February 5, 2012

LiveBlog: Catfight, Wildcats-Panthers

Filed under: Basketball,liveblog — Chas @ 11:27 am

If I’m correct (if?), this is the first Super Bowl Sunday game for Pitt in six years. Let’s hope the end is a little better than that one.

This a 2pm game on ESPN. Villanova is tied with the same conference record as Pitt with a 3-7 mark. The difference is they were also below average in the non-con side. Expect some TV commentary about both coaches having a down year at the same time.

Both teams feature frontcourts that tend to get exploited and is a little undersized at the power forward spot. The key, as always with a Jay Wright team, will be how the Wildcat guards are playing. Lots of high-level talent that came out of high school, but not nearly the success or consistency that would be expected by now.


The usual rules are in place for this liveblog. It’s a moderated chat. Not every comment will get pushed through. Especially when they say the exact same thing as a bunch of other comments. Dumb and abusive comments will be mocked, ignored and/or blocked depending on my whims and whether I can get a cheap laugh out of it. There is no formula to it. It comes down to judgment calls. But here is a hint. If you make a stupid declaration that you can’t stand this game/team/players/etc. and that you won’t watch any longer. I will take you at your word, and block you immediately to spare everyone any chance of hypocrisy and hyperbole.

If you need to break the liveblog from the site, Click Here.

Otherwise, just a little lower.

It becomes more and more obvious that Taylor is at his best when he plays well. Before you say, ‘no kidding’, realize that that’s not exactly what I mean.
Taylor absolutely loves being on the highlight reel. Whenever he has even the slightest of chances to dunk the ball, even when out of position, he tries. He tries hard. He pounds his chest and screams when he dunks. We love it. He loves it more.
For a guy like Tray, two points is two points. Dante is used to being in the spotlight as a former McDonald’s All-American. He needs plays like that to get him going. Once he does, he’s better at both ends of the court, particularly on defense.
Dixon/Woodall need to recognize this and get Dante going early. I don’t think Jamie’s the type of coach to give into a player’s ego, but Dante is our best big man when he’s at the top of his game. Feed Dante early on some pick and rolls and get his motor started. We’ll absolutely need him down the stretch. H2P.

Comment by MikePITT 02.06.12 @ 10:38 am

I know I’m always negative about the kid, and I legitately like his effort/enthusiasm. but let’s not go crazy on Dante. He still is a sieve defensively (I counted three completely blown hedges that allowed Nova guards to drive to their strong hands and make uncontested layups, not to mention the and-one he allowed to an off-balance Wayns in the middle in the 2nd half or the strange coincidence that Yarou made all his FGs with easy looks over him) as well as 2-3 missed layups (one was particularly egregious). He just looks better because he is getting more looks under the hoop as a result of Tray, who can draw and dish (Patterson doing this as well). I do agree he is playing with a little more passion these days, but he definitely doesn’t deserve the ball any more or to have any plays run for him.

Comment by Joe 02.06.12 @ 10:47 am

Wow, Lousaka Polite???? I thought he was out of football when they announced him in the game last night.

Good weekend for the Panthers.

Comment by Coach Ditka 02.06.12 @ 11:06 am

” Dante is used to being in the spotlight as a former McDonald’s All-American. He needs plays like that to get him going. Once he does, he’s better at both ends of the court, particularly on defense.”
I don’t know if he was specifically talking about it, but I think Tray was interviewed after the game, and mentioned something like “when the team is happy on offense, they play better defense, too.”

What I’m seeing from this Pitt team offensively, is that they’re much more confident in their shooting, much more fluid with their shots. You can see this in their foul shooting from earlier in the season, compared to now. I pray that nothing shakes this confidence down the stretch!

Comment by Lou 02.06.12 @ 11:10 am

@Joe: Dante certainly isn’t a defensive stopper, nor did I ever say he was. I merely said he’s better at both ends of the floor once he gets into the flow of the game. That much is true. No more, no less.
Why he needs to be getting more looks:
We are not deep enough in the backcourt to rely solely on our jump shooters. Taylor and Zanna need to be more and more involved, whether or not the shots fall at a high percentage. Defenses need to be kept honest so that we have opportunities to kick it out for jump shots. I know this is a stretch, but Ray Allen’s best looks come after Garnett tosses it out. If defenses begin to collapse on our bigs, it makes life much, much easier.
Dante is perfectly capable of being a star. It’s in his nature to be complacent. I think if more plays were designed for him, or even just to get him involved, he’d play with more tenacity.

Note: this is all speculative. I’m perfectly happy with how we’re playing right now because we’re winning, but if Tray doesn’t score 20+ per game our games will turn into very long nights.

Comment by MikePITT 02.06.12 @ 11:50 am

Dixon is from the “we do what we do” school of coaching meaning he doesn’t change his lineups or rotations from game to game based on the opponent.

Because of foul trouble on Robinson and Patterson, Jamie was forced to play Dante and Talib together. It worked. As soon as zanna came in the post defense improved and the defensive rebounding got better. Nova was killing Pitt on the offensive glass up until then.

I wish Jamie would play the match up game a little more and use the two bigs when the opponent goes big.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 02.06.12 @ 12:45 pm

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