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January 26, 2012

Providence, the Cure for What Ails You

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 9:32 am

The Pitt team and the fans needed that last night. No argument that Providence is not a very good team — though, I do like their new coach and the potential of the team starting as early as next year. Also no argument that Pitt still has a lot of problems — especially on defense.

That doesn’t change how much of a relief it was to get the win last night for Pitt.

“They are a totally different team (with Woodall),” Providence coach Ed Cooley said. “Everybody is in their role. Everybody is in their comfort zone.”

Woodall ran the Pitt offense to a 22-assist, 10-turnover ratio. He had five assists and no turnovers in the second half.

“I had legs early,” Woodall said. “It was great to get a win under our belt. It’s great to be out here on the court with my team.”

Pitt led, 46-31, at halftime and led by at least seven points the rest of the way to end a skid that had plunged the Panthers from No. 15 in the AP Top 25 to No. 16 in the Big East.

Gibbs, the Big East Preseason Player of the Year, single-handedly took over late in the first half, scoring 14 points in a 3:05 span.

“That was the game,” Cooley said.

For at least one night, we saw Pitt’s offense flow. Gibbs was able to curl and come off of screens clean and showed his quick release that has been missing. No double clutching, no hesitation because there was a defender waiting for him. It had been so long since we had seen that, some might have thought Gibbs was just throwing up shots rather than doing what he had been doing for the past 3+ years.

Tray Woodall just looked like all the rust was off of him in this game. He still got the early rest and Coach Dixon just barely kept his minutes to under 30, but he was sharp.

“(Athletic trainer Tony Salesi) has been doing a great job of shooting me up with some drugs,” Woodall said, drawing laughter.

With a healthy Woodall, we’d be talking about Pitt as a bubble team for the NCAA Tournament, flirting with .500 in the Big East.

It’s not that hard to figure out. What is a football team without its starting quarterback?

Dixon smiled when he was asked if he’d learned any lessons during the losing streak.

“I guess it reaffirmed that point guard is important,” he said. “Although I think I knew that beforehand.”

Dixon clapped and very nearly smiled on his way off the court. The players were pleased, as well, though Woodall knows his injury won’t be going away anytime soon. He said he wakes up feeling like an old man.

“The most important thing for this injury is time,” Woodall said. “And I don’t really have that.”

That’s the one lingering terror. This injury could be re-aggravated and Pitt could find itself without Woodall once more this season.

The team, though, was just so much more comfortable looking out there. No one seemed to have the entire weight of the team on them for every shot. For every defensive sequence.

“The players have confidence in him. That’s something you can’t put into words or quantify it. The players have confidence when he is on the floor.”

The Panthers shot 49 percent from the field, their highest shooting percentage in a game since shooting 50 percent against Saint Francis. And, when the shots were not going in early, offensive rebounding allowed the Panthers to build a lead. The Panthers had eight of their 14 offensive rebounds in the first half before Gibbs and Woodall heated up and totaled 18 second-chance points.

Everything, it appears, has clicked with Woodall back in place.

“You can see it in practice,” Dixon said. “You see it in games. It’s different. It’s amazing he’s back playing at this level so quick. He was tremendous. I thought it spread. I think it will continue to spread as we continue to work. We have to have a good day tomorrow to build off it because this is a starting point.”

The one other thing that was noticeable, the weak turnout for the game (and the liveblog). Ron Cook uses it to point out how tough it is to play in a pro-sports town, but to also imply Pitt fans are way too fickle/spoiled. That’s an appealing notion, but it ignores a big difference. This isn’t just a bad season. This was a bad streak. It’s one thing to have this record with wins and losses mixed in. It is another thing when the team has lost 8 straight games. Couple it with a weak opponent, mid-week and yeah, a bad night for attendance. One game, though, does not mean the glory days of the Pete as a place to be are over.





Cook is in love with the Steelers and Penguins, and goes out of his way to criticize everone else .. especially Pitt. (if only he would believe his own writing as to how hard it is for a college to compete in a pro town.)

FWIW, he was definitley against the Dixon hiring and has fessed up since .. one of the very few of many wrong judgements that he has made thru the years. He just comes off as a very angry person, both in print and on the radio

Comment by wbb 01.26.12 @ 9:43 am

Just watched my Tyvo of the game. Pitt will not win many more games with that pourous defense.

Comment by Dan 72 01.26.12 @ 9:44 am

Dan 72 is exactly correct. Pitt played much better offensively, but the defense was still awful. That is where this team needs improvement and I haven’t seen it.

Comment by omar 01.26.12 @ 9:48 am

Good 3 point shooting and a good assist to turnover ratio won this game. The D still stinks.

Comment by TX Panther 01.26.12 @ 9:54 am

Sure hope PITT plays the Friars again.

Comment by DC33 01.26.12 @ 9:55 am

Get ready for a spanking by #9 Georgetown. Unfortunately.

Comment by Pitt Is It 01.26.12 @ 9:56 am

we scored 86 pts … and will apparently have to do similar in most of the remaining games

Comment by wbb 01.26.12 @ 10:05 am

Wait..the guy is suggesting that Pitt fans are spoiled…

by the only basketball team in town? I could see if we had an NBA team or ABA or CBA or whatever, then we’d be spoiled.

But we have college bball and that’s it.

I could see his ‘spoiled’ comments if we were talking about football teams.

Comment by Lou Gagliardi 01.26.12 @ 10:06 am

Good win Remember Prov Beat Louisville by 30

Comment by 63Team 01.26.12 @ 10:07 am

Chas pointed out the good – the offense finally flowed. You actually could see the difference when Woodall came out of the game, particularly in the first half. Ball movement became tentative, virtually no penetration, poor shots leading to defensive rebounds for Providence on misses.

Patterson also played well at both the 3 and the 4. He gives them a threat from the foul line that Robinson does not – namely, he can square up and make a 15 footer more often than not.

The bad – as Dan points out, the defense was inconsistent at best. Transition defense continues to be a real problem, and Pitt’s play in the 2-3 zone is not all that good either. One thing that I noticed is that the center in the 2-3 (whether it is Zanna or Taylor) has a tendency to drift away from the basket, leaving Pitt susceptible on the baseline. The one good thing in the zone last night was that the forwards, particularly Moore and Patterson, rebounded much better than they had been.

Nice to get a win.

Comment by Pantherman13 01.26.12 @ 10:10 am

Greg Schiano to be named coach of the Tampa Bay Bucs..maybe Pitt can snag a couple of their guys

Comment by rhyno527 01.26.12 @ 10:36 am

Schiano hired?? Link? I only see that he is being considered.

link to cbssports.com

Comment by JCE 01.26.12 @ 10:50 am

found this on Schiano

link to espn.go.com

Comment by giveitarest 01.26.12 @ 10:55 am

Unreal about Schiano! Hey maybe Denman is coming to Pitt after all…

Comment by Gordo 01.26.12 @ 11:00 am

Taylor is just a disaster. It’s baffling that he is this bad. Jamie Dixon is really starting to irritate me. Why can’t Malcolm Gilbert be given a legitimate opportunity? I am positive that he will be a better option than Taylor in the 2-3 zone. He is longer and has the ability to block shots. Taylor does not and he isn’t a great defensive rebounder.

Sticking with terrible veterans has been a problem for years. Although Birch was/is a spoiled and entitled brat, Dixon should have had him starting from day 1. Taylor is just not going to be a player. He doesn’t deserve anything more than spot minutes.

This defense is atrocious and Gilbert can help where they need it most. Keeping him glued to the bench is nonsensical, especially considering how awful Dante has been. Give the kid a chance!

Comment by omar 01.26.12 @ 11:00 am

Cristobal, Wanny to Buttgers?

Comment by Jim from Dallas 01.26.12 @ 11:06 am

Schiano gonna be out! We gotta go after his recruits hard!!

Comment by Timmeh 01.26.12 @ 11:06 am

ESPN is now reporting that Greg Schiano will be hired be hired by Tampa Bay and the announcement should be made this afternoon. Maybe Chryst & Company will get another shot at signing Dennman before commitment day next week.

Comment by Justinian 01.26.12 @ 11:08 am

Omar, As much as I hate to admit it you’re probably right on that one. The foolish part is that Birch pulled the plug so early, no doubt at the advice of his handlers. He would have been on the court as much as possible other than when limited by foul trouble. Jamie pulls anyone with 2 fouls in the 1st half. He would have made a big difference inside and I have no doubt that by this time he would have settled in. But, as they say……..”If ands and buts, were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas.” Too bad for everyone. If he had shown little patience, I think he would have progressed and become a much better player under Jamie Dixon.

Comment by Justinian 01.26.12 @ 11:19 am

Wow Rutgers. Suck for them. Can we swipe Denman? And who will they go after as HC? Cristobal? Cignetti? Tom Bradley? Todd Graham? Nothing says High Octane quite like Snooki.

Comment by ECH 01.26.12 @ 11:22 am

I have seen at least 12,874 negative comments about Dante and each of them has been absolutely correct. He can’t play at this level!
Yep, even last night’s MASN announcing team commented that “he seemed slow”. He isin’t slow he is LOST!!
I have avoided being critical of Jamie because he has forgotten more about BB than I will ever know, however, in the case Sleepy ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!

Comment by isnore 01.26.12 @ 11:27 am

Birch only ever wanted to come to Pitt because of Skerry. When he left for Towson, it was a surprise Birch stayed. Once he did, though, Dixon should have been more proactive in getting him involved and keeping him happy. It’s obvious how important he was going to be, especially defensively. For all the kid’s flakiness, I put his departure on Dixon.

Gilbert has to be in there, especially if Pitt’s playing more and more zone. He’s a foul machine, but it won’t be as bad in a zone. At one point in the second half yesterday, both Zanna and Taylor were out, and Nas was moved to the 5. That was astonishing.

Comment by JW 01.26.12 @ 11:33 am

Denman, Muller, Perhaps, Ariciadano, Maybe Darius Hamilton? How big would those pick ups be for Pitt!!

Comment by Timmeh 01.26.12 @ 11:39 am

Pitt barely out rebounded Providence last night, and most of the rebounds came from the perimeter guys. I do like the smaller lineup with Patterson and Moore playing together at the two forward spots on the offensive end. But when they’re out there, Pitt is weak on the boards. Pitt barely out rebounded Providence.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Gilbert play more, especially when Pitt uses their zone. I also wouldn’t mind seeing Taylor and Zanna play together. Both moves would certainly help the interior defense. The perimeter defense is a lost cause without a stopper like Wanamaker and without benching Gibbs and we all know that isn’t going to happen.

Last night, it really looked like Robinson’s knee was bothering him. He has really struggled on defense. I think the knee has had something to do with his struggles. Last night Dixon tried to limit his minutes. But with him out, Pitt had trouble rebounding.

Surprised at what a big difference Woodall made to the offense. Gibbs got a lot more open looks (he even made most of them) and 9 assists to 1 turnover is huge.

Comment by boubacar aw 01.26.12 @ 11:44 am

With hat in hand, Nas, I’m sorry about my comments that we should give Taylor your minutes. I was frustrated. Lets put this behind us.

That said, my favorite scheme last night was 2-3 zone D with Patteron and Moore in the flats, Taylor/Zanna in the middle and Gibbs and Woodall up top. This was the line up for our most successful offensive and defensive run. (Johnson may have been in for Woodall for some of the stretch).

I point it out because some, Chas in particular, give Moore far more sh*t than he deserves anymore and for some wierd reason I feel duty bound to defend the kid. Granted he remains a little tentative on offense and has occasional lapses on D. But his attitude has clearly improved, his hustle is definitely there, he’s doing good things away from the ball and he’s not taking away more than he brings to the table generally. What mistakes he does make on D are no more frequent or severe than anyone elses, especially Wright, Johnson, or Taylor. We seem to be exaggerating his flaws now.

So it doesnt make sense anymore to single him out as the “other disapppointment”. He’s only a sophomore and he’s already better at his position than Taylor is at his. He’s got LOTS to learn still, and he has to earn the trust. Yes. But please, no more putting those two in the same category. Give the kid a chance.
(commence Moore playing a few straight games of reckless shooting and lazy defense to make me eat my words once again).

On a separate note: ESPNUs top new top 100 recruiting out. Adams #5, Robinson #44.

Comment by PantherP 01.26.12 @ 11:46 am

and, of Big East teams only Providence has a higher ranked class.

And the ACC (if looking two year out) only has two teams ahead of Pitt. only two in the top 15.

Table is setting pretty nicely for the future.

Comment by PantherP 01.26.12 @ 11:54 am

A thought and requesting opinions. In my opinion Pitt has several weaknesses as they do each year; lack of a ball handling penetrating guard, SmallF who is a scoring threat,and the most glaring weakness the ability to defend man-to man. Zones are no answer becuase (this kills Syracuse is that it is easy for opponents to get offensive rebounds and second chances against a zone because big men underneath have their back turned to the offense and cannot put a body on a man so lanes open up for rebounds.)

All that said in my opinion the blame rests squarely on the coaching staff and their recruiting in the last three years. Since McGhee and until Adams they have not recruited a legitimate center. Legitimate in size, not skill. That is one that is use to playing with his back to the basket.

Instead they got tall SF 6’9″, unlike previous Pitt teams, excet Biggs who was a bust except he was a big body, who like our present centers had no experience playing with their back to the basket ever since they played basketball.

McGhee had few basketball skills. His footwork was awful, his offensive skills were non-existent,he could not dribble the ball more then twice, but he was 6’11″ and 260lbs. More importantly since his freshman year in high school he played center and played with his back to the basket.

Dixon should of been able to recruit a 2 star or less player 6’10″ who skills were limited so he was not tempted to emulate Magic Johnson in high school. Someone who could take up space in the lane on defense and simply because of his size provide an inside outside game. No guard ever collapsed on McGhee.

With such a player Pitt could move Zanna and Taylor to the 4, who are both better than Biggs, causing match up problems because of their size – many SF in college are shorter than 6’9″. Pitt could have shut down the lane with a SF at 6’9″ and a large alibeit pondering center (McGhee)compensating for their perennial weak guard defense.

Such a team probably would have won 4 more games 16-5 and maintained the programs reputaion until the 2 legitimate players to get them over the elite 8 arrive next year.

Comment by DRW 01.26.12 @ 11:54 am

Relax guys!! Cool it!! We all know Signing Day is not until Feb. 1. We shoild also know that even that doesn’t mean a collegian will stick with his chosen team. We also should realize that some coaching staffs CONTINUE to recruit EVEN AFTER SIGNING DAY. Schools strive to keep their athlets “happy” so they don’t just “split”. Good luck with that, Athletic Directors of America. Rev. George from Columbus where the PRO TEAM is called BUCKEYES and the athletic budget is second to none.

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 01.26.12 @ 12:02 pm

And then there is this (courtesy of Fittipaldo):

“Backup small forward J.J. Moore continues to have a hard time finding his groove. He was 0 for 1 from 3-point range against the Friars and is now 5 for his last 33 from 3-point range. Moore finished with four points and five rebounds in 13 minutes. He has reached double figures in scoring once in the past nine games.”

Comment by velvil 01.26.12 @ 12:17 pm

ESPN is reporting that Tampa Bay is close to signing Greg Schiano as head coach. Maybe we will get JJ Denman after all.

Comment by Chet Masterson 01.26.12 @ 12:24 pm

oops sorry for the repeat, should have looked higher up the thread

Comment by Chet Masterson 01.26.12 @ 12:24 pm

RU hasn’t taken Schiano off its website. Not yet. Pitt must have the superior IT department. Fraud was off in a New York minute.

Comment by Scott 78 01.26.12 @ 12:31 pm

Dante Taylor = Tino Sunseri
Malcolm GIlbert = Mark Meyers

Comment by Hurley 01.26.12 @ 12:32 pm

huge win. let’s enjoy it until Sat.Georgetown brings alot more talent to town.If Tra, Gibbs & Lamar play like they did last night, we can beat the Hoyas.

I have given up on Jamie playing Gilbert. Makes no sense given the “slow” play of Dante. Taylor should be on the bench, with Gilbert getting more minutes. But it apparently isn’t going to happen. And his redshirt is shot.Puzzling.

But I agree with the idea of playing JJ Moore and Lamar together. Moore is not contributing much on O with his poor outside shooting, but he is playing well w/o the ball. He is our best jumper and is better on tip ins, rebounding and battling underneath than Taylor. He is athletic and will improve w/o being yanked for every mistake. We are a much more athletic team with (a healthy) Woodall, Gibbs, Zanna, Patterson and Moore on the floor.

Comment by Bossdaws 01.26.12 @ 12:47 pm

Sorry I missed the live blog – when I watch the games on the TV it’s harder for me to chime in. It’s perfect for ESPN3.com games though. I’ll be at the Pete for G-Town Saturday.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.26.12 @ 12:52 pm

Fittipaldo’s correct that Moore’s in a funk. I don’t think its a problem that isn’t producing on offense isn’t a huge problem. He’s not wasting as many possessions as he used to jacking up shots.

What we need is better defense and from what I see he’s steadily improving in that department despite what his detractors are saying. His hustle and attitude are great. Seriously. The rest will come when he sees more consistent minutes (and perhaps, just my guess, when he also gets consistent messages from the coaching staff). He’s a sophomore. I’m confident he’ll improve.

Comment by PantherP 01.26.12 @ 12:56 pm

Someway or other they need to get JJ Moore on the court more, pardon the pun. The Panthers need his athleticism….., when he’s fouled. I’ve seen Naz and Dante miss them on too many occasions. Making a few free throws at critical times could have won a few games against Depaul, Marquette and kept them close against Syracuse

Comment by Justinian 01.26.12 @ 1:00 pm

Maybe we can get Gary Nova to transfer back. :)

Comment by Scott 78 01.26.12 @ 1:06 pm

I left out, “the panthers need his athleticism
and someone who makes his foul shots, when fouled.

Comment by Justinian 01.26.12 @ 1:06 pm

Agreed Justinian. Moore’s better in late game situations and generally against the press than Nas or Cam Wright. His athleticism allows us to move it up faster and get quick buckets on any breakdowns. And his FT% is best on the team (which makes it all the more madddening that he doesn’t drive more often — but this i fault the coaches for more than him. Its not part of their game plan).

I’m not yet comfortable with him in-bounding the ball though.

Comment by PantherP 01.26.12 @ 1:20 pm

In my remarks about a center I forgot about Gilbert. I agree he should be used, unless hurt, for the big man in the middle to help clog up the lane.

Certainly he is raw but with him and Zanna or Taylor it should be an impressive front line to divert shots. This requires less time for Robinson. Robinson effectiveness is limited to the non-big east teams or the leagues bottom feeders.

If Woodall can play at 80% of last night now is the time to take a chance. After all, it was a win, but almost given away to Providence because of the lack of rebounding and easy put backs inside.

6’9″ SF at center will not win at this level regardleess of their skill without a legitimate post man.

Comment by DRW 01.26.12 @ 1:21 pm

LOL. Ok, so now Dante Taylor shouldn’t be a power forward, he should really be a small forward? That’s a new one.

There is no pressing need in college basketball for a large post-up style center to just take up space and clog up the lane. This thinking is 30 years old. Most teams (Pitt for example) run some sort of motion offense, which can compensate for small differences in size with screening and receive quick help from the weakside on defense. And anyway, defense is more about playing big than being big. Dejuan Blair played center here and in the NBA…..There just aren’t that many skilled high school big men out there to force the issue. It’s not just a matter of getting a big player and plopping him in the middle and then asking the next two tallest players to develop ballhandling and shooting skills. Taylor, Zanna, and Birch were all recruited for their upside athletically. The potential was there to have a fine frontcourt and also the potential to play more up-tempo. It’s just not panning out. Dixon’s recruiting has improved but is still not at the level of getting “can’t miss” prospects. On paper, there was nothing wrong with it.

The difference between a 6’9” center and a 6’10” center is 1 inch. The prospects of a team’s entire ability to win at this level do not hinge on 1 inch. I feel like I’m talking basketball with the ladies in my office when we have to say this sort of thing…And Tyrell Biggs was no bust. He was a solid, unselfish, versatile inside/outside player, who worked hard, improved, and contributed to one of Pitt’s most successful seasons. And he also played the 4, not the 3. 4=PF=Power Forward. 3=SF=Small Forward.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.26.12 @ 1:44 pm

ESPN posted that Tampa Bat has finalized the deal with Rutgers coach Greg Schiano. The artical went on to say this puts Rutgers in a bind, with national signing day only one week away. Let’s home Chryst & Company can real in a few more blue chippers like Dennman who were considering Pitt.

Comment by Justinian 01.26.12 @ 1:47 pm

@Silver: fantastic post!

Comment by omar 01.26.12 @ 2:24 pm

I was expecting Omar’s head was going to explode after DRW’s post. In DRWs defense, think the SF was a typo, and he meant PF but I still disagree (i’ve come to my senses).

On the Gilbert issue: We’re talking about back up C minutes, since Zanna is our startin center. So whatever minutes are at issue aren’t huge and are between Taylor and Gilbert. There’s little motiviation to do much about it this year.

I know we are all very down on Taylor. Rghtfully so. And its tempting to put Gilbert in just to start building for the future. But there are reasons he’s not playing and when he has played, while he certainly brought a different dynamic than Taylor or Zanna, he didn’t exactly play much better than either.

If there’s any scenario that makes sense for him to get time its for the purposes of setting things up for next year. Next year I think we’re talking Adams/Gilbert at 5 and Zanna/Moore at the 4. With Taylor who knows where.

There’s a pretty solid consensus around here that Taylor is not a 4. But it will be interesting to see what Dixon does with Taylor once the front court gets a lot more crowded next year with two young but promising centers, and Zanna and Moore both as more viable 4s than Taylor. Are we all really prepared to write Taylor off completely? And if not, what do we do with him?

These things will work themselves out over time, but i like speculating.

Comment by PantherP 01.26.12 @ 3:09 pm

I have written Taylor off completely. I’m sure he is a nice kid, but he isn’t very good at basketball.

Comment by omar 01.26.12 @ 3:25 pm

I just read a old editorial from Smizck on Adams, what a smuck. It proves you do not have to know anything about the game or evaluate skills to be a sports writer. Smuck was referring to the one bad game Adams had in a recent tournament. The one he got hurt in but more importantly had just arrived at N.D. preparatory and had one game in 6 months before this game. The most important issue is this kid is from New Zealand were they play in front of 40 people. His performance that without doubt showed him as the best center including the kid who went to UConn. was played before about 200.

The kid was nervious – of course in front of a crowd of thousands – all of us would be. If anyone has any doubts about Adams, perhaps the best offensive center in the country (needs to learn to body up on defense)which any tape of him.

A comment from a blogger in the article to Smuck showed that he ought to be considered for a position on the sports writing staff. He said he saw a tape of Robinson and was not impressed.

As a former all-confernce guard in high-school (1970) I have watched several tapes of Robinson and his ball handiling skills, ability to penetrate the lane (using his right and left hand the approach the basket using the proper hand to shield off the defender, warmed the heart of a player who played when basketball players had to be more than gymnnists they had to master the mechanics of the game).

Robinson is something Pitt has not had in years at guard. Someone who can handle the ball equally well with both hands. Has excellent mechanics on his shot (will shot high percentage at foul line), is big enough and aggressive enough to be a shut down defender.

Unlike the gypsy contemporary basketball phenomons (Birch, every other high-school All-American)Robinson has played at only one high school. Coached by one of the few competent high school coaches he is a throw back to days when a kid came out of high school and did not have to be taught how to dribble, shoot, and pass.

As for Adams he is also an anomolie. Unpampered my the American atheletic system that makes kids think they and no one else controls their destiny.
He is humble, hard working and grateful that Dixon has helped him – Dixon helped himself in this case. He is coachable with more talent for a man his size than I have seen in years. Also because he has avoided the American system he has no delusions of where he needs to be on the court and has developed a step out game far surpassing most big men, as well as the ability to put it on the floor.

Comment by DRW 01.26.12 @ 3:48 pm

Yes Silver/Omar, you are dead-on 100% right about Dante Taylor. He is nice, seems to be a good kid that is into it and everything, but he ain’t that good at basketball. Good for him for still being committed and playing hard. Bad for us that he can’t contribute.

I have to address the attendance issue. I estimate there were 50 to 75 students there last night. I understand season ticket holders missing a mid week game against a lowly opponent when Pitt is mired in a slump and bad season, as they have to travel park etc. (actually I don’t understand this either, if you have tickets and don’t go for no reason other than because it is a bad year and bad opponent, go root for the Miami Heat sometimes or something like that, you loser).
But students have no excuse. Buy a 5 dollar ticket, have a few beers, walk up the hill and watch your school, then walk back down and have some more beers. Am I wrong here?

Comment by Joe 01.26.12 @ 3:48 pm

Joe, agree about attendance, should have been more. But can’t fault a populace for being weary of a 0-8 team.

On Adams — he’s gonna be solid, but I wouldn’t expect him to come in as the next Ewing. He’ll be more like Fab Melo, I suspect a tad better. A foreign prospect with upside through the roof but without the experience of playing against the AAU kids he’ll see during the season. That said, he’s probably a bit more refined than Fab Melo given his play in NZ circuit and so on.

On Taylor: He’s failing to pan out so far. I wouldn’t give up on him as someon incapable of offering anything. He still has the rest of this and his senior year to develop. Again, McGhee was not very good his junior year either. We’re all disapointed but writing him off completely is over-doing it I think.

Comment by PantherP 01.26.12 @ 3:56 pm

Fair point PantherP on the Melo comparison…could be.

Is anyone going to Ambridge on Sunday to see Adams play (and Jeter if you so desire)?

Comment by Joe 01.26.12 @ 4:18 pm

Here’s a video I took of Gibbs coming off a curl last night in the first half
link to youtube.com
The mistake is that Gibbs’ guy leaves him to follow (Zanna I think) on a cut.

As far as Taylor is concerned, I wish he would get more touches. He was only given one chance to post up last night. He made a good move and put a jump hook an inch short, easily could have made it. We complain about Taylor’s minimal contributions, yet at the same time are we expecting him to get a double double just based on garbage points and the occasional spectacular put-back dunk. Even Gary got 4 or 5 post-up opportunities a night and Taylor is more talented than he is. I’m not completely forgiving Taylor, he seems to have trouble staying motivated at times, but the guards could try a little harder at getting him the ball. They do a great job of hitting Robinson in the middle of the lane, then watching him spin and miss a layup, I see no reason why they can’t do the same with Taylor. A couple more touches and you might see the energized Dante that everyone wants to see. He has the moves. Zanna on the other hand is still better left getting garbage putbacks until further notice.

Comment by Jordan 01.26.12 @ 6:26 pm

I wouldn’t get to excited fellow Panthers, what happened last night was an 0-7 team beat a 1-6 team at home. Now both are sharing last place at 1-7.

Also the law of averages came into play. PITT was bound to win eventually. Hey at least it was this year….right.

H T P !

V E V !

Comment by Emel 01.26.12 @ 8:11 pm

Plz….Taylor has 1 count it one (1) double/double in his career at PITT in 2.5 years. And I think the double/double was against Peabody or Langley. :-)

Comment by Emel 01.26.12 @ 8:13 pm

RU hasn’t taken Schiano off its website. Not yet. Pitt must have the superior IT department. Fraud was off in a New York minute.
Comment by Scott 78 01.26.12 @ 12:31 pm

Very funny, lmao.

Comment by Emel 01.26.12 @ 8:17 pm

Dante Taylor needs to sit on the bench. He should certainly not be getting 4-5 post opportunities. That is as good as a turnover. The kid isn’t good. It’s his own fault. He doesn’t work.

Comment by omar 01.26.12 @ 8:24 pm

DRW…good analysis. Smizik has a forum and a brand. He grew up in PGH sports world dominated by the pro teams. Significant by it’s absence is an NBA team. Smizik does not know the difference between a pick and a roll so expecting him to assess our talent is a no no.
He ain’t got it and ain’t gonna get it either.
I am going Saturday to look for improvement after a hard day of hoops at ST. Rosalia in Greenfield.

Comment by SFPitt 01.26.12 @ 8:35 pm

Woodall’s return to form just confirmed my pre-season expectations for this team. The big picture:
1) The only 3 guys on last year’s team who knew how to play defense were seniors and are gone, so the only way we can expect to win is with rebounding and offense.
2) Only 7 returning players, poorly distributed: 1 point guard, 1 shooting guard, 5 in the front court. Nothing but freshmen for backup guards, none of whom are ready for prime time minutes. Any time Woodall or Gibbs isn’t on the court, the offense grinds to a halt.

Bottom line, I agree with Ray Fit’s analysis – this is an NCAA bubble team if healthy, after 2 months with Woodall’s injury will be glad to play in the NIT.

Comment by San Diego Panther 69 01.27.12 @ 2:04 am

San Diego — good points.

Jordan — agreed, sort of. Let’s not forget Taylor IS in the top 10 in offensive rebounds in the BE. He’s not worthless. Just disappointing so far. He still has potential now just needs motivation and direction. It seems completely mental with him right now.

Comment by PantherP 01.27.12 @ 11:02 am

Omar, as good as a turnover, really? Better than giving it to Nasir? They’re shooting about the same from the field. The fact remains that Pitt has to do something, whether it’s “trying” to find some sort of an inside presence or what. Otherwise we’re going to have more 2-10 shooting nights from Gibbs from 3 because they have no other offense. I don’t really like having to motivate players (they should find a way to get up on their own), but it might be worth it for Taylor.

Comment by Jordan 01.27.12 @ 12:39 pm

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