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February 16, 2012

LiveBlog: The Final Brawl (for now)

Filed under: Basketball,liveblog — Chas @ 6:30 pm

I’ll spare everyone the preamble on the last Backyard Brawl for the immediate future. Maybe there is a surprising deal reached to keep playing the basketball side, uninterrupted, but I doubt it. At the very least Pitt is annoyed with the Hoopies over Luck’s comments back in October, and how screwed up Pitt’s football schedule is by the Big 12’s need to have them leave for 2012. So, I expect at least a year break on the b-ball side.

I may¬† be a touch late starting the liveblog. I’ll be rushing home from work, so if the liveblog isn’t underway immediately just use the comments to do an open thread and keep an eye out for the liveblog.

Simple thing for this game. Just beat the Hoopies. Should be a very emotionally charged game. I expect no matter what from this game to the NCAA Tournament WVU fans will assume the officials will be out to get them for officially leaving the Big East. True or not, that will be their belief. It hasn’t exactly been a good season for WVU and officiating before that point.


The game is a 9pm start on ESPN.

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. Remember: we are not Hoopies.

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

Otherwise, it is right below.

Keys to the game:

Big bodies on defense and boards – wvu likes to get the ball to the post. We need to go big with Gilbert getting some time at center and Zanna playing some forward to contain jones and kilicli.

Attack the hoop – can’t settle for jumpers too quickly. Moore, Robinson, patterson and Woodall need to drive the ball. That’s the only way to Get Gibbs clean looks.

Take care of the ball.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 02.16.12 @ 6:53 pm

The news is the Zoo is pumped.

Comment by steve1 02.16.12 @ 6:55 pm

we must win the last one down with the red necks
down with hoopies.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.16.12 @ 6:58 pm


Comment by FRANKCAN 02.16.12 @ 7:03 pm

Lets go PITT Lets go pitt

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.16.12 @ 7:05 pm

Yepp, It would nice finish the series with a terrific performance in front of a……. wild and loud Peterson crowd!

Comment by Justinian 02.16.12 @ 7:35 pm

Last visit by Thuggins and his thugs from wvcc.
We can’t lose this one. We win and Thuggy Bear will be getting loaded on the Greyhound Bus back to Morganhole. lol
Maybe the other wvcc drunk head coach will be driving the Greyhound tonite.

What a classless community college. Do we really want Pitt’s good name associated with this classless (insert inbred insult here) glorified high school in the future.

I for one….. think not.

Comment by Emel 02.16.12 @ 7:39 pm

God I wish DeJuan was still around to flatten the Ugly ASS Turk tonight.

Comment by Emel 02.16.12 @ 7:43 pm

I wish Levance, Wanamaker and Young were still around with Blair…

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.16.12 @ 8:58 pm

Malcolm Gilbert finally gets some serious minutes in a Big East game. Blocks a shot and impacts a couple of others. Nice. Now if he can learn to throw an outlet Pitt might have something! Jamie, please play Gilbert with Zanna. It’s okay if you sit Nas. BTW, Nas was just itching to make that turnover. He had warmed up with a spin move earlier that almost went for a TO.

It also seemed that Pitt picked up the energy when JJ Moore was in the game. He even drained an open 3. He seems to be more comfortable in the back of the zone than playing man to man on D.

Comment by Barvo 02.16.12 @ 10:02 pm

im tired of all these lazy passes…woodall, gibbs, robinsonk, and patterson….pure lazyness

Comment by pitt-for-life 02.16.12 @ 10:10 pm

still lazy passes…this team is just clueless…Woodall may have won the first two games he came back for us..but his true colors have shown lately..

Comment by pitt-for-life 02.16.12 @ 10:35 pm

Dont worry about the nit. No way we finish .500. Wouldnt help anyway this team has zero talent and is going nowhere fast.

Comment by Tony C 02.16.12 @ 10:40 pm

Isn’t it crazy just how bad or average gibbs and robinson are…when surronded by good players they flurish…but not around these bo-zozs

Comment by pitt-for-life 02.16.12 @ 10:46 pm

This team is awful. The inability to throw a pass reminds me of the football qback situation.
Robinson needs to be on the bench, the young guards need to play more to see if they have a future, if they don’t, send them packing and look for ajuco or two. Gilbert needs to play more as well as Moore, they need to contribute next year and watching the others struggle is not getting them experience.
I also believe the assistant coaches need upgraded as well, over the years a number of good ones have moved on and I’m not sure they have been replaced well.
Kind of glad I can not be in NYC for the tourney this year,it looks like it will be a quick exit.

Comment by Jimbo 02.16.12 @ 10:56 pm

I thought our talent was supposed to increase? What the crap happened? John DeGroat would be by far our best player

Comment by Tony C 02.16.12 @ 10:56 pm

West Virginia has so much more talent in basketball and football. Luckily the ACC picked us instead

Comment by Tony C 02.16.12 @ 11:01 pm

Too many lazy passes. They must have gotten 11 free points from careless passing.

Comment by Justinian 02.16.12 @ 11:02 pm

Chas you are correct sir. The last 14 months at PITT have been quite a nightmare.

A never ending nightmare, it seems.

F*ck the Hillbillies.

Hail to Pitt !

Comment by Emel 02.16.12 @ 11:05 pm

Duke has come allllll the way back to take the lead…

Comment by ECH 02.16.12 @ 11:08 pm

I wonder if Woody’s medication was changed after his first 2 big games back.

These passes are like to nobody sometimes.
I never seen a team that consistently throws these lame soft passes that get picked off easily and taken in for a bunny.

Coach needs to find another Tom Herrion or someone who can help out coaching. Ask Bobby Knight if he’d like to come back into coaching. haha

Comment by Emel 02.16.12 @ 11:11 pm

and i was worried that i would miss pitts ncaa games cuz i have tix for the tourny this year at console….
jimbo….totally agree with the assistance…knight is just there to pal around..not sure bout the others

Comment by pitt-for-life 02.16.12 @ 11:11 pm

Thats what talented teams are capable of

Comment by Tony C 02.16.12 @ 11:12 pm

After 10 yrs of good basketball, its strange to watch a team this bad.

Comment by alcofan 02.16.12 @ 11:13 pm

Will next year be any better?…we have all of these jokers with a stud recruit coming in..i dont know

Comment by pitt-for-life 02.16.12 @ 11:22 pm

Just hard to watch…

Comment by Carmen 02.16.12 @ 11:27 pm

Last 2 “studs” we had were Taylor and Birch. Goodie

Comment by Tony C 02.16.12 @ 11:46 pm

There wasn’t a lot of good from tonight, but I thought Moore played really well. He showed good effort and toughness, something that has been sorely missing from this team. The bad passes are truly mind-boggling. I don’t know how those mistakes can continue to be made. I’ll continue to put myself through this until the season is finished. As always, HAIL TO PITT!!!

Comment by Pitt Rob 02.17.12 @ 12:04 am

Maybe its because you can’t make it to the games all the time, but I can’t understand how anybody on the pitt side would wanna keep the backyard brawl alive in any sport.

I understand the argument that if you don’t like their fans don’t go to the away games, but you still have to deal with them at the home games.

WVU fans lack basic social skills that we take for granted in average human beings. You can’t go to one of their games (home or away) w/o being assaulted.

I’ve been to away games at most big east schools and no matter what the outcome of the game is, at least one of the opposing teams fans say to me, “at least your not wvu fans”.

I’m glad we don’t have them for the foreseeable future and hope we never schedule them again, home or away. They are the big 12’s problem now. Let them piss off a whole new region of the country.

Comment by pantheragainstthebrawl 02.17.12 @ 12:10 am

I would like to thank the thousand or so Pitt fans who gave or sold their tickets to WVU fans so I got to listen to that God awful cheer hopefully for the LAST TIME!!!! Any Pitt fan that loud at WVU would be lucky to get home alive. Embarassing loss to say the least.

Comment by JP 02.17.12 @ 12:18 am

Moore played 21 minutes and didn’t miss a shot from the floor (3 for 3 – 2 for 2 from beyond the arc) and made both his free throws. Considering the team as a whole only shot 37% (and half that from 3 point range), I’d say that’s a good night for JJ.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.17.12 @ 12:22 am

Very disappointing. Team seems very disinterested.

No one having any fun. No, not just tonight or during the losing streak, all year. No fun out there what so ever with this team.

Second half, and I know there are foul shots and 3 pointers, but, it boils down to…… got beat by just about 9 buckets in the second half.

That’s almost impossible to do, even if you told the team to do that.

Last thing, I know he’s just a kid, has made a ton of 3 pointers for Pitt during his career, but, has anyone seen Ashton Gibbs ever smile in his 4 years here???

When you mix “not that good” with a touch of “dis-interest”, not a good recipe!!!

Comment by Dan 02.17.12 @ 12:30 am

JJ Moore was our best player tonight. Off the ball hustle, disciplined shooting. If only Gibbs and Woodall played with the control Moore does… (#disbelief).

I’ve gotta say our “leaders” Gibbs, Woodall and Nas did nothing and gave up. At least Taylor, for as many lapses in judgement he had, was working against the Turk all game.

Here’s the thing about Gibbs and Nas: If they can’t get pts, they bring nothing else to the table and in fact take things away. Nas gets sloppy, Gibbs wastes possessions taking bad shots and not passing the ball and failing to play defense.

give Gilbert, Moore, Johnson more minutes and look to the future.

Comment by PantherP 02.17.12 @ 12:36 am

Much as I’d like to see it so that I can feel hopeful for next year, I don’t see Jamie Dixon benching Nasir Robinson or Ashton Gibbs in favor of guys like Malcolm Gilbert and JJ Moore. Even though those guys appear capable of providing dimensions that Robinson and Gibbs simply can’t. I think Jamie Dixon is loyal, and he won’t bench seniors who have been significant contributors for three years with nearly three weeks left in their final seasons. If this were the pros, Nas and Ash might be seeing their minutes diminish starting with the South Florida game.

I thought Gilbert played well in the first half and then didn’t see the floor in the second half. JJ Moore’s leaping ability alone gives Pitt a dimension that no other player has demonstrated. JJ really didn’t appear in the second half until if felt as if the game was slipping away.

Comment by Barvo 02.17.12 @ 5:34 am

I forgot to add that Gilbert bothered The Turk with his length. Pitt has nobody who can straight up bang with The Turk although I actually do give Dante Taylor and Talib Zanna credit for trying.

Comment by Barvo 02.17.12 @ 5:37 am

1) turnovers/lazy passes
2) lack of inside game

I saw a handful of times when Sleepy was posted low but Gibbs or Tray ignored him and did their own thing resulting in a turnover or a missed shot that had little chance of going. Isn’t it at least worth a try?

Comment by wbb 02.17.12 @ 7:15 am

Per Fittipaldo: WVU had 23 points off Pitt turnovers and outscored the Panthers, 30-16, in the paint. Pitt had two fast break points the entire game.

Comment by velvil 02.17.12 @ 8:09 am

This team has quit.

Comment by Pittastic 02.17.12 @ 8:13 am

Dixon totally screwed the pooch with Gilbert. How can you burn a raw, talented kid’s redshirt to play him only occaissionally a couple minutes a game? On a team that is going nowhere? Criminal.

Groat, to his credit, asked Dixon about Nas’s health after the game. Dixon said, “he’s going through some things”. What? Regardless of why, Nas has played terribly. It is time to shut him down.

The Zoo was electric last night. Best sign “The Zoo is harder to get in than WVU”. Awesome.

The highlight of the evening: Some “well fed”, bearded young hoopie caught a t-shirt during the t-shirt toss and threw it back. Crowd went nuts, the usher came down and scolded him. The crowd starting chanting, “throw him out”. A few minutes later a couple security guards came up the aisle and tossed him!!! Apparently the hoopies haven’t learned that you can’t throw things on the court.

Comment by boubacar aw 02.17.12 @ 8:47 am

If you want pure truth about what’s going on, on the court, doesn’t get much better than Dick Groat!!

“c’mon guys, you can’t do that, that’s high school” referring to a turnover in the first half.

“the other 4 aren’t even down the court in position and you throw up a 3 pointer from 25 feet”

referring to a 3 pointer (I forget who) a minute or so into the second half.

Comment by Dan 02.17.12 @ 8:59 am

Total lack of effort, discipline, talent, and heart all year..

Comment by Tony C 02.17.12 @ 9:15 am

were is the RB coach how mutch time do you need to hire one.
as far as BB this team plays like they have no will to win.
read panther prey he nailed it gibbs should have left he is hurting the team ans it backs up some of what KB said
dixon plays someone who put in his time nomadder what even if it hurts the team
some times you need to be heartless for the bettter ment of the teamand sit kids
and new asst coachs would help

were is the RB coach when is JR day some schools have had 30 players in all ready if this is the way he recruits ohio state will eat his lunch he needs to move his ass.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.17.12 @ 9:34 am

Don’t confuse frustration with a lack of effort (and that includes your own frustration)

Comment by wbb 02.17.12 @ 9:37 am

I’m very disappointed in the way this Pitt basketball team let West Virginia humiliate them in front of a good Pitt crowd and national TV audience last night. We, as Pitt fans, deserve better.

When the obituary is written about this Pitt team it will be summarized in two words, no pride.

We make fun of West Virginia’s team and fans but last night we got our comeuppance from a mediocre Mountaineer team.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.17.12 @ 9:41 am

Perhaps Jamie should show his team last night’s Duke vs. NC State game.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.17.12 @ 9:48 am

These guys are playing like they’re not interested in the Not Interesting Tournament.

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 02.17.12 @ 9:49 am

This pitt team just had too much working against them. They lost two key players in woodall and birch. They lost a leader and and the best player on the team in woodall and with birch, regardless of what we think of him as a person, was a freak athlete and tremendous talent. His impact went beyond 6 pts 5 rbs and 2-3 blocks per game. He wouldve had a lesser anthony davis role for pitt this year. With those teo at pitt all year, they probably have 20-24 wins right now.

Adams and robinson is great, but this is a year when jamie dixon will have to get a big influx in talent. They have three scholarships available, but in my opinion they need to sign 4 players. One will have to be power forward and one will have to be a shooting guard. With birch gone they had no lpower forward capable of playing at this level, not to the fault of nas he just cant do it, so adding someone there is crucial. At the two the probable starter is john johnson. I like him but hes a little under sized and isnt very athletic. Id like to see either a torian graham or a chris jones who are 6’4″ and 6’5″ respectively, are versitile scorers, and can jump out of the gym.

Comment by Pk 02.17.12 @ 9:50 am

Frank, ohio state cant get everyone. About 80% of the kids urban will go after cant go to osu, regardless of whether they want to or not. I agree with dokish, that people hear urban meyers name and they think that “oh well we cant get this kid”. Its not true. Dokish says that pitt still remains the favorite for foster and hes got visits from foster, orndoff, and malik zaire. Pitt could get some of ohios upper tier prospects, particularly offensive linemen and malik zaire, simply because of urbans own aggressive recruiting. Urban already has a qb commitment from 5 star jalin marshall and is targeting a TON of elite qbs nation wide, not to mention braxton miller is only a soph. Urban brought in a TON of offensive linemen last year and hell get a ton more from all over this year. He cant get everybody dont panic

Comment by Pk 02.17.12 @ 9:58 am

Question: This offseason oes Dante focus on his C skills (defense) or focus on developing PF skills?

I know everyone thinks he sucks and could never play PF, but he does have some latent PF skills he showed in highschool. And there’s little if any room at the C position next year (Adams, Gilbert) and a wideopen spot for him (and Zanna) to fill at PF when Nas leave.

I’m optimistic about next year (and i need to get this out to help cope with this season). Here’s a few of the reasons:
1) obvious. Adams is the real deal that can fill our void at C. Gilbert is figuring things out but will be at serviceable (better than McGhee his Jr Sr yrs) if not better.
2) Gibbs/Nas are gone. Dokish makes this case. I add that when Gibbs is not scoring, he brings nothing else to the table and in fact takes things away. He gets sloppy, wastes possessions on bad shots and plays no defense. Yet he get more minutes than anyone. Nas is a garbage man (in a good way), but if the dump off shots or sort rebounds arent there, he’s not scoring. He’s trying, but is so sloppy when we tries to create his own shot its almost always a waste of a possesion.
3) JJ Moore WILL be better. Its pretty clear he’s steadily improved over the course of the season. Sure, his shot wasn’t falling. But that will come. It just will. And when it does, he’s already learning to be much more discplined in his shot selection. He’s hustling off the ball and on defense. He has energy (and may have been the only one with consistent energy the last 3 games). All that’s left is for him to feel he has the green light to drive. With real Centers next year opening up the floor and without Nas/Gibbs eating the ball, and with PG who is capable of feeding cutting players (Woodall & Robinson) I’m confident it will happen. (we’ll see i guess. but i’d bet some money).
4) Patterson is going to be a leader….a good type a la Wannamaker. not the bad type a la Gibbs… to compliment the type of more vocal leader Woodall will be. I like these guys in charge.
5) Woodall will have less TOs because he should have less to do to get guys open. (this may be a stretch, but I’m hoping).

All of these things may seem margnal but we can see from this year how slim the margin between a winning and a losing team can be.

Comment by PantherP 02.17.12 @ 10:40 am

at point 1) meant better than McGhee his soph/Jr yrs.

Comment by PantherP 02.17.12 @ 10:50 am

I would argue with Dick Groat. To say that Pitt’s basketball team makes high school plays is an insult to high schools!

Comment by Dan 72 02.17.12 @ 10:56 am

pk that is not the point he is moveing very slow like a man who does not like to recruit
which worrys me becuse that was the word on him was it not.
he is not showing a lot of get up and go. when is JR day outhers have had it or it is comeing up we have not even a date for one,

he brings in what 3 players outhers have brought 30 in

what did you all say with TG give him time how did that work for us.

i say hold there feet to the fire till they show us something Were is the RB coach how mutch time does he need to hire one.

you all are to trusting just becuse he is our coach he needs to move his ass do some work bring the kids in show them some love.

this is not wisconsin were you pick the 12 kids you want and offer and they say ok here we come
at lest not yet he is like a turtle and we need a jet plane like ohio state has.

and like i said were is the RB coach wisconsin has only 8 coachs is he in fear that if he hires
one wisconsin will take him agein like last time.

Comment by FRANKCAN 02.17.12 @ 11:05 am

Despite the boost from Woodall’s return, this team is mostly showing it’s lack of experience and consistency. As much as I dislike some of the individual performances, they lack cohesion on either end of the floor, and they are unable to respond to adversity.

I’m really disappointed in Gibbs’ lack of leadership. This was supposed to be his team. He’s looking like the beneficiary of the last class rather than someone putting his own stamp on the team. We’ve been fortunate to have senior leaders who get their teammates in line for the benefit of the team. This is just bad team basketball. It’s the same old story this year.

I can’t remember turning off this many Pitt games in disgust since the Willard era — I don’t mind losing, but there’s a level of play that I just consider unwatchable (aesthetically, competitively, etc). That’s been about 1/4 of the games this year. At times this year I could walk to the park and watch pickup games with better flow than Pitt’s offense and even better defense.

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 02.17.12 @ 11:09 am

If nothing else, Dante has proven he does not posses the size and athleticism to be a good big east center. With Adams coming in and Gilbert improving, Taylor should be the third option at center next season. Zanna will get a chance to play forward. Jamie may bring in another big forward or he may have Moore and Patterson play together.

While Taylor hasn’t played a single minute at forward, it might be best for the team to have him prepared for a back up role there next season.

If Dixon wastes valuable minutes on Taylor at the expense of Adams and Gilbert, especially in the non-con, my head will explode. It will mean that he has learned nothing from this season.

Bottom line, I just don’t see where Dante fits next year.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 02.17.12 @ 11:13 am

Dante should just take a medical out. If he legitimately can’t go with his knees and back, he’s doing no one a favor by riding out his college career. Pitt would let him stay if he’s on course to graduate. That feels like the best solution for everyone. It spares him and his coaches from having to make excuses for his lack of development and prevents wasting minutes on a thoroughly unproductive player.

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 02.17.12 @ 11:53 am

Frank, fraud didnt leave because we gave him time, he left because hes a douche bag. And we should not punish chryst because of grahams actions. Thats foolish. And the recruiting rumors that he couldnt recruit are garbage. AGAIN, he recruited quarterbacks and was wisconsins closer. I agree that he needs to pick up the pace, but i disagree with the notion that he cant win h2h recruiting battles with osu and i disagree that hes afraid to hire a coach. He just needs to move faster

Comment by Pk 02.17.12 @ 12:37 pm

Wisconsin needed a ‘closer’? That term seems to have come up lately whereas it was never mentioned before as far as I can remember. While I sincerely hope we got the right guy and I think we did, there’s nothing I’ve seen from Chryst’s speaking abilities that would suggest he was a ‘closer’. Nice guy and all that, but closer, no.

And I agree with Frankcan, he does seem to be a tad slow in getting things organized. But that is what normally happens when you hire a guy who’s never run his own show before. They’re hesitant since they don’t have the benefit of experience in making ALL the decisions. I would be more apprehensive if he wasn’t able to bring some of these other very good Wisconsin coaches with him.

And I would be extremely apprehensive if Chryst had been Smiley’s first choice.

PITT really seems to have a sense of bad timing, had DW still be here (and I know the hate on this board), we had the Top 20 class last year we lost, there is no telling how well we would have recruited this year, with the mess at Penn State and then Rutgers. But I think DW, Hafley and the rest would have cleaned up bigtime this year and next year. For we would have been the program with stability for a change. That once in a lifetime opportunity was missed !

Comment by Emel 02.17.12 @ 1:25 pm

The hardest part this year is that we’ve been so accustomed to being the puncher, that it’s awful to watch us become the punching bag. We were the bully, now we’re the victim and it sucks.

Comment by Pitt Rob 02.17.12 @ 1:42 pm

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