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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.





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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