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January 11, 2012

Open Thread: Rutgers-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 4:05 pm

2012 has been rough so far on the court and for me in the offline world. Another night where I have to go to DVR delay.

Pitt needs a win tonight. Right now, Pitt needs a win every night. Rutgers is showing the hallmarks of a young team with potential. They have been playing up or down to the level of their competition.

Presumably Zanna and Johnson will get to start once more. Their play was solid in the loss to DePaul so I don’t see that changing.

Need to see the guys on the perimeter knock down some 3s, get into the lane a bit and just, please stay in front of their guy on defense for 40 minutes. In other words, play like they have not most of the season.

7pm game on Root, SNY, MASN, ESPN FullCourt and ESPN3.com.





Adams and (james) Robinson..

Comment by Mac 01.11.12 @ 9:28 pm

Upittbaseball, when did you go to Pitt? I was there in the 90’s and I’ll take winning the Big East, winning the Big East Tourney and getting to the Elite 8 over the 70’s,80′ and 90’s.

You do realize that our last two losses last year were to the two teams in the finals, right? Pitt was just a play away from beating Butler LAST YEAR and a play away from from the Final Four two years before that. They’ve been #1 in the polls and beaten #1 teams. They have played well against elite competition. THIS IS RECENT HISTORY.

The tourney is a crapshoot. It’s one and done. Luck has played a part in almost every National Championship of the decade. Somewhere in the tourney, the winning team got a bounce to go there way to pull out the game. I have NO clue what mediocrity you are talking about. Even this year’s team skipped the mediocre part – they are just bad….but guess what, we have a top 5 class coming in next year and this team does have some good role players on it.

Leadership is the key ingredient missing from this year’s team and the PG (Robinson) coming in next year has leader written all over him – it’s considered his biggest strength. Even if Adams leaves after a year, Gilbert (who already looks like a man out there) will be able step in with 3 years in the program.

Once again, where is the mediocrity of the last decade in hoops?

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.11.12 @ 9:28 pm

Pittsburgh sports is disintegrating in front of our very eyes. Last year at this time, we were on our way to the super bowl, the basketball team was ranked number 1, there was still hope Crosby would be back in a few weeks, and the Pitt football team had a head coach who told everybody he was going to win the national championship.

Oh how far we have fallen. The only thing that has improved is the head football coach at Pitt now doesn’t say anything.

Chas, are you sure you want to come and see this in person?

Comment by wally 01.11.12 @ 9:28 pm

Mac, he cant go to the draft. By him playing his senior year at a high school in the states he is no longer considered s foreign prospect.

Comment by Pk 01.11.12 @ 9:30 pm

They actually play worse at home than they do on the road. So I don’t know what that says…but there it is.

Comment by Emel 01.11.12 @ 9:30 pm

there is nothing to say they arent playing hard
some how he lost this team
a team that plays hard may lose but not like this
they look like a div 2 team no not even that good

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.11.12 @ 9:31 pm

Wally, im also confident that chryst is a much better coach than fraud in addition to being soft spoken

Comment by Pk 01.11.12 @ 9:32 pm

Mac, from what I’ve heard Adam’s handlers in NZ want him to go to college. He had a very limited education growing up and they want him to mature before he goes pro. Will he stay 4 years? Probably not, but I would not be surprised if he played at least two. I’m not holding out hope for it because I think Robinson coming in next year is the more important get for the program because he will be around for a while and Pitt will have a mature and BE/ACC ready Gilbert waiting in the wings. Adam’s people have already done a good job keeping him out of the situations that caused WVU and KY problems the past two years so I have some faith that he is getting good advisement…he is a 17 year old kid however and I understand that the situation could change pretty quickly.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.11.12 @ 9:34 pm

Emel — right, I said 10 or so more losses — so what was your beef with that. And losing our top rebounder? That’s Zanna. And Birch leaving — give me a break –isn’t that the guy with 1 rebound in 15 minutes against OK St? You get that by sheer luck.

Comment by velvil 01.11.12 @ 9:35 pm

Upittbaseball, what your saying is that after a decade of dominance one bad year is enough to fire him? Thats like saying vt should fire frank beamer if he had one 7 win season.

Comment by Pk 01.11.12 @ 9:36 pm

As a comparison, I’ll mention our native son.

One of my all time favorite players, and I’m sure many peoples favorite on here.

SEAN MILLER

He’s now had 8 years of head coaching experience.
One elite 8, no, that is, no final fours, and this year, his team is 10-6, including a home loss to something called Seattle Pacific Rim or something.

And this is with, by all indications, several top 10 recruiting classes. People say he can recruit, and I absolutely believe it.

Why hasn’t he done it??? Especially with all of that talent. Does Sean Miller suck???? Should Arizona fire him and get it over with????

My point is, it is very difficult to get to a final four, and even tougher to win it.

There are 351 Division 1 baketball schools.

Comment by Dan 01.11.12 @ 9:37 pm

@Wally, isn’t that the truth, we were just talking about that today at work!!!! LOL

Comment by Dan 01.11.12 @ 9:38 pm

@ Tossing

We had some really good teams in the 1980’s, especially the late 80’s. The Jerome Lane moment…send it in Jerome, still the most defining moment in Pitt basketball lure.
Pitt’s top 2 all-time leading scorers came out of the 1980’s. Charles Smith & Clyde Vaughn

1974 is still our best team ever, they won 22 games in a row and produced PITT’s best player EVER. That of course being Billy Knight. And got to the Elite 8, losing to National champion NC State on basically their home court.

The late 70’s gave us Sam Clancy and several good teams that made the NCAA’s.

People act like we never had a good basketball team before. We did.

What changed in 2000, was PITT invested several HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR$ IN THE PROGRAM.

Had we done that sooner, we would have had sustained success quicker.

Comment by Emel 01.11.12 @ 9:39 pm

Ok, my list is getting longer ……..

FIRE DIXON, TOMLIN, BIELSMA, CHRST & MILLER NOW!!!

Comment by Dan 01.11.12 @ 9:41 pm

PK – I have read that as well but I don’t think it’s set in stone because he’s 19 and because it is a prep school (think Fitz). I obviously hope he does come, even if it’s for just a year, but if there is any loophole, you know Pitt will get screwed over with that loophole. I’m just trying to not get my hopes up. Early in the season when they were struggling with LBS and Rider, I kept thinking, “wow, Birch and Adams together are going to be awesome.” How did that turn out?

Comment by Mac 01.11.12 @ 9:41 pm

Since a kid, always paid attention to Clemson, think it was the tiger paw on the helmet.

They went 10-3 this year, got blown out by WVU in the bowl game,

FIRE THAT GUY NOW TOO!!!!!!!

LMAO. Good night all!!!

Comment by Dan 01.11.12 @ 9:43 pm

Did birch take our soul to UNLV?

Comment by 429Meyran 01.11.12 @ 9:43 pm

Never thought it would get this bad. According to most reports Pitt had not been getting out recruited by rutgers, depaul, Cincinnati, etc so it is time to ask are the panthers getting out coached??

Comment by John 01.11.12 @ 9:43 pm

I wonder if we scotch drinkers can set up some sort of sharing system. I went out for more at halftime and decided it was better for my temprament not to watch. I saw all I needed to see in the Depaul game. No way this team wins even a single game. Woodall is not the answer.
Jamie better hit the recruiting trail cause the talent is not here. So….how are the Pens doing??
Oh losing too…my have times have changed in Pittsburgh.

Comment by Dan 72 01.11.12 @ 9:43 pm

As an old Pitt fart I remember going to the Field House in 1959 and watching Mike Ditka attempt to play roundball. Iron Mike had iron hands and NO BASKETBALL TALENT.

The coach was Bob Timmons and if you think Jamie looks frustrated you had to see the looks on the faces of the coach and his assistants (I think they had 2 in those days).

We are now in an entirely new phase of Pitt Basketball….rebuilding and don’t be surprised if it take three or four years. Look at what happens to once powerhouse teams when the wheels fall off. St. John’s, Georgetown, Providence, Maryland, St. Bonaventure (yes, the Bonnies), UNLV(No Birch comments, please) etc, etc. Some of these teams have made comebacks, while others fall by the wayside. I believe that Pitt will recover, however, it wouldn’t surprise me to see Dixon head West if the frustration continues for another year or two. Jamie will find a good job….will Pitt find a replacement (if needed) to recruit the talent we will need to stay alive in the ACC? For now WE STINK…the future will be most interesting to watch as it plays out.

Comment by isnore 01.11.12 @ 9:44 pm

To be fair to Miller, he’s been to 2 Elite 8’s.

2004–2005 Xavier 17–12 10–6 T–2nd (West)
2005–2006 Xavier 21–11 8–8 T–7th NCAA 1st Round
2006–2007 Xavier 25–9 13–3 T–1st NCAA 2nd Round
2007–2008 Xavier 30–7 14–2 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2008–2009 Xavier 27–8 12–4 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
Xavier: 120–47 55–22
Arizona (Pacific-12 Conference) (2009–present)
2009–2010 Arizona 16–15 10–8 4th
2010–2011 Arizona 30–8 14–4 1st NCAA Elite Eight
2011–2012 Arizona 10-5 1-1
Arizona: 56-28 25-13
Total: 176-74

Comment by Emel 01.11.12 @ 9:45 pm

Oh please Emel. What are you talking about? Just skip all the poor coaches and say money was the reason we won? Please.

When we were good, we had decent coaches who –wait for it — recruited some good players. And you know what? None of those coaches could do it for more than just a few years. Buzz Ridl — do you know who he was? – left after his great year. Evans was incompetent as a coach, although a very good recruiter (or was it his great assistants — look to see who he had). We’ve been very lucky that Howland worked out and so did Dixon — and you can spend money and still hire poor coaches.

Curious Emel –when were you at PItt?

Comment by velvil 01.11.12 @ 9:47 pm

@Wally – to sooth our Piitsburgh wounds, saying something like “Penn State sucks” would have helped. Now, even that just seems wildly inappropriate. Everything has been taken away.

Comment by T 01.11.12 @ 9:48 pm

Yeah Emel, Miller’s a great coach, we all agree, no dispute, a Pitt guy too. But why should he get a free pass for losing to Pacific Rim and Jamie doesn’t, even though his team has been the best in the BE — the best conference in country, I’m told. Xavier, what conference do they play in?

Comment by velvil 01.11.12 @ 9:49 pm

I’m not calling for Dixon’s head mind you.

What I’ve suggested is, he needs to bring in a top assistant or two. Somebody who can teach a zone or some other type of defense when the MAN to Man is not working, like now.

Didn’t see the Zone being played tonight at all, as the PG article today suggested it would.

Comment by Emel 01.11.12 @ 9:51 pm

Well if it may take years to rebuild I can’t wait for home and homes with unc duke and Syracuse in the acc!!!

Comment by John 01.11.12 @ 9:53 pm

@velvil
Of course I know who Buzz Ridl is/was. Buzz is dead now. Fran Webster as well.

I was at PITT from 1976-1981.
Eastern 8 baby !

Comment by Emel 01.11.12 @ 9:55 pm

PK – What Dominance??? Dominance is when you win more than a Big East Tourney occasionally and your team isn’t a 1st to 2nd round bust tourney after tourney. Check the definition of Dominance.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.11.12 @ 9:56 pm

@T Penn State Sucks is always appropriate now and forever. Still do the chant every game!

Comment by 429Meyran 01.11.12 @ 9:57 pm

I picked a bad time to lay off the cyanide.

Comment by SFPitt 01.11.12 @ 9:58 pm

And for all the Adams concerns. Kid WANTS to be here. His handlers WANT him to be here. They put him at ND prep for a reason, kept him from playing pro over there for reason. It may only be one year, but it will be interesting to watch.

Looks like I picked the wrong time to quit amphetamines.

Comment by 429Meyran 01.11.12 @ 10:04 pm

@isnore.

I wonder how this move to the ACC is going to pan out. The BigEast was great for PITT basketball, for the most part(sans the Willard Era). It’s been terrible for PITT football, pretty much the whole time.

At one time a couple years ago, it looked like both the football program and the hoops program were both going to be top tier programs.

Even Sports Illustrated or someone had the Top 5 or Top 10 universities with both excellent basketball & football programs. And PITT was number 5 I believe. In fact I think I saved that bookmark on my computer somewhere. Since that article was published it’s been all downhill.

Comment by Emel 01.11.12 @ 10:05 pm

Look what one recruit did for Indiana! Jamie better get out there.

I almost made my first sports bet tonight since 1986 (almost lost my house on the last one) when I saw that Pitt was favored by 8. Someone should make some money from this travesty.

I grew up with Mickey Martin and played basketball with him almost daily in my teens. He was superhuman on the court and I got to go along for the ride as his team in the 70’s under Buzz Ridl had a great year. Lost to David Thompson and NC State in the NCAA’s. As a coach, I tried for years to figure out Tim Gurgerich’s Amoeba Defense (looks like a matchup zone but is really a man/man d) but never could

These are brutal sports times in the great city on this earth. Pens lost again…hey maybe the Pirates will be goo…oh nevermind, I’m not that drunk.

So here’s how it’s going to go. Flyers win the Cup, Ravens the Super Bowl, WVU the national championhsip.

Hide the women and children, it’s going to get ugly!!

Comment by Dan 72 01.11.12 @ 10:22 pm

Dear Pitt:

How would you like to contine playing at MSG for your conference tournaments? We might’ve moved too fast on our “deal.”

Comment by The Atlantic Coast Conference 01.11.12 @ 10:23 pm

Emel it all depends on when we actually start playing in the ACC.
Obviously we will have a very rough time of it if we start in 2013. Call me a cockeyed optimist because I have feeling that we will start to show some improvement by 2014. My reasoning is that Jamie has no choice in recruiting, shooters are priority #1. I believe that Pitt has a good enough reputation to still be attractive to players of very high quality.
The one MAJOR concern that I have is that in order to accomplish any kind of a turnaround Pitt has to upgrade its basketball assistants. Jamie is now a one man show and it AIN’T WOIKING (as they say in Noo Yawk).

Comment by isnore 01.11.12 @ 10:23 pm

Jamie has lost this team. He deserves one more year to right the ship or everything he has done prior to this year means nothing. That was EMBARRASSING. How those guys can even show their faces on campus tomorrow is beyond me. They don’t care right now. Maybe Khem Birch knows a lot more than we do.

Comment by Bobby 01.11.12 @ 10:26 pm

Thid team needs a fix and quick. Pathetic outing. These are Jamie’s kids.

Comment by Pitt Is IT 01.11.12 @ 10:28 pm

Looking over the game stat sheet. haha (glutton for punishment)

We shot 21% from the floor(12-57) with Moore leading the Panthers with 10 points on 2-10 FG shooting. I think it only got above 20% because of some very late garbage baskets. (or Mike Rice felt sorry for us)

Gibbs had 8 points on 2-11 FG shooting(0-7 from 3) (why he is still playing PG is anyone’s guess, I guess no one else can play it)

Zanna had 6 points(2-7) and a whopping 2 rebounds.
Patterson had 2 points (1-7) and 5 rebounds.
Sleepy has one of his more memorable performances,
0 points and 3 rebounds. (yes as one can see Sleepy certainly should have got more minutes than Birch)
Robinson had 7 points (3-9) and 9 rebounds
Epps had 0 points and 4 assists (led the team in assists in only 11 minutes)
Wright had 0 points and 1 rebound.
Johnson had 6 points (2-8), both 3’s and 1 assist

Rutgers only shot 40% FG and had a whopping 19 turnovers but still won by 23 points.

Though our rebounding finally fell apart, Rutgers outrebounded PITT by 18 rebounds. Can you say Sleepy Zanna?

10,812 unbelieving souls witness this fiasco.
Most were in varying states of yawning through out the game. Not many were left by the 5 minute mark. Sort of similar to a PITT football game, without Sweet Caroline.

Comment by Emel 01.11.12 @ 10:38 pm

Emel, I’m not saying there weren’t good teams – especially those 80’s teams. Pre 64 teams in the tourney and you lose me…sorry. What I’m saying is that Pitt has never had the sustained success it has now and I would take this decade over those decades in a heartbeat. The 80’s teams were great but they had the underachieving tag…these teams have always had the overachieving tag, including the Blair years. It’s one bad year and the coaching turnover and misses in recruiting have caught up to Dixon but he and the team can recover moving forward.

Dixon has had his teams within a play of doing something special. The ball just hasn’t bounced Pitt’s way. Most people believe that Dixon will eventually get over the hump and I happen to as well. Mix in Patterson, Moore, Zanna, Gilbert and JJ Johnson with a top 5 recruiting class and it could happen. Those are all quality role players. The team’s not without talent, it’s without leadership and elite talent (was supposed to be Taylor and Birch).

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.11.12 @ 10:45 pm

What’s really funny (well not really) but it is interesting.

Sleepy is getting less minutes than Zanna these days. Only got 15 minutes tonight.

So in effect, Birch lost his minutes to Sleepy when he came back from his Migraines. And now Sleepy has lost those extra minutes to Zanna.

If any of that makes sense.

Comment by Emel 01.11.12 @ 10:45 pm

I remember searching the halls in high school when I had off years. Maybe Jamie should watch some frat games. Certainly someone played point in high school and could help.

I again, will offer my solution that will at least help us win A Game. Put John Johnson at point guard and leave him there. Move Gibbs to the 2. After that, it really doesn’t matter…the rest of the “talent” is about even.

Comment by Dan 72 01.11.12 @ 10:53 pm

Dixon has had his teams within a play of doing something special. The ball just hasn’t bounced Pitt’s way. Most people believe that Dixon will eventually get over the hump and I happen to as well.
Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.11.12 @ 10:45 pm

Yes, I know, the Kent State game, the Marquette game, the Okla State game, the Pacific game, the Bradley Game, the Michigan State game, the Villanova game,the Xavier game & last but not least the Butler game. No the ball didn’t bounce our way in any of these games. I remember them all like they were played yesterday.

You either get over the hump…or the hump becomes a Mountain…. to high to get to the other side. Only time will tell.

Comment by Emel 01.11.12 @ 11:00 pm

Agree Dan 72

and I’ve said it before. You’re taking your best scorer(Gibbs) and negating him by playing him at PG. If Johnson at 6’1″ tall can’t play PG, why in the heck was he recruited.

And since you lost your #2 scorer (at the time) Woodall, why on Earth would you put your #1 score in a position that negates his scoring ability.

Woodall is really a PG either, so he really hasn’t recruited a true PG since LeVance Fields, how many years ago was that?

Comment by Emel 01.11.12 @ 11:05 pm

Should read, Woodall isn’t really a PG either. (my bad)

Oh and I forgot Epps, and I’m sure Dixon would like to too.

Comment by Emel 01.11.12 @ 11:10 pm

Emel, Syracuse and Kansas have both lost to 15 seeds. Uconn lost to George Mason. The list goes on and on. Yes, you have to get over the hump but it generally takes a while. Look at the struggles Florida and Donovan have had since they won their back to back titles. It’s not easy to be one of the last 4 teams standing in a 64 team tourny. Pitt has never had the elite talent to compete but their recruiting classes continue to get better (ranking wise anyways). They’ve missed on a couple of recruits and Dixon’s had his staff poached. There are going to be growing pains. Even Belichek (sp?) has admitted that the continual turnover on his staff has diminished his results. The announcer today said that a former NBA and college coach sat in on Dixon’s practice – he is highly respected in the coaching worlds.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.11.12 @ 11:12 pm

Correct spelling is Belicheat I believe. haha 🙂

Yea, I heard that, Reggie Theus. Quite ironic because Reggie Theus played at UNLV, where you know who transferred to.

When it rains it pours sometimes. It’s pouring at PITT these days. Better days ahead !!!

V e V
H T P !

Comment by Emel 01.11.12 @ 11:26 pm

The bust of Dante is really showing right now. Having any semblance of an inside game would change this team in a hundred ways. Arron Gray transformed to an NBA player. Dante looks exactly how he did as a freshman.

Comment by 429Meyran 01.11.12 @ 11:48 pm

WOW. speechless …

Comment by dish 01.12.12 @ 1:01 am

Problem, Pitt can’t score the ball because they like to shoot long range jumpers. Scoring the ball comes from driving to the hoop. We don’t do that. Driving to the hoop creates fouls and free shots. It also creates room for jump shots. Jamie knows this so watch them attack the rim offensively next game. As far as Gibbs funk, it is hard to accept that your game is just not good enough for the league. He will snap out of it soon.

Secondly, we just don’t play defense with passion.

Jamie will be fine with the incoming class and he will really need to watch recruiting head cases with their respective possies like Khem. Do not despair grasshoppers, we will win some games.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 01.12.12 @ 2:12 am

What are the chances we see Barry Rohrssen back in Oakland next year?

Comment by ECH 01.12.12 @ 6:05 am

The sad part is I do not even see potential. What player on this team can you point to and say “he is gonna be a good player”…NONE. Gibbs is proving he was never and will never be a NBA player. What was dixon looking at when he recruited these guys…He needs to change his approach to meet the talents (or lack thereof) of these kids…These kids have no discipline…firing up 3 pointers

Comment by keith 01.12.12 @ 6:47 am

It was all Tino’s fault

Comment by wbb 01.12.12 @ 7:22 am

Well there goes the rationalization out the window when talking Pitt football fortunes that “no matter, Pitt is a basketball school, anyhow”.

OK, Paul Chryst, now on top of all the other pressures imposed on your new head coaching career, you’ll be expected to produce a good enough football team next season to help all the Pitt faithful forget about this impending disaster of a basketball season.

Don’t you love being a Pitt Panther fan!

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.12.12 @ 7:49 am

Shooting long range jumpers all night drove me crazy. The reason this team doesn’t drive to the basket is simple….bad ball handling. Did you notice how many times Nasir was stripped of the ball? We have a team that can’t drive to the basket. I believe that I am understating the problem. Anything close to the hoop is in a danger zone.
Think of how many times easy putbacks were clanging off iron. We have players as tall as the California Redwoods and they can’t get inside for 2 points. THIS TEAM IS SUPER SOFT!!!!!
NO GUTS////NO HEART////NO INTENSITY////NO TALENT AT THIS LEVEL!! Epps and Dante are wasting scholies. Dante is the biggest let down in recent Pitt basketball history. The kid just does not have it!!
Once again I call out the need for better assistants coaches. Jamie needs help!!

Comment by isnore 01.12.12 @ 7:51 am

You all know what we have to do talk football
what is the reason we are still 4 coachs short is he waiting for the pro teams to be done?
could all 4 coachs be comeing from the pros or is he just haveing a hard time finding some one to say yes we will coach at pitt?
AZ penn state and az st have full staff already so what is the hold up with us?

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.12.12 @ 8:18 am

was one of the 10,812 watching the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight. nothing to add to above analysis. same observations: Gibbs has been abducted by Space Jam aliens. Stinks. Sleepy asleep again. Zanna hustles, but loses tussles inside. No toughness inside except Nas, who sucked until last couple min when Rutgers was in merch mode. Nobody effectively drives to the hoop on this team. Very few open looks on O. No effective screens. And outrebounded with our 6’11” center on the pine until the 3:50 mark.

please move Gibbs from PG. play JJohnson there. Move Gilbert into this ineffective lineup. He’s raw, but has potential. Can’t say that about some of our other players.

smattering of boos throughout the Pete for first time in my memory (charter season ticket holder). Bad team. Big challenge for Jamie to win a game, honestly. Can only hope to battle hard against the likes of Marquette, Syracuse & Louisville. will be hard to watch 2 losses against the Hoopies. Going back to 3 stooges reruns.

HTP, but this team is downright embarrassing. Not calling for Jamie’s head like some, but new blood with assistant coaches would be welcome. Have to change it up somehow. Same old O. Same old D. Same old 2012 result: Loss.

Comment by Bossdaws 01.12.12 @ 8:44 am

Lets face it Pittsburgh sports in general is on the down slide.

Steelers entire aging team injured and embarrased in Denver.

Penguins now drop 6 straight and lose the games greatest player…probably forever

The Pirates…well they are the Pirates

Pitt Football had one of the most disappointing seasons combined with a coaching circus

Pitt Basketball suddenly looks like a playground team

And yes even the great State Penn has fallen off the pedestal.

Wow, things are getting ugly in a hurry.

Comment by Coach Ditka 01.12.12 @ 8:46 am

“mercy mode”

Comment by Bossdaws 01.12.12 @ 8:47 am

One of the Rutgers players said they knew how to defend Pitt as they run the same plays year over year and having Rice as an assistant for some time – he knew how Pitt runs their offense. It really looks like the players do not care.

Comment by markp 01.12.12 @ 8:47 am

I know i’m late but, I don’t recall seeing a team, let alone Pitt, ever look this bad. This was like a team of kids off the street who knows nothing about the game playing agaisnt an organized ball club. Nothing to explain except, know i know why Gilbert is on the bench, he’s a project, Pitt is in deep du du, no other explantion is necessary!

Comment by michael 01.12.12 @ 9:14 am

Everyone in basketball knows how to defend everyone else. Other than some “quick-hitter” sets, teams and programs across the country have been running the same offenses for years. It’s a matter of coaching the players to execute, and players having the talent to do it. This team has neither element right now.

Comment by JW 01.12.12 @ 9:27 am

We’ll be fine in the future. In fact, I’d be willing to predict that next year will be a special season. It all depends on whether the current team eventually wakes up, which I believe that they will by the end of the season. Will we make the tournament? No, but at this point, any signs of development will be a step in the right direction. I have no doubt that Jamie Dixon is the man to lead this team into its next phase aka winning national championships. This year is just a bump in the road.

Comment by PatMac 01.12.12 @ 9:36 am

First, comments concerning the game that I attended. First boos ever heard by me at the Pete. The zone D didn’t work at all. But I don’t really find fault in the D. Rutgers shot 40% from the field and only scored 62 points. That’s solid D and doesn’t indicate a lack of effort. The whole problem was the offense and shooting. At one point, Pitt was 4-32 from the field. I don’t care if you have the best D in the history of basketball you are never going to win when you shoot that horrible. And when you shoot that bad, you are always going to get outrebounded. I think the bad shooting has gotten in their heads. For example, Johnson keeps on passing up wide open looks. I think this illustrates the importance of having a quality PG. The offense was 2nd in the nation before Woodall was hurt. Hopefully he’s back soon.

@upittbaseball 6-7 subpar seasons and 1 final four run that’s just silly. I’ve been getting season tickets to Pitt basketball since 2000 and some of the most rewarding wins have been regular season wins by the good “underachieving” Pitt team. I would not trade 10 years of excellent regular seasons with consistent wins over top teams in the nation for 1 flukey tournament run to the Final 4.

@Emel I think you need to take a few deep breaths. Pitt was just a top team with a 1 seed last year. All evidence suggests that the current losing streak is an anomaly. If Pitt keeps losing next year then I’ll join you in the doom and gloom. Also, I can’t agree with your point about Pitt being worse next year because they are losing their top rebounder and scorer. I think in the case of Nasir and Gibbs it will be addition by subtraction. Nasir is undersized and isn’t a good shooter. His game last night was HORRIBLE. And Gibbs, he can’t play D and right now can’t shoot (Pitt was fine without a better shooting Gibbs last year). Gibbs and Nasir are the two biggest reasons as to why Pitt is struggling.

Bottom line it comes down to this, how many teams in the nation would be able to lose their starting PG and starting 5 (Birch was playing minutes and although up and down had good performances and was giving minutes, his “replacement” barely plays and clearly needed to be redshirted, in December and then keep on winning? (Not to mention the fact that Pitt lost 3 senior who contributed tons of minutes from the previous season).

Comment by Wardapalooza 01.12.12 @ 9:37 am

A program just can’t survive this much bad recruiting……

I want to know which assistant coach brought Taylor and Zanna in. I’ve never seen two lousier, softer big men. Think combined they had like 5 rebounds last night against a crappy Rutgers front line.

And Taylor and Zanna are the guys we kept. Let’s not forget about the Dwight Millers and the JJ Richardsons — big men who were even lousier.

And then I want to know which ass’t coach thought Epps and Wright were Big East guards.

Ridiculous. Bad inside and bad outside.

Comment by hugh green 01.12.12 @ 9:43 am

info pitt s new RB coach name is Eddie Faulkner

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.12.12 @ 9:46 am

info our new rb coach played at wisonsin 1996 to 2000 he coached at ball state or northern illinois.

Comment by FRANKCAN 01.12.12 @ 9:56 am

from NIU site when Dave Doering hired Faulkner last year:

Faulkner has coached the running backs at Ball State since 2005 and has been the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator for the last two seasons. Under his direction, tailback MiQuale Lewis set the Ball State single season rushing record during the Cardinals’ undefeated Mid-American Conference regular season campaign in 2008. Ball State was ranked for nine straight weeks that season and achieved a ranking of as high as No. 12 in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings.

The previous year, the BSU backfield tallied nearly 2,000 rushing yards despite losing Lewis in the fifth game of the season. Ball State played in bowl games following both the 2007 and 2008 seasons. After beginning his coaching career at Anderson University in 2002 as running backs coach and junior varsity offensive coordinator, Faulkner, a native of Muncie, spent the 2003 and 2004 seasons on the Ball State coaching staff as a graduate assistant coach.

He was a four-year letterwinner at tailback for the University of Wisconsin and helped the Badgers to two Big Ten Championships and five bowl games during his playing career. After graduating from UW, he was a free agent signee of the National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers in 2001 and played professionally with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League

Comment by wbb 01.12.12 @ 9:59 am

It’s not bad recruiting per se. Taylor, Zanna, Wright and Epps were all recruited by big programs and given offers by big programs. So it is more along the lines of a development issue. Players develop by getting minutes and only Woodall, Nasir and Gibbs had signficant minutes last year.

Comment by Wardapalooza 01.12.12 @ 10:03 am

It’s recruiting. Taylor and Zanna are soft. You don’t develop SOFT. Minutes don’t help soft. Minutes also don’t help unathletic. Neither Taylor or Zanna can block a shot because they don’t get up fast or high enough.

Minutes also don’t make Epps thinner or quicker or make Wright’s shot stop having sidespin.

Comment by hugh green 01.12.12 @ 10:27 am

put in mark myers

Comment by paul shannon 01.12.12 @ 10:36 am

Devonte Watson blocks in double figures since he’s been at Lincoln Park, he’ll be heading to Temple next year. So if Pitt were looking for defense, this kid was in their back yard!

Comment by michael 01.12.12 @ 10:37 am

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Comment by xpawlunlibsilat 01.15.12 @ 11:06 am

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