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February 12, 2012

Noon on a Sunday. The taste of the toothpaste has barely faded after lazing around on a Sunday morning. A nice breakfast. Extra coffee. Then right to beer. At least there’s an upside to the early game.

Seton Hall got off to a strong start in Big East play, but reality and a lack of depth have been catching up with the Pirates. They had a six game losing streak before beating Rutgers this past week. Jordan Theodore has changed his game this year. Taking more shots, attacking the basket from the point a lot more, and getting to the free throw line. His assists are also up, though, so he isn’t doing it in a selfish way. He’s just stepped up because of the limits on this team’s offense. He’s out on the floor as much as Ashton Gibbs or Tray Woodall are.

Herb Pope is still a rebounding machine, averaging a double-double. The other guy they count on for scoring is Fuquan Edwin. A good, 6-6 wing player.

Pitt, as we know, had a hideous night against South Florida. The offense never got going and the defense fell apart in the second half. Woodall took the blame for the team’s bad night, but there was plenty of blame for that one. The big concern is turnovers. Pitt got taken out of their offense by USF constantly slapping and clawing at the ball. Whether there was fouling on it or not, is irrelevant. If the officials let it go USF were right to keep doing it and Pitt had to adjust.

Seton Hall whether it was under Gonzo or now Kevin Willard are going to put pressure on the ball. They will look to force turnovers. And it is a certainty, that Pitt will turn the ball over. They just will. Pitt has done it plenty already in Big East play. It’s going to happen today. The key will be to be not let that take Pitt out of sync on the offense. Just like in the Duquesne game, be efficient and make them pay.

The game is the “Big East Regional Game of the Week,” meaning this thing is syndicated all over the place:

New York (SNY), Los Angeles (KJLA), Chicago (WCIU-DT2), Philadelphia (WPVI), Washington, D.C. (MASN), Atlanta (CSS), Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. (Brighthouse), Denver, Colo. (Altitude), Orlando-Daytona Beach-Melbourne, Fla. (WRDQ), Pittsburgh (WTAE), Charlotte, N.C. (WLNN-MTN), Indianapolis, Ind. (WHMB-DT2), Baltimore (MASN), Hartford-New Haven, Conn. (SNY-Conn.), Columbus, Ohio (WWHO), Milwaukee, Wis. (TW-WI), Cincinnati, Ohio (EKRC), San Antonio, Texas (KCWX), Las Vegas (KVMY), Harrisburg-Lancaster-York-Lebanon, Pa. (WLYH), Louisville, Ky. (WHAS), Buffalo, N.Y. (TW-Buffalo), Providence-New Bedford, R.I. (Cox-NE), Wilkes Barre-Scranton, Pa. (WQMY), Albany-Schenectady-Troy, N.Y. (TW-Albany), Dayton, Ohio (WBDT), Lexington, Ky. (WTVQ), Green Bay-Appleton, Wis. (TW-WI2), Rochester, N.Y. (TW-Rochester), Syracuse, N.Y. (TW-Syracuse), Madison, Wis. (WMSN), South Bend-Elkhart, Ind. (WMYS), Johnstown-Altoona, Pa. (WHVL), Youngstown, Ohio (WYTV-DT2), Lansing, Mich. (WHTV), LaCrosse-Eau Claire, Wis. (KQEG), Rockford, Ill. (WTVO), Lubbock, Texas (KJTV-DT2), Bluefield-Beckley-Oak Hill, W.Va. (WOAY), Binghamton, N.Y. (TW-Binghamton), Wheeling-Steubenville, W.Va. (WTOV), Clarksburg-Weston, W.Va. (WVFX), Utica, N.Y. (TW-Utica), Elmira, N.Y. (TW-Elmira), Watertown, N.Y. (TW-Watertown), Parkersburg, W.Va. (WTAP-DT3)

It can also be found on ESPN FullCourt package and on

The sub-par announcing crew will be Mike Gleason and Bob Wenzel. Wenzel is the color guy who was clueless in the USF game. Be sure to brace yourself with the appropriate beverage.

The usual rules are in place for this liveblog. 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.

As always if you need to break the liveblog from the site Click Here.

Otherwise, just a little lower.

I turned the game on and Pitt was up by 3 – then it looked like they turned into a team scared to do anything – now down by 10.

Comment by markp 02.12.12 @ 12:32 pm

Wonder why Ashton insists on showing the NBA that he CANNOT go inside???

Comment by Dan 02.12.12 @ 1:35 pm

There you go, thats for your her for, thats how you help this team Ashton.

Comment by Dan 02.12.12 @ 1:37 pm

the true woodall has poked his ugly head out…bad turnovers…also robinson has been inconsistant all year and tries to do way to much..NIT bound…no chance at tourny

Comment by pitt-for-life 02.12.12 @ 2:05 pm

Zanna not strong enough to rip rebound, gets a jump ball. Then lets Pope blow by him.

Poor game.

The 4 game win streak was a tease, that I didn’t need.

And, I’ve come to realize, nothing the boys can do, we have a bunch of ham and eggers, what can you do?

NIT to get some extra work and practices I suppose.

On with my day!!

Comment by Dan 02.12.12 @ 2:07 pm

Classic pitt choke job. im done watching this bunch of losers for the year.waste of 4 hours every week.

Comment by TonyC 02.12.12 @ 2:07 pm

As soon as Theodore’s last gasp desperation three to beat the shot clock hit nothing but net, I knew it wasn’t happening. Chalk this up there with the DePaul game as one we really had no business losing, but did so anyway. Two killer road losses.

Comment by Aaron 02.12.12 @ 2:08 pm

Typical end of game execution for a Jamie Dixon coached team.

This team is absolutely miserable to watch. In addition to lacking talent, they’re just basketball DUMB. It’s infuriating. It’s like they never saw a pick & roll before!

Absolutely no excuse for losing this game. Like a lot of other games this year.

Comment by Demetrius Gore 02.12.12 @ 2:08 pm

Dixon lost this one AND DePaul. im tired of his choking bullshit

Comment by TonyC 02.12.12 @ 2:09 pm

Anybody else think that was an unbelievably quick jump ball call with about a minute left? Pitt would have had the ball down by one….instead we were down by three after the Pope layup. That was the game.

Comment by WorkinOnMyPittness 02.12.12 @ 2:20 pm

Not only wasn’t it a jump ball, Pope was in the lane for a full 7 seconds before the shot even went up. I thought they were calling a reach in foul. I was shocked at how fast the whistle blew. The ball has to be controlled by both players for at least a full second for it to be a held ball.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.12.12 @ 2:23 pm

Section 37. Held Ball
Art. 1. A held ball occurs when an opponent places his or her hand(s):
a. So firmly on the ball that control cannot be obtained without undue
roughness; or
b. On the ball to prevent an airborne player from throwing the ball or
attempting a try and both players return to the playing court with both
hands on the ball or the airborne player returns to the playing court never
losing control of the ball.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.12.12 @ 2:28 pm

(b) wasn’t the issue and it happened to fast for (a) to apply so couldn’t possibly have been a held ball

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.12.12 @ 2:29 pm

*too fast
sorry to the grammarians in the crowd

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.12.12 @ 2:30 pm

I had a late meeting at church and watched the game via cell phone. Was life and death not to let out a few “F bombs”. Having just reviewed the live blog, my comments were painfully similiar to yours. This team is just horrible to watch. I could make a list of today’s simple basketball IQ mistakes that could fill the New Testement of the Bible. This has been a bizarre and brutal year for Pitt fans. Cannot wait until Spring Football. For those of you that think this team will even make the NIT, I think you have a suprise coming.We may not win another game.

Comment by Dan 72 02.12.12 @ 2:55 pm

A 6’5″ power forward, going 1 for 6 from the field and 0 for 5 from the line is not a recipe for winning games. This team has enough talent but I feel the coaching this year and decisions on who is playing leaves alot to be desired. We got the same response “he did alot of good things out there today and needs to fight through it”. It is hard to be a starting PF at 6’5″ unless he can score 20. bottom line, he should be coming off the bench only.

Comment by JP 02.12.12 @ 3:16 pm

Bottom line is, other than Dante Taylor, the bench played 25 minutes going 1 for 6 from the floor with no free throw attempts. Even adding in Sleepy, they were only 4 of 10, 2 of 2 from the line in 46 minutes. And the bench picked up 5 of Pitt’s 15 fouls. The sad fact is there is no bench depth this year. Very different from the great Pitt teams of the past.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.12.12 @ 3:30 pm

Nasir Robinson has been a good complimentary player playing alongside players like McGhee, Blair, Wanamaker, Young and Fields. On this year’s team he really should be coming off the bench. However he’s a senior. It’s got to be hard to do that to a senior. I might even say the same thing about Ashton Gibbs even in light of his offensive performance today.

Tray Woodall, who did not play well down the stretch today, glossed over some of the old problems during the streak with his scoring. He hasn’t been scoring these past two games and they’ve lost.

Although it didn’t show up in the box score, I thought that JJ Moore provided a lot of energy today. However he then played little in the second half.

Since Woodall’s return, Lamar Patterson has been passing up open shots. He’s been doing it since a 1-7 against G-town. It hurt Pitt a few times in the first half today. Patterson needs to take open shots.

On an up note, Dante Taylor showed some offensive game beyond 2 feet from the hoop. Unfortunately he missed a bunny or two as well.

Comment by Barvo 02.12.12 @ 3:34 pm

I missed the game, but aparently that’s a good thing. When you’re on the road, you don’t expect to get the calls. The only think you can hope for is, that it doesn’t get so close that one or two calls determine the outcome of the game. It’s a disapponting loss in a disappointing season.

Comment by Justinian 02.12.12 @ 3:34 pm

Our last bucket from the floor was a 2 from Ash with 4:03 left. From that point on, we had 3 free throws from Ash (on a bail out foul by Mobley) and nothing else. We were 0 for 4 from that point on with 3 missed 3’s.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.12.12 @ 3:35 pm

Wow some of you fair weather fans really take the cake.

I guess the bar has been raised so high, that a down year after 10 or so really kick-ass years gets you this response.

Those of you who want to bitch about Jamie Dixon and this team, you have every right to do it. But you know what? Don’t go professing how loyal you are to Pitt.

I will root for this team and watch whenever I can. Jamie D. has earned my respect and loyalty. The guy has been nothing short of brilliant for this program.

Hail to Pitt!


Comment by DaveD 02.12.12 @ 4:48 pm

I’m with you DaveD. Every team, every coach (even the hall of famers), have down years. Miss with a recruiting class and you are behind from the tip especially in a league like the Big East (or the ACC). I have enjoyed our great (and near great) seasons. And I will stick by Jamie and this team wherever it goes. Analyzing how things went wrong is a fan’s privilege. And, as a fan, I will never give up on this team or this coach.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.12.12 @ 5:00 pm

This game sealed our fate for the season, unless we win out plus win 3 games in the BET . Dixon isn’t handling Woodall well, I think Woodall tires at the end of games and makes mistakes. But the drop off behind him is steep. Patterson and Moore have upside for next year, have no idea who will pick up Gibbs’ scoring. Wright & Johnson don’t impress me. Thankfully Robinson graduates. How a guy who can’t drive or shoot is a starter is a mystery. Never saw Taylor shoot like he did today. He is confident from the foul line so we know he can shoot. He could play 4 to Adam’s 5, with Gilbert backing Adams. Defense today was troubling. Where the hell are the instincts? No sliding, no weak side help. That’s basic stuff, we learned that stuff in HS, it’s fundamental. Starters like Patterson, Taylor know better, so it’s not IQ, it’s crap effort.

Comment by Old School Panther 02.12.12 @ 7:17 pm

Next year’s starters should be Woodall, Lamar Patterson, JJ Moore, Taylor, Adams. Bench: Zanna, James Robinson, Durand Johnson

Comment by Tony C 02.12.12 @ 7:52 pm

I will be glad to see this senior class graduate.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 02.12.12 @ 7:54 pm

For the record, the pope bucket on the pick and roll was robinson’s fault. Zanna played the hedge on the ball screen and Robinson was late playing the roll to the hoop.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 02.12.12 @ 7:58 pm

Swap zanna for taylor and you have it right tony c.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 02.12.12 @ 7:59 pm

At least the wrestling team is good this year and Pitt baseball might surprise.

I won’t be watching the Nobody Is Interested Tourney. Shameful performance today, players and coaches alike.

Comment by TX Panther 02.12.12 @ 8:32 pm

@Boubacar– pick your poison on that play. Zanna’s hedge was worthless. Robinson slow to help. Sums up the year defensively. Except Gibbs didn’t get easily burnt by his man… on that one.

Comment by JW 02.12.12 @ 8:36 pm

The past 2 games have been about effort-or lack there of-team has been out played by usf and seton hall because those teams grasp the opportunity to be in top 8 of big east and slip into the dance. Panthers were in same spot, but poor effort in key moments have solidly put them in lower tier in conference and nit bound.

Comment by John 02.12.12 @ 9:02 pm

But I will still watch every game

Comment by John 02.12.12 @ 9:03 pm

I will ride this thing out until the ship has sunk to the very bottom. I’m not giving up hope. HAIL TO PITT

Comment by Pitt Rob 02.12.12 @ 9:33 pm

So will I. Have to be in Manhattan in March, will extend to catch Pitt in the Garden.

Comment by Old School Panther 02.12.12 @ 10:01 pm

Is herb pope 30 years old yet? Did he get an extra year for each bullet?

A few weeks ago I came to the realization that this season is a wash and next year will get better for Pitt hoops. I have slept better since I made that decision. The toughness, height, and depth is just not there this year. … And don’t underestimate how we’ve lost some good assistant coaches who were good recruiters and teachers.

Comment by Dish 02.12.12 @ 11:02 pm

For the love of Pete, can someone explain to me WHY Nasir Robinson is playing at all in crunch time, let alone starting? Didn’t we learn our lesson in the Butler game last year in March Madness?

He’s a MLB trying to play hoops, a bull in a china shop.

No wonder Birch left the program if he was told he’s gotta play behind that….

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 02.12.12 @ 11:35 pm

Another disheartening loss and another late game fade. We’re having to log big minutes for most of the starters now, Gibbs played 39 minutes, Woody was over 35 I believe. But they have to play, because Johnson & Wright have gotten worse as the season has progressed. Or is it just the competition got better? Moore was a no show as usual against a decent team. A total of 10 points off the entire bench and Sleepy had 8 of those.
I did say shorten the bench, but they’re fading down the stretch of these games and making mental errors most likely due to fatigue and injuries.
Nas is playing on one leg, (has been all year) and Woody has to get shot up with whatever, before the game to EVEN play.

For those that suggested this was a deep team during the non-con, I can only say, yea it was deep when playing St. Francis, VMI & SC State.

And for those that say good riddance to Gibbs, just who is going to average close to 17 ppg next year and shoot 85% from the line. Gibbs was the entire offense today in the last half of the game.

We really need to bring in about 5 players next year, not 3. Say something like, well it was nice knowing you Mr. Epps & Mr. Wright but we ain’t footing the bill anymore.

Comment by Emel 02.12.12 @ 11:42 pm

Oh one other thing, we really need to stop recruiting guys who can’t shoot, can’t dribble penetrate, can’t defend and can’t pass.

It really does make things a lot tougher.
Just sayin !


Comment by Emel 02.13.12 @ 12:00 am

Another Pitt classic…glad I didn’t bother to watch the second half. How’s the NBA lookin for next year Ashton?

This team is really missing big physical bodies underneath the bucket. Zanna is a stick man that just gets pushed around and consistently misses easy shots. Dante Taylor will be playing in pick up games at the YMCA after Pitt. Never seen such a lackluster team that consistently makes mental errors and doesn’t seem to grasp the fundamentals.

Oh well, I guess the run had to end at some point.

Comment by Coach Ditka 02.13.12 @ 7:15 am

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