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May 29, 2012

Pitt Getting Interesting

Filed under: Basketball,Players — Chas @ 1:03 pm

After missing the NCAA Tournament and a disappointing season, Pitt wasn’t getting much attention for the following year. Not much of a mention in the assorted way too early top-25 predictions. Even Pitt’s top recruit, Steven Adams, was overshadowed by the various undecided and reclassifying top recruits.

Still, there has been some more buzz picking up as the summer starts its long stretch.

Steven Adams is noted for his potential as a defender in  a list of  shot blockers.

Yes, another freshman on the list. Another guy who hasn’t competed in a collegiate game yet. But I think Davis’ success last season means these youngsters earn early credit on potential alone. This 7-footer has been a beast on the AAU and prep circuits. The standout from New Zealand also has international experience. So he’ll be a young veteran for a Pitt team that needs his physical presence inside. Adams has the athleticism to be a great shot-blocker at this level.

But it was the NCAA waiver that allows Trey Zeigler to start for Pitt this season. Suddenly both Zeigler and Adams become  top Big East players to watch this season.

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Every family is crazy in their own way.

Now that Pitt is heading to the ACC, we are getting a crash course in the crazy and issues of the ACC family. We’ve learned a bit about FSU’s (and to some extent Clemson’s) issues with the ACC. The whole basketball league, controlled by North Carolina interests, dragging/keeping down the football.

What’s interesting is the longtime ill-will towards ACC Commish John Swofford. From the vantage point of a Providence-based conference, Swofford has appeared to be a rather aggressive and dare I say dynamic leader of the ACC. He engineered the raid of the Big East to get Miami, BC and VT — entirely to bolster the football side of things. To do it he navigated over the explicit objections of Duke and UNC on the expansion. He worked around the Virginia politics that forced VT over Syracuse late in the process. He got the conference good TV money in the aftermath. Then he staged the second expansion that got Pitt and Cuse out of the Big East for next year (yes, technically Pitt and Cuse are not out of the Big East until 2014, but we all know the reality).

It seems, though, that from within the ACC the Swofford reign is much less charitably viewed. One place that truly hates the Commisioner: Clemson.

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