March 12, 2012


Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 12:42 pm

Not sure how close Pitt came to making the NIT. I’m guessing upsets like St. Bonaventure over Xavier had a trickle-down effect as NCAA bubble teams that were left out knocked out NIT bubble teams. At least that’s what I’ll tell myself.

The game will not be televised, it seems. The CBI has its deal with HDNet (which is channel 306 on DirecTV), and they are showing the Delaware-Butler game that night.

So be it. It’s still one more basketball game. Aside from spring practice for the next month we are seeing the dead period loom large in front of us.

The time of year when the only excitement is recruiting trail stuff. Summer league play. Blind speculative pieces. It can get rough.

Here’s the bracket for the CBI (PDF). Pick your bracket below, I guess.

Emel, Dan, there has an uptick of trolls on Pitt boards lately, and we’re not immune here. So save your anger — they’re trying to provoke.

Dan, like you, I think Dixon is a very good coach. But CBI is a waste of time. And next year will be a fun one — watching WVU form new rivalries with teams thousands of miles away who can’t fly into morgantown, and getting clobbered, while we make a last and sweet tour of the BE.

Comment by velvil 03.12.12 @ 10:06 pm

Ok folks. Let’s be realistic. In prior years we had a decent perception of what the following year looked like. This team is a work in progress. We don’t have a proven point guard like Wannamaker, we don’t have a respectable 3 point shooter like Gibbs and we don’t have a presence underneath like Naz. Maybe Woodall, fully healthy, will be a better fit for shooting guard than point guard. The CBI will be a good place to start to put the pieces together. And for what it could put in the coffers next year, 60K is chump change.

Comment by Joe 03.12.12 @ 10:27 pm

Emel – that was 2 years ago when Pitt had to rally to beat Wofford in the opener.

Comment by OriginalEther 03.12.12 @ 11:25 pm

This team has no talent. If they want to play more that’s fine with me but I’m not going to pretend like we’re going to use this as a springboard to next year. There isn’t a single player on the team who can’t be replaced in about 2 seconds. It’s going to be at least a few years before we become contenders

Comment by Tony C 03.13.12 @ 12:22 am

Last year I was in Washington supporting our #1 seed NCAA tournament Panthers. This year I will be at the Peterson Center supporting our 16-loss CBI Panthers. It is easy to root for a team in good times, but those good times are so much better when you have supported the team through the bad times as well.

Accepting the CBI bid is a no-brainer. It is valuable game experience for the underclassmen. Every game until the championship series will likely be played at home so there is no interruption of the players’ coursework. If the Panthers were above playing in the CBI, Pitt would have been invited to another tournament.

Contrary to other posts, I think Coach Dixon should start the two seniors and give them their normal playing time. Certainly neither player lived up to preseason expectations, but they still give Pitt the best chance to win. It seems awfully backward for a coach to not play his best players in the name of experience for underclassmen, considering a loss would end the season. The Panthers are in the CBI, so the goal has to be to win the CBI.

I hope to see many of the dedicated fans of this board at the Peterson Center, supporting this team. HTP

Comment by Brian 03.13.12 @ 5:39 am

this tells (1) the fee schedule for hosting a CBI game and (2) the reason why Pitt is participating … looks like the freshmen may see some increased action

link to

Comment by wbb 03.13.12 @ 6:35 am

It’s been sort of said before, but it bears repeating. If Dixon would really use this tournament to play underclassmen more minutes, then this would be worth doing.

But he won’t, just like he didn’t all year.

Gilbert won’t get 20 mins and Moore won’t get 25 mins. We’ll see Gibbs and Robinson play most of the game, and maybe they’ll do well because we’re playing Wofford.

One other thing — people need to stop wondering if Woodall can play SG next year alongside Robinson. Note to posters: when you post about that, it lets us know not to pay attention to anything you say about hoops.

Comment by hugh green 03.13.12 @ 7:29 am

Not going to the CBI would be plain and simple
After this season a period of humility should be
in order.

Comment by Pitt1969 03.13.12 @ 7:31 am

Tough two days as a Pitt fan. Mixed emotions and its difficult to put aside fan passion and look at things without bias. Best case…this will turn into a real positive for the development of the younger players and provide some momentum going into next season if we play well. Worst case…lose early and it adds to the disappointment of the down year. I’m willing to accept the latter for a chance at the former and believe it’s a good call to play in this. I’ll be there as always to support the team….hopefully you’ll all be there as well.

Nobody even pays attention to it (easy not to). I think national pundits will respect Dixon for taking this path….no prima donnas in Pittsburgh. The only ones who will throw it in our face are the trolls…they don’t bother me. HTP

Comment by FG 03.13.12 @ 7:46 am

Most of the younger Pitt fans are just plain spoiled. As a student at Pitt in the late 60’s
our football team had a total of 3 wins in the
3 years I was there (graduated early had a war to
go to).

Comment by Pitt1969 03.13.12 @ 8:06 am

Dan (in reply to your post far above) — paying to get into the CBI is irrelevant. The NCAA is the only tournament that matters. The NIT is first among also-rans, but still an also-ran tournament. Any embarressment about playing in the CBI should also have been felt about an NIT bid.

Comment by JCE 03.13.12 @ 8:10 am

This is indeed a dark day for Pitt fans. There is a front page story in the Charleston Daily Mail how Hoopie fans are hitching up the wagon trains and invading our city to play in our tournament in our town. Think about it, all these drunk Hoopies in the ‘burgh. Better tell the city police to have extra patrols and extra parking for all the horses and wagons that will be strewn all over the city. Beware of the droppings on the streets too!

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 03.13.12 @ 8:17 am

we still get a big east basketball share of the ncaas right, anyone know 9 teams in.

Comment by paul shannon 03.13.12 @ 8:27 am

@JCE if 60k is irrelevant, I’ll send you my address, send me a check!!

And your answer may be, irrelevant to such a big university. In that case, don’t raise ticket prices, don’t bomb we with mail for donations and quit telling me the state cut our money.

I’m good with that.

Comment by Dan 03.13.12 @ 8:29 am

Seriously name one negative about playing in the CBI that isn’t some subjective thing like oh its an embarrassment or so forth. VCU won the CBI and the very next year went to the Final Four. I’m pretty sure Shaka Smart doesn’t regret stooping down and being embarrassed when he chose to play in the CBI.

If the team wants to play they should be allowed to play. I don’t care if you don’t want to watch more horrible basketball or so forth. It is there decision. NO ONE is making you pay attention to the CBI. I didn’t like watching this team play this year at all but I’m not going to rip on how horrible they were ad nauseum because they decided to extend the season. More practice and more game experience definitely won’t hurt and can only help.

And a lot of people are drama queens on here. I mean seriously this team with a healthy Travon Woodall (which he wasn’t after he was injured) wins the following games for sure: Wagner, Cinci and DePaul, which would have made the team 20-13 and on the bubble. Also, in my opinion Travon wasn’t right after for the rest of the season after he was reinjured around the South Florida game. So Pitt might have been able to pull out another win or two. So even with Pitt losing the starting center for most of the year the team could have easily made the tournament. This team isn’t that far off as a lot of you think they are.

And another thing, I remember a bunch of posters on here saying how terrible the Long Beach State loss was. FYI they made the tournament as a 12 seed, quite a dreadful loss.

Comment by Wardapalooza 03.13.12 @ 8:42 am

Again, I’ll state, I have no embarrassment of the CBI, allthough many posters do, (and I can see their point) and many people on the radio. It’s the running joke on 93.7. (Getting their CBI brackets ready).

Embarrassment is not my argument. If it’s used to get the younger guys some playing time, I’m all for it.

If Gibbs and Robinson are going to get 30-35 minutes, it’s absolutely ridiculous.

They’ve had 34 games and hundreds of practices the past 4 months. We’ve seen the movie.

A couple more games and a couple more practices won’t make one iota of difference, unless you use those to see a little bit of what your future players can do.

If you’re not going to do that, and going to play games just to play games, then pull the cord, and go to class.

Hopefully, the time will be used wisely.

Comment by Dan 03.13.12 @ 8:44 am

Dan — you are missing my point. The amount makes no difference. People are acting embarressed simply because it is the CBI. And not the NIT. And not the NCAA. The fact that Pitt has to pay to play in the CBI is irrelevant to their embarressment. That fact is just used to pile on their embarressment later.

I really didn’t think it was that hard to follow…

Comment by JCE 03.13.12 @ 9:00 am

Ok, I got ya. As posted above, I wasn’t looking at it from an embarrassment point of view.

I hope most of us agree, and I don’t think it’s that hard to follow either, if they aren’t going to use these games to let their freshman and sophmore gets some real game time, it’s totally pointless.

If they’re just playing games to play games, really, kind of silly.

Comment by Dan 03.13.12 @ 9:09 am

The embarrassment comes from having an athletic director who has presided over an athletic program which:

1 Has no stadium of its own and busses it
students to games

2 Has a six game home schedule, two from
division 1A

3 Can only participate in basketball post
season by paying an entry fee to get an

Comment by wally 03.13.12 @ 9:16 am


4 No longer merits a blog in the biggest
paper in town.

5 Sends out an invoice for tickets renewal
and expects the masses to pony up.

Comment by wally 03.13.12 @ 9:19 am

Dan — I hope that the sophs and freshmen get extra playing time in the CBI too. From the article in the PG, it looks like Dixon is leaning that way.

Wally — all 3 points are ridiculous. Heinz Field is a great venue, and in place of decrepit Pitt Stadium we now have the world class Petersen Events Center. The schedule is the Big East’s fault. Not Pitt’s. Pitt played in the NCAA for the last 10 years, so obviously the program is capable of post season basketball “without a fee”.

Comment by JCE 03.13.12 @ 9:24 am

Chas, is there an NCAA tourney bracket challenge this year even though Pitt isn’t in it? Its still fun to pick. Sorry if I missed it.

Comment by OntarioLett'sGoPitt 03.13.12 @ 9:28 am

PantherP we all have our opinions and no I am not Robinsons father. What I am is proponent of fundamental basketball skills. Neither Woodall or other guards had the blessing of playing for DeMatha High School who is traditonally ranked in among the top 20 high schools.

This is not only because the program has produced many players in D1 and ranked several among the top 50. This year 3, two seniors and a junior. It is also that they are coached well and focus on fundamentals rather than dunks and acrobatics.

I agree with most analysts that Robinson is the type of player who is now ready to contribute at the highest level of D1.

Also Adams is not a forward. He is all-center, 7 feet tall, large wing span, huge hands who likes to get physical inside. What makes him really special he is the only big man I have seen except in college except Thomas at Kentucky who is a threat away from the basket.

Comment by drw 03.13.12 @ 9:39 am

I’m no Steve Pederson fan but I do not blame the 2012 FB schedule on him (unless you are against his place in urging the admin to join the ACC.)

I am also sick & tired of the lack of stadium on the Pitt campus argument. 1st, there is absolutely no evidence that the FB program would draw better if it was located in Oakland especially since its highest seasonal attendance has been at Heinz.

2nd, and this has to be said … what campus?

Comment by wbb 03.13.12 @ 10:17 am

Yes wbb, no blame anywhere for our schedule.

Just a situation we’re in because of the move to ACC. There were only a handful of Div 1 teams left, and I mean like 3 or 4. FSU, Mizzou, TAM, they all wanted home games as Pitt did.

As a fan, I wanted them to play FSU away, as a realist, we needed a home game.

Comment by Dan 03.13.12 @ 10:46 am

Just because Pitt NEEDS Adams and Robinson to step in and lead the team right away doesn’t mean we should EXPECT it to happen.

Be very careful of reading too much into well edited YouTube clips. I remember seeing some highlight videos a few years back that made Isaiah Epps look like Kenny Anderson.

Those clips of Adams playing against the Noel Nergens (or whatever his name is) look good, but I saw NONE of the away from the basket stuff in the game in Ambridge. I won’t re-post my assessment, but my conclusion was, he is far from being a freshman phenom savior.

Robinson looks to be exactly what Pitts needs at the point, a good ball handler, excellent decision maker, natural passer/facilitator with a very high basketball IQ. His athletic ability (quickness) and defense are still TBD. Will Jamie trust an 18 year old at the point with a 22 year old fifth year guy already in place?

Woodall is just never going to be consistent enough to be a 35 minute a game point guard for a big east championship contender. When he played well this year, Pitt won. When he didn’t Pitt lost. He didn’t play well in enough games (both due to injury and due to ability level and decision making).

Jamie has shown a reluctance to let talented freshmen learn on job. He did slowly start to give Birch some run, but had him on short leash. I do HOPE Jamie gives this incoming freshman class more latitude than he’s given previous freshmen. I would rather gamble that they’ll get better, live with some mistakes, than go with the guys we know can’t get it done.

But we shouldn’t expect too much, too early.

I fear that Taylor and Woodall will be next year’s Gibbs and Robinson and Pitt will be playing the in CBI again next year.

Comment by boubacar aw 03.13.12 @ 11:47 am

Drw, we’re gonna have to ease Robinson. There’s no way around it. Its a team without leaders as of now and you can NOT expect a freshman to ocme in and take over. This kids probably very very good, but he’s not Derrick Rose. He needs to ease in or else you may burn him out.

Also, your point that he went to Dematha and no other guards incl woodall did, well it falls on deaf ears. Woodall went to St. Anthony’s, one of the best 3 programs in the country and coached by the legendary Coach Hurley. No lesser authority than Hurley has said of Woodall that he was one of the most mature players he’s ever had. Woodall was a PG on the undefeated team (that happened to have Kemba Walker, but still).

Woodall needs to cut down on TOs, sure. If he does that (and he very well may because he’s mature/smart enough to know he has to and because the offence will better and he won’t be hurt) he absolutely should be the starting PG and get starters minutes, Robinson will get 10-15min.

Adams, I agree, is the real deal. His outside shot may not be used often if ever in BE play, but its there. It doesn’t matter. He’s doing everything else right.

Comment by PantherP 03.13.12 @ 12:03 pm

Before we pass final judgement on the BB team this year we need to know about the injury to Woodall and the lasting effectes. Frankly, I believe that had Woodall not been hurt (and possibly not still hurting) PITT would have had 4 to 5 more winsand been a bubble team for the NCAAs. The mislead freshman who left had a ripple effect on the team then the injuries and I was glad to see Dixon did not lose the team (although one player seemed to give up). This coming year Adams (if he is not drafted by the NBA) will be a god-send, as there will be a true center and perhaps Taylor can get an opportunity to play the 4, and Gilbert gets his redshirt and can step in when Adams leaves. By the way if Adams can shoot from 10 to 15′ and it seems so from all accounts then driving will be easier for the guards because if he moves out then the opposing center has to follow. Not worried about the future Dixon has shown the ability to coach a team- next year no Birch distractions and hoepfully no major injuries.

Comment by jim 03.13.12 @ 2:16 pm

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