is on “life support” and the event is unlikely to continue after this season, a college basketball industry source told FanHouse.

The Big East-SEC Invitational began in 2007. The format has the leagues playing four games each season with a pair of double-headers split between a Big East and SEC venue.

Multiple sources told FanHouse the future of the Big East-SEC Invitational is bleak because the conferences are not committed to making it work and they don’t feel like they gain much by making it a priority.

Well it was a joint effort at stupidity by the Big East and SEC, so I can’t totally blame this on the Big East. Only 4 games on two nights in semi-neutral settings. Guaranteeing little interest and poor turnout. Rather than make it a real series for home and away match-ups, they would rather give-up.

Outside of Kentucky, the rest of the SEC only cares about basketball insofar as their fans have  a sense of entitlement to have good teams because of the money the conference rakes in and something to do between the end of bowl season and spring practices (see also, Longhorns, Texas).

The Big East, though, does deserve a fair amount of blame. The Big East had the ACC challenge going before the Big 10/11/12 got into it. The Big East coaches at the time, though, constantly fought and whined about playing a tough non-con game on the road every other year and worked to end it. That makes it two conference challenges that the Big East will have played and now killed.

It’s not that the ACC-Big Ten challenge is that great, but it is compressed, easily followed and well publicized by both conferences. The Pac-10/Big 12 mess has everyone playing but so spread out that it is more of an agreement for teams to get good non-con games than any sort of challenge.

Over at Rush the Court, they have a (subjective) list of the top-20 Big East players for the upcoming season.  Ashton Gibbs is on the list at #7 and Brad Wanamaker checks in at #13. That’s it for Pitt players.

At first I had the knee-jerk reaction: typical underrating of the individual talent at Pitt even as the squad is expected to compete for the top spot. Except it isn’t. There’s a fair amount of respect for Pitt players.

With 16 teams in the conference, individual talent is spread. The list contains players from 12 of the programs: Georgetown (3), Villanova (3), Syracuse (2), Marquette (2), Seton Hall (2), Pitt (2), ND, UConn, WVU, USF, St. John’s and Cinci.

No Louisville players on the list. Guys like McGhee, Oriakhi (UConn), Siva (Louisville), Jardine (‘Cuse), Famous (USF), and Stokes (‘Nova) couldn’t get there. There may be a bit of guard bias in the list but it gives you an idea of just how deep and tough it is to have a 16-team conference.

Wednesday and Thursday Watches

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 12:59 pm

On Thursday Terrell Chestnut will make his verbal commitment public.

The 6-foot, 180-pound senior, a quarterback and defensive back, has narrowed his list of choices to Penn State, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, West Virginia and South Carolina. He has more than 30 scholarship offers.

Last season, Chestnut, who has started since freshman year and is projected to play safety or cornerback in college, rushed for nearly 1,000 yards and scored 19 touchdowns as the Falcons went 14-1, claimed the Pioneer Athletic Conference championship and won the program’s first PIAA District 1 Class AAA title. ranks Chestnut, an Inquirer first-team all-Southeastern Pennsylvania selection last year, as the state’s sixth best senior recruit.

If he chooses Pitt, Chestnut may play with standout running back Jameel Poteat. Pittsburgh reportedly has the inside track on landing the standout running back from Harrisburg’s Bishop McDevitt. Poteat, a 5-11, 195-pound senior, is set to announce his decision Wednesday. He rushed for 1,664 yards and 24 TDs last season.

Chestnut has been rumored to be leaning Pitt’s way in recent weeks. Rutgers and Penn State had been after him for a while, though’s profile page says he has no interest in PSU. Getting a 4-star defensive back would obviously be excellent regardless of who else was recruiting him.

As for Poteat, announcing on Wednesday is a bit of a move-up on his original time-frame.

His timetable will fall anywhere from August to sometime in mid-September before he makes a choice.

“I have to put something out there, because some schools have backed off because everyone thought I was going to Pitt,” said Poteat, who plans on playing in the Army All-American game and the Big 33 game. “That’s not true. I know there’s a great tradition of McDevitt players going to Pitt, and Pitt’s a great school. But right now, everything is still up in the air. I’m not saying I’m not going to Pitt. I may still go to Pitt. But right now, I’m undecided. That’s a fact. Undecided.”

Poteat said he’ll take three official visits and he put a personal deadline on his choice to within the first two or three games of the upcoming McDevitt season.

Lots of programs like him and have given him offers. Obviously Pitt has always been considered something of a favorite with his family ties to Pitt. Not to mention recent ties to Bishop-McDevitt.

Here’s a bit on the 4-star back (Insider subs).

Has a sneaky extra gear but lacks great breakaway burst. Bottom line, Poteat may not be a game-breaker but he’s one of the top every-down backs in this class who can carry the load as well as pick up the blitz and catch the ball out of the backfield. College ready.

Can’t help but wonder if he is moving it because Savon Huggins out of New Jersey  — another 4-star tailback and the top recruit in Jersey — seems to be looking more towards Pitt. He has taken an official and unofficial visit to Pitt this spring and summer.

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