January 14, 2012

Hey, did you hear? The schedule for Pitt gets rough starting today. Yeah, that keeps getting mentioned after every painful lost since the end of December. And sharing the basement of the Big East with other teams that have been on top is not much of a comfort.

Coach Dixon appears willing to do anything to get Ashton Gibbs some space to shoot and getgoing. This includes more minutes for Isiah Epps and more of playing John Johnson at the point. Oh, and Marquette is 5th in the Big East in steals.

Everyone has their pet theories about what Pitt needs to do to get going. I wish I had an easy answer. The idea of Marcus Gilbert getting more minutes for his shot-blocking potential is nice, but he is so raw on the footwork that he can be easily moved around by a penetrating player or an easy up-and-under move. Plus his offense is even more limited.

Coach Dixon wants to see Johnson attempt to penetrate more as he is the only guard Dixon feels comfortable about doing that. I would say that is probably accurate. The one trade-off to that was in the Rutgers game where Johnson got himself hung up in-between. He would pass-up an open shot from outside trying to shot-fake and drive. Only to find it cut-off. I would love to see much more penetration from J.J. Moore. He has the strength and ability to attack the basket and absorb contact, but continues to either take 3s or pull up for a contested jumper.

On the Marquette side, they may still be ranked, but they have their issues. Including their own inability to play a complete game. In no small part because they get into foul trouble.

Okay, the game is on ESPNU at 2pm.

You all know the rules for the liveblog I hope. It is a moderated chat. I realize how hard it is not to lose it these days, but insanity doesn’t do much for anyone. The abusive will find themselves blocked. Repetitive comments will be ignored. If you need to break it out from the site, Click Here.

A bought a fresh bottle of Woodford for today. Hopefully, I won’t run out…

Comment by ECH 01.14.12 @ 11:37 am

I’m leaving the house from 12 to 4. We also have to endure (avoid?) the Nova game.

Comment by Stfan 01.14.12 @ 11:50 am

I agree that johnson and moore need to step up. Johnson has shown that he can score so i want to see him and moore attack the basket, hopefully opening up threes for gibbs, and everyone else crash the offensive boards. It seems like dixon is giving johnson and moore some offensive freedom so hopefully they can repay his trust with some points.

Comment by Pk 01.14.12 @ 11:53 am

Btw, this will be the first time that ill be commenting throughout the game so bear with me

Comment by Pk 01.14.12 @ 11:56 am

should be interesting hoping johnson plays the point….and moore plays like to see us go with our best scoring options alot more…and please no cameron wright!!

Comment by pitt-for-life 01.14.12 @ 12:01 pm

Pitt, hes going to be a good player in time. Wannamaker was the same way. Good defense, crappy offense early on but developed into a solid all-around player

Comment by Pk 01.14.12 @ 12:05 pm

Gil Brown was the prototype for Moore. Gil had the same issues of pulling up more frequently than I would have liked. Seems to be something that was coached into him. Moore is repeating the same pattern, but doing it all a little less well than Gil did his sophmore year. I dunno what this means, and Dixon certainly knows more about the players and basketball generally than i do. Still, I agree with Chas – i’d really like to see JJ dribble drive way more often. Seems like teams aren’t that worried about Pitts ability to penetrate, but mostly i think because we just don’t do it. It makes it easier to guard outside shooting which i think is one of the numerous things that’s lead to such poor shooting.

Comment by PantherP 01.14.12 @ 12:08 pm

pk…wright doesnt offer anyting good right now..i don’t want to see him on the court..this year

Comment by pitt-for-life 01.14.12 @ 12:16 pm

Pitt, hes solid defensively but he shouldnt be playing point thats for sure. There are many people for pitt that shouldnt be out on the court besides wright.

Comment by Pk 01.14.12 @ 12:19 pm

I think there are 2 positives that will come out of this year. 1) young players are getting experience and in the case of johnson, by the end of the year he could develope into somewhat of a go to guy. 2) these players will know what real adversity is. Nobody is going to believe in them from here on out into next year sonthis year may be one long, horrible, teaching moment for dixon and those who will return next year.

Comment by Pk 01.14.12 @ 12:24 pm

well, my expectations are as low for a Pitt BB game as I can remember for a long time. I’m afraid that it’s gotten to the point where I would hope to just see improvement.

Comment by wbb 01.14.12 @ 1:08 pm

Epps to start today?? He must be practicing very hard to deserve the start

Comment by JAM 05 Pitt 01.14.12 @ 1:53 pm

Agree, wbb…could take the losses if it appeared they were slowly improving, and building upon their successes.

Comment by Lou 01.14.12 @ 2:04 pm

low expectations, but high hopes for: Gibbs to come alive, someone to play PG effectively, someone to get hot and hit some 3’s, Defense to play 40 minutes, some guard to actually penetrate and score, and someone playing the 5 or 4 to play tough underneath, rebound & block a shot or two. That’s all. HTP

Comment by Bossdaws 01.14.12 @ 2:05 pm

epps starting??

Comment by pitt-for-life 01.14.12 @ 2:06 pm

Ok so far

Comment by Pk 01.14.12 @ 2:12 pm

you can tell the offense is better with gibbs not at the point

Comment by pitt-for-life 01.14.12 @ 2:15 pm

The Panthers are playing a nice game, regardless of the out come. They are moving the ball better, playing better defence, and shooting better. Actually they should have a bigger lead. I just hope they can play as well in the 2nd half.

Comment by Justinian 01.14.12 @ 2:54 pm

good first half..the offense is def better when gibbs is not at point….congrats on 3 point record

Comment by pitt-for-life 01.14.12 @ 3:03 pm

The ball moves so much better with Epps running the show. He is playing a solid game at the point.

Comment by OntarioLett'sGoPitt 01.14.12 @ 3:13 pm

Marquette is the bonus with 13 minutes to go. Pitt’s playing well, let’s hope it continues.

Comment by Justinian 01.14.12 @ 3:22 pm

Robinson makes too many turnovers

Comment by markp 01.14.12 @ 3:29 pm

Four straight turnovers and 8 unanswered point. You would think we make the adjustments.

Comment by Justinian 01.14.12 @ 3:32 pm

Robinson has always been a turnover machine. He hasn’t improved over time like other panther players over the years. Pitt has officially lost any momentum they had and now down 4. No one on Pitt seems to be a go to player with the ball in their hands. I keep saying it but we miss a rebounding big body like Grey, Blair, Troutman, …

Comment by Dish 01.14.12 @ 3:36 pm

Its been patterson turning it over. His careless passes got marquette into their run and now epps chuckin up contested 3’s 10 seconds in the possession

Comment by Pk 01.14.12 @ 3:39 pm

Other than Gibbs no on wants the ball.

Comment by Dish 01.14.12 @ 3:57 pm

I wish we could rebound….Fundementals?

Comment by Kohan Da Man 01.14.12 @ 3:59 pm

0 and 5…..

Comment by Kohan Da Man 01.14.12 @ 4:02 pm

ouch X 5

Comment by Pitt Fan In Atlanta 01.14.12 @ 4:05 pm

as noted above, it’s not the freshmen turning the ball over … it’s Robinson and Patterson

Comment by wbb 01.14.12 @ 4:07 pm

12 points & 15 rebounds from the front court. Oh and 10 turnovers from teh big guys.

Of that Nas had 10 pts, 7 rebs, and 7 TOs. Nas CAN NOT be our main feature down low. If and when, Taylor or Zanna improve, big leap in our teams play i bet.

Comment by PantherP 01.14.12 @ 4:07 pm

Got Gibbs back. Now someone else needs to show up. Too many turnovers by patterson and nas. Taylor pathetic. Moore cold as ice.

Epps helped. No turnovers.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 01.14.12 @ 4:12 pm

everyone on this team is a turnover machine…coaching??….or just bad players?

Comment by pitt-for-life 01.14.12 @ 4:14 pm

this team is VOID of talent…Dixon decides to press with2 min left..a coaching genious..Once again we get suprised by the full court press..for 6 years now..Recruit a ball handler. I firmly believe JD has reached his cieling as a coach and recruiter…I think Taylor became a McD’s all american be eating 67 McNuggets in 90 seconds,because it surely couldnt have been for basketball….o fer the big east this year…no talent,lazy and undercoached…..good practice team claims JD..well keep em practicing

Comment by keith 01.14.12 @ 4:14 pm

Lot better effort today, Gibbs was magnificent, carried the team on his shoulders.

The two offensive rebounds they got in the last minute or so, killed any chance of winning. But hey we rarely win AT Marquette anyway.

They will win a few games if they EVER get anything offensively from Zanna (2pts) or Sleepy (0 pts). Patterson & Moore didn’t do much either for being sophomores, one a redshirt soph.

Woody would have made a difference today, as the other guards(jj & epps) didn’t score much at all.

Too many recruiting misses… it is what it is.

Comment by Emel 01.14.12 @ 4:15 pm

what is with the internet broadcast of pre and post game radio coverage this is bull shit if you want national audiene please drop the the current black out

Comment by scott tanner 01.14.12 @ 4:27 pm

don’t believe in “good losses”. 0-5 in BE, but Gibbs had a great game, Epps showed he can run the point (just don’t shoot), zone worked for the most part (left Easter Island head open too much), and Zanna played decent game. Nas, Lamar played sloppy, Dante sucked again. He should be No. 3 center.

Comment by Bossdaws 01.14.12 @ 4:30 pm

should taylor be put on the bench??…Nas is trying to do to much…and no one wants to score but gibbs!!…this is a disaster!!…Dixon looks scared and helpless on sideline.

Comment by pitt-for-life 01.14.12 @ 4:31 pm

Unfortunately, I was able to view just the 2nd half. I was SHOCKED to see we were ahead at the mid-point of the game. Gibbs was hot. Obviously he should remain at shooting guard. Epps has potential. He showed me he CAN play the point in time. Between Woodall, Epps and Johnson Pitt SHOULD have the point secure enough to limp through this devastating season. Next comes Syracuse.I might take a sabbatical for that one. Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 01.14.12 @ 4:40 pm

I don’t think Dixon looked “scared”…maybe concerned, and watching via ESPN3 he seemed to be calm when talking with team in timeouts.

Epps handled the ball well for his first start…Gibbs played superb.

Need to fix dribbling into the corner during the press—gets us into too many TOs.

After the rutgers debacle, it was good to see the team play hard…no quit in them.

Hail to PITT!

Comment by Oregon_Panther 01.14.12 @ 4:42 pm

good one on the sabbatical, Rev. needed a laugh after that 2nd half.

Comment by Bossdaws 01.14.12 @ 4:52 pm

We played a fantastic game. Great basketball. I really like our chances at the NIT

Comment by Tony C 01.14.12 @ 4:54 pm

A strong effort on the road after a disaster agains RU.

O.K. let’s tell it like it is, the wrong guy transferred. Birch does have upside potential if he can gain maturity. Dante had to be one of the most overrated players in the last 5 years.
I am not sure if he is coachable. Like the song from the great Broadway show, “Damn Yankees” “Ya
Gotta Have Heart” Mr Taylor just seems like he is cruising through life with no zest or feeling whatsoever…NO EMOTION, NO FIGHT, a passive individual who is getting his head handed to him
in almost every game. It is bench time for Dante! Make that extended bench time, let’s see if he gets angry enough to come out of his hardened shell to play like a Hambuger All-American.

Comment by isnore 01.14.12 @ 4:58 pm

Our wrestling team is in the top 10.

Comment by MariettaMike 01.14.12 @ 5:02 pm

Isnore: Sadly, I agree with you. Taylor must have been jilted by his lady friend or is flunking a class or two. He truly is an enigma. Honestly, I keep hoping for his to snap out of it, He seems exasperated. Poor guy, and I mean it, I really would like to see some potential there, but I search in vain. Rev. George in Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 01.14.12 @ 5:35 pm

Good game by Pitt, much better. If not for turnovers by Nasir and Lamar would have been different game. Nasir shouldn’t have the ball in his hands during a press unless to pass off to the wings, but Jamie kept him in the backcourt during pressure, oh well!

Comment by michael 01.14.12 @ 5:48 pm

A little improvement by Gilbert and a good game by Epps too. Maybe things will get better!

Comment by michael 01.14.12 @ 5:49 pm

My hope is that for respectabilty sake this team can somehow win 9 more games. As importantly is the devlopment of 2 or 3 of the freshman and sophmores.

You can not always count on what you read about high school recruits but there is something unique about the description on Adams. Birch and almost all 5 star big men are defined as athletic, gifted, with a defensive flair but as often they are noted to need development in their inside offensive game.

This has seemed to be consistent with American big men since Magic Johnson revolutionized the game. With the advent of AAU teams and focus high scool coaches more concerned with winning than player development fundmentals big man in high school now seems to spend more time playing away from the basket attempting to demonstrate their ball handling and outside shooting rather than their inside power moves. When my son played high school basketball I saw this phenomon quite often.

What does this have to do with Pitt. Arron Gray was not athletic but he worked the post and was dominant in college. McGhee certainly was no athelte but he worked the post and gave his teammates easier opportunities because of this. This year we have no post player and I wish Dixon would go to a 3 guard 2 forward offense and run more. Get the non-functional post men we have have and their defenders out of the lane to open up the court.

Finally the point – everything I have read on Adams including his dominance of the top centers including Drummund in the Addias games, is his willingness to score down low – to defendd the basket. Unlike other high school big men he has been described as already possessing an inside offensive post up game as well as the ability to step out and hit the short jumper.

Adams appears to be a rare throw back in American basketball to when a big man enjoyed breaking down opponents from inside out.

The other area of weakness Pitt has always suffered in my opinion was at point guard. A player who could manage the game and “play within his talents” and not attempt more than he can do (Krauser, Fields, and Gibbs). The guard coming in next year sounds if he is also a breakthrough. A high school player who is from a well coached program such as DeMatha. He may not be as athletic as the pro-level guards stopping off for a year but he could make everyone on Pitt’s struggling underclassmen this year better.

The guard coming next year has the basketball pedigree that far surpass any previous Pitt guard.

You never know but contrary to Americn big men Adams appears to be a legitimate low post athelete if so he could reform basketball as Magic did. Plus a DeMatha star guard should come to college and know how to play basketball not be only an excellent athelete. He should be able to start the first time he steps on the court.

Hoping Pitt improves through the year and the two recruits coming in that appear to hold more promise than any that have come to Pitt before live up to their potential. If so this year will just be a pimple on a big butt.

Comment by DRW 01.14.12 @ 5:53 pm

Epps should def be the pg for this team…taylor need benched and minimal minutes we need to see more of johnson, moore and gilbert…and less of wright and zanna…watch out cuse…her we come!!

Comment by pitt-for-life 01.14.12 @ 5:57 pm

“I liked how we played,” Dixon said. “The second half, we had some challenges there given the foul situation and I think that really caught up to us. We did some really good things. I’m proud of how hard we played but we didn’t get it done.”

Sad state of affairs. Considering as soon as Marquette put on a 3/4 court press, PITT had countless turnovers and MU went on a 13-0 run which pretty much was game, set & match.

Hey, but at least Coach finally went to a ZONE for an extended period and got Gibbs back to SG. He’s finally learning, that is indeed encouraging.

And luckily MU didn’t press the whole game. haha

Comment by Emel 01.14.12 @ 6:49 pm

Epps penetrated and knew when to dish off when given the chance, he will only get better. Nasir has to know his place or he will hurt the team more by dribbling outside of his position!

Comment by michael 01.14.12 @ 6:51 pm

Someone wake me up when this nightmare is over.

Comment by Scott 78 01.14.12 @ 6:55 pm

Time to shock the world. No 1 Syracuse mon. night. We all know Jamie’s record vs Boeheim.

Comment by alcofan 01.14.12 @ 7:01 pm

There is no reason Epps should not have been given the reins after Woodall went down. This team is much better with him running it and Gibbs at the two than any lineup that includes Cameron Wright as a Two and Gibbs as a one. Now the kid is going to be needed but he has little experience. I big miss early in this season by the coaching staff I believe.

Comment by OntarioLett'sGoPitt 01.14.12 @ 7:18 pm

Looking forward to seeing Robinson and Dematha High play Monday afternoon on espnu. Maybe a little glimpse into the future will make me feel better.

Comment by JW 01.14.12 @ 7:20 pm

Well on the good side Jamie Dixon adapted rather than hope for a different outcome. That was a much better played game. Unfortunately Nas and Lamar killed with turnovers today. Patterson’s in particular ignited Marquette in the second half. Three of those were within like four straight possessions.

I liked the zone in the second half. However I can’t understand why Jamie played a back line on the zone of Robinson (6’5″), Zanna (6’9″) and Wright (6’3″) at one point. None of those guys are great jumpers either. We were having difficulties grabbing defensive boards and Jamie’s substitution was Patterson (6’5″ and again no great jumper) for Wright. Why Gilbert didn’t play in that situation is beyond me. If Marquette doesn’t make shots they can’t press. I still say that Pitt is a decent running team and should look to push it more given their inability to knock down shots in the half court.

I like Talib Zanna a lot, but he needs to catch the ball cleanly and be strong with it.

Is anyone else disturbed by how this year’s team consistently falters in the second half. I’ve no statistics to back this up, but it has always seemed to me in past years that Pitt teams always played better in the second half of games.

Comment by Barvo 01.14.12 @ 8:24 pm

our teams in the past were good….not so much this year…if you have crappy players it’s hard to play good during any half….however we did play descent in the first half

Comment by pitt-for-life 01.14.12 @ 8:38 pm

Mlb mike caprara just committed to pitt. He is woodland hills all time leader in tackles and was also recruited by psu and michigan state

Comment by Pk 01.14.12 @ 9:09 pm

In a year like this all I want to see is improvement and building blocks for next year. First time this year I saw both.

Gibbs had his first really good game of the year. But more importantly for the future, Epps did not look overmatched. If we can get some development out youngs guys like Epps, Johnson, Moore, Gilbert and maybe even Zanna I think that could be a good supporting cast for Robinson and Adams next year.

Although Patterson is young, I’m not sure how high a ceiling he has and I have really don’t have much hope left for Taylor.

Next year (I hate to be one of those guys that talks about “next year”):

A backcourt of Epps, Johnson, Woodall & Robinson will be small but will be the quickest and best ball handling Pitt has had in years.

The 4 & 5 tandem of Gilbert, Adams, Zanna, & Taylor will be the biggest & deepest we’ve had in years.

Can we find enough consistency and scoring from Patterson, D. Johnson and Moore at the 3? If so, this could be a good line up come next March.

Sadly, I think it will all come down to whether or not Adams is the real deal…

Regardless, we need to maximze the development of the youngs guys that we can. Gilbert, Epps, Moore, Johnson & Zanna need all the minutes they can take. I don’t want to see Gibbs running the point ever again…

Comment by Bowling Green Panther 01.14.12 @ 9:12 pm

Beat Syracuse! I just got an envelope full of Syracuse clippings mailed to me and a note asking me about this year’s Pitt team. What a nice stage for an upset. This would be a good game to get back on track.

Switching to football, Chris Dokish reported on his blog that Pitt signed linebacker Mike Caprara from Woodland Hills.

Comment by Justinian 01.14.12 @ 11:34 pm

I’m now just chalking it up to a bad year in the Burgh. I mean really if you are just a Pittsburgh sports fan, as I am, this has been an awful year. The worst of my 22 years on this planet. I’ve never seen anything like this last month/year in Pittsburgh sports. If it could go wrong it has gone wrong, either flat-out disaster from the start or just falling apart at a key time, nothing has gone right this year. I do, however, hold out hope that this team can close 9-4 and maybe sneak into the tourney. The way it’s been going in the Burgh though, they’ll get to the doorstep and be the last team out.

Comment by Pitt Rob 01.14.12 @ 11:47 pm

I hate to say it but this year’s football and basketball teams would crush any year’s Pitt team while I was in school (68-73). It’s not as bad as it could get- trust me.

Comment by tsquare 01.15.12 @ 12:32 am

some data about Adams’ debut yesterday at BABC Prep Classic … 23 pts, 10 reb

link to

Comment by wbb 01.15.12 @ 8:43 am

I missed yesterday’s game and spent the afternoon away from my television. I haven’t seen too many games so looking forward to Monday night, to see Pitt against Syracuse.

As much as I can look forward to Monday night.
There’s got to be a bottom soon, right?

Comment by Rieur1114 01.15.12 @ 9:59 am

Wbb, doesnt he play on tonight?

Comment by Pk 01.15.12 @ 10:11 am

Don’t get too excited about Epps. No buckets in 60+ minutes, plus that free throw exhibit last week. He needs some offense.
If Patterson does his turnover tricks again I would start JJ.
Iwould also keep Taylor on the floor until he fouls out and tell him to go hard. I think he plays afraid and that leads to cheap fouls.
NIT might be a reach this year.

Comment by Jimbo 01.15.12 @ 12:49 pm

Epps doesn’t have to score as the point if the rest of the team, including Gibbs, plays better. I’m excited about how he played because the offense didn’t look so dismal as it had. If you get any buckets out of him that is a bonus. Right now they just need a facilitator.

Comment by OntarioLett'sGoPitt 01.15.12 @ 12:56 pm

After the Rutgers disaster, I think everyone or most everyone was expecting a blowout AT Marquette.

What things did PITT do differently to even be ahead at the half and stay in the game till the end.

1) The Big Move was moving Gibbs back to SG
(frankly why he was moved in the first place was baffling. You can’t have your leading scorer feeling out of position and being worn out bringing the ball up the court for 38 minutes per game) This led to his highest scoring output of the season at 29 points on pretty much 50% shooting. Coaching blunder

2) PITT’s defense was much better giving up only 60 some points. PITT had more steals (10) than in the previous 4 games COMBINED. The defense was better because they played ZONE for most of the game. You only get better playing ZONE, the MORE you play it. This crap about playing if for a possession or two and the other team scores and immediately you go back to Man is ridiculous. This team doesn’t have the athletes to play Man, they couldn’t even defend the Rider’s & LaSalle’s in the Man. PITT could have been practicing this ZONE against SC State & St. Francis & a few other non-con lightweights. Surely Coach could see from the Rider game and forward this team couldn’t defend in the Man. Took way too long to analyze the problem (the Man defense) and implement a correction (the Zone).

3) For as good as Pitt’s been, they always seem to have problems with a press. Why….well they rarely attempt to PASS OVER the press. Instead they either dribble or pass into the teeth of it.
Also they always have way to many players on the half of the court where the inbounds pass was passed into. The more players on that side of the court creates more congestion on that side of the court and therefore more opportunities for the opponent to double team the ball. You have to spread the court, so that it’s much harder for the opponent to double team the ball.
You must make the other team PAY for pressing you, which means passing over them and getting 2 on 1’s or 3 on 2’s for easy layups. That is the goal of breaking the pass, NOT crawling up the floor, only to have to beat the defense AGAIN in their half-court defense. So need a guy who can ACCURATELY throw a half-court or full-court pass, passing the ball inbounds and you need a player with good hands at the midcourt circle who can also dribble adequately and hopefully be able to make a pass. This isn’t rocket science.

4) Shorten the bench. We don’t have 10 guys that good to go 10 deep(well maybe against VMI & St. Francis), especially against good teams.. Way too many different combinations of players playing with each other. Stick with a 7 or 8 man rotation, plenty of good teams do it that way.
That could be the problem with all the turnovers, nobody knows where the other guy is going to be, since there’s such a constant shuffle of players.
Also pulling guys immediately after they make a mistake, cause some players to play really tight for fear of making a mistake and being yanked out of the game. The bench should have been shortened AFTER the Wagner disaster. If you didn’t get the hint after some of the less than sterling performances against some of the dregs of the non-con, that was like being hit over the head with an anvil. Yet……

That all being said, let’s go up to the Carrier Dump and eat some Orange.

V e V

H T P !

Comment by Emel 01.15.12 @ 2:19 pm

Well Gibbs still played point for nearly half the game. But that said, Epps looked reasonably poised, seemed to make a strong effort to get the ball upcourt quickly, and demonstrated some nice court vision. Regarding zone, it was effective at keeping us in the game but late, it got shredded up pretty badly. It’s still a work in progress….Disagree about the shuffle of players. Most of the starters played about 30 minutes. Gilbert’s redshirt is burned, so he’s got to get a few minutes mid-game for experience sake and Wright came in late for defensive purposes for a few minutes. Anyway, team is struggling. Dixon is looking for effective combinations.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.15.12 @ 3:21 pm

Video of just how good Adams is. This is film from the game they just lost during which he outshines Nerlens Noel, the number 3 recruit in the country.

link to

Comment by OntarioLett'sGoPitt 01.15.12 @ 4:06 pm

I liked Epps. Better ball handling and passing. not a turnover machine like some of the others. Nas shouldn’t be making as many stupid turnovers. Wannamaker improved at this and his inside game every year. Nas still makes too many mental mistakes for a senior. We have to stop the turnovers if we are to win again.

Earlier this year, I thought they should run more, I was wrong, they slowed it down and atayed in the game. This helped to lower the stupid shots and bad turnovers. This is the Pitt way. Be patient take good shts, protect the ball and play great D. Let’s hope they get better.

Comment by gc 01.15.12 @ 4:08 pm

OntariolettGoPitt thank you for the video. For other videos at just how impressivie Adams is pull up Steven Adams in the Adias games.

In one video Adams steals a pass at half-court dribbles (uncontested but in total control) first with his right hand then swtiches over to his left since he is approaching the hoop from the left side and ends the layup or dunk (I cannot remember) with his left hand. Lost fundamentals among Amercan players. Even the best ameican point guards if they were right handed would have dribbled to the hoop with their right hand and shot the lay-up with their right hand.

From what Ive seen all he needs is upper body strength to compete now in the NBA. Most importantly he does not appear to have the self promoting attitude or feigned modesty attitude of American atheletes. He seems to be genuine appreciative young man. Even if he dominates as a freshman he may stay two years because of his apparent character.

Anyone see Robinson for DeMatha last night?

Comment by DRW 01.15.12 @ 4:50 pm

Adams will be on ESPN3 at 6pm EST as Notre Dame Prep takes on New Hampshire Prep.

Comment by Mailman 01.15.12 @ 5:40 pm

Nerlens Noel, who was the player Adams was shown competing with in his first game at ND prep on the youtube video and number 3 recruit for his class said after the game that Steven Adams is the best player he has EVER played against.

Comment by OntarioLett'sGoPitt 01.15.12 @ 6:04 pm

get ready to shock the nation on Big Monday: Gibbs and JJohnson light up Cuse’s zone with 3’s. Epps runs a smooth O from the pt, Nas does not help bring the ball up and has zero TO’s, Gilbert has a breakout game with multiple blocks and rebounds, both Moore & Lamar shoot effectively from the 3, and Sleepy misses the bus and the game. Pitt shocks the No. 1 team at da Dome! shouldn’t mix my meds & Harp Lager on weekends.

Adams isn’t here yet and can’t help us Monday. I agree with Emel and would like to see Jamie shorten the bench, especially when a lineup is clicking (see beginning of Marq game). Play Gilbert more and Dante less.

We traditionally play well at Syracuse and would love to see the 6 game skid end on Big Monday. Probably not, but hope to see some Panther Pride on national TV. Credit Jamie for trying the zone and finally putting Gibbs back at the 2. Will be interesting to see if Epps can put two good games together at PG. Need it to free Gibbs up and get the upset. HTP

Comment by Bossdaws 01.15.12 @ 6:32 pm

70-65 Pitt, this is Boeheim’s worst nightmare. He knows that he has trouble with Pitt, and that we ended their undefeated seasons twice recently. Normally, losing to Pitt wouldn’t be bad, but tomorrow for them it would be. Nas will have a big game as he is a zone killer. This team knows they can win this game and they will. Epps plays well and makes some shots. A win tomorrow would be huge for confidence and I think they get it and start to get in a groove from here on out, at least I hope so.

Comment by Pitt Rob 01.15.12 @ 6:45 pm

Ontario, is there a place where I can watch that interview?

Comment by pk 01.15.12 @ 8:05 pm

Respect this year would be another 20 win season which seems unlikely today but a copule of upsets and defeats of teams that we can beat on a good night.

Syracuse and Conneticut both had terrible years within the last 5 years and immediately bounced back (Conneticut winning te NCAA’s). North Carolina also was terrible 2 or 3 years ago and is back on top.

I would not use these situations if it were not be for a possibly unique player arriving next year an atheltic big man who has no desire to be a strong forward, although he has better offensive skills to be than Taylor or Birch. And a guard, although not incredibly quick or big but knows how to play basketball. He dribbles equally well with both hands, uses his left hand when penetrating to the hoop on the left side. After scoring on penetration immediately goes on defense before the ball hits the floor. A throw back to real basketball players.

Adams it appears will make an immediate impact. If he gains upper body strength a profound impact. Robinson could be the best guard from a school that has prided itself on its guards (Knight, Krauser, Fields,and Gibbs)who were each fundamentally flawed as players. Fields is the best example two first team all-americans in the front court can not make the final four because of an atriously poor shooting backcourt that allowed teams to ignore any outside picks by Blair.

If a 3 can develop and perhaps with Adams in the lineup Taylor at 6’9″ (he has the potentional to be be better than SF when Blair occupied the lane)and a 2 guard who can shot who does not have to be a good ball handler because of Robinson Pitt could be dangerous by Febuary 2013.

Really are we going to miss Robinson, hardly. Are we going to miss Gibbs – only the number of shot attempts.

Comment by DRW 01.15.12 @ 9:14 pm

Pitt needs a great rebounder and a guard who can penetrate and score by being aggressive a driving to the hoop. Pitt hasnt had that since sam young

Comment by Pk 01.15.12 @ 10:58 pm

I watched the Notre Dame Prep game last night to check out Steven Adams. He got elbowed in the mouth late in the first quarter and sat most of the rest of the first half. He played most of the second half though. His stats were, I think, 5 points, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks. He definitely affected another 3 or 4 shots with his presence. While his clips from the first game with NDP showed an array of skills, other than a couple of nice blocks, he looked pretty raw in this game. But physically, he is really impressive. He is a deceiving 6’11” or 7’0” because his body is completely proportional. He is slender and athletic. And he runs very smoothly. Really, just watching him on tv, you can’t tell he is that tall. His body type and fluid movement make him look like he’s maybe closer to 6’7” or 6’8”. He’s got a good motor and hustles up and down the court. He wasn’t particularly beastly or aggressive around the basket, but he did not seem to shy away from contact. He looks like he will really benefit from being in a serious program. It’s unfortunate Birch transferred. The two of these guys in the frontcourt would have been something to see develop over a couple of years. Too bad..…Myles Davis btw, looked great.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.16.12 @ 9:28 am

The only way we can win tonight is if someone other than Gibbs steps up. Brad did that against Syr, he took the game over and that mentality is what we’ve lacked. In games like ND we started well but faltered; Gibbs was shackled at PG, no one else stepped up and then it all imploded. To give Syr a scare we need Patterson & Moore to shoot well early on and sustain it, need Dixon to have the confidence in Gilbert & Johnson and maybe they will produce.

15 point spot is an insult, says that we don’t belong in the same conference. Are we really going to be that bad? Maybe not.

Comment by Old School Panther 01.16.12 @ 12:08 pm

Expect Jimmy B to flip the script and press Pitt tonight. Also ‘cues is really long. It will be tougher for Nas to get his shots.

That said, 15 points? Too many. Pitt covers.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 01.16.12 @ 12:46 pm

15 1/2 pts. put that on the chalkboard and remind this team that Pitt hasn’t lost to the Orange since 2006. That maybe if we play them 10 times they beat us 9, but not tonight. That great moments are born from great opportunity…you know the rest.

agree that we need a TEAM effort tonite to pull off the upset. Gibbs needs to get 20+, but we need Lamar or one of the JJs (Johnson-Moore) to hit a few 3’s. Combine that with better D, Nas playing tough and zero turnovers (Cuse leads nation in steals) and we have a chance. Also need a productive effort from the bigs—-Zanna and Gilbert. Bench is taylor made for Dante, but maybe he can add a rebound, dunk or two.
Teams rarely go undefeated anymore. What a great opportunity for this team to regain some swagger and get a huge upset. stay tuned.

Comment by Bossdaws 01.16.12 @ 1:18 pm

We could be giant killers but a few things that have not gone well all season would have to go perfect tonight. Particularly, our front court would have to play like veterans.

I’d be happy to see less Nas against anyone but ‘Cuse. The thing his, his best games are against zone Ds, Cuse’s particularly. Troubling thing is Nas is in a funk of sloppy play right now. If he can play crisper, he may be our best asset.

Would also like to see more Epps, Gibbs & Moore as out back court. Epps (or anyone resembling a PG) obviously helps Ashton out. And Moore is maybe our only guy who has any ability to penetrate and dish… though he’s not done much of either penetrating or dishing this far, so i’m not holding my breath.

Comment by PantherP 01.16.12 @ 2:15 pm

We need Patterson & Moore to step it up this evening and have games scoring 10-16 pts. each.

Need another big game from Gibbs and Nas has to do his specialty against the Zone.

Oh and Epps has to play well on the big stage of the Carrier Dump and it’s vastness. That’s going to be a big key, because if he doesn’t, then Gibbs has to go back to PG and the whole offense becomes very muddled.

The Cuse is ripe for the picking, we just have to grab that big juicy orange and squeeze it.

We can turn around the season tonite. Let’s do it!!

P.S. What’s the status of Woody?

Comment by Emel 01.16.12 @ 2:20 pm

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