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November 10, 2012

There’s plenty of good to recap from last night’s 80-48 win over Mount Saint Mary. There’s plenty to admire in Cam Wright having his best game, when he decided to play as a way to honor his father. The father that passed away that day. And I’ll get to that. Unfortunately, all of that had to be marred by petulance from John Johnson.

When friends on Twitter asked about the game he answered their questions.

Friend: “Yo bro, you didn’t play?”

Johnson: nah cuz, smh (shaking my head)

On Wednesday, Johnson sent out some cryptic messages. “Basketball is more political than the election.”

Here’s another: “Hard work doesn’t always pay off.”

And this is why college athletic departments have employees whose jobs are to monitor the Twitter accounts of athletes.

It’s easy to understand Johnson’s frustrations. He is watching a true freshman come in and start ahead of him. And according to Dixon, Johnson made great strides over the summer in his transition to point guard. Dixon praised him last Friday after Pitt’s second exhibition game.

It may not even be the fact that James Robinson is starting. Or Cam Wright playing more minutes than expected. Trey Zeigler seemed to be slipping because of defense, but he got the minutes (and played well).

Still this tantrum is beyond stupid. Johnson has pulled this stuff before. Last season he had some bad moments on Twitter where he complained.

He could get away with it because he was a true freshman and you make mistakes. And practically speaking, Pitt was too thin to deal strictly with a kid just mouthing off.

Now? Now, he is putting himself on very thin ice.

Johnson is expendable. Johnson is a nice piece, but hardly irreplaceable. Especially if Cam Wright is developing as he appeared to in the game last night. There’s still Durand Johnson to play wing or shooting guard.

John Johnson has not lacked confidence. He is a completely streaky shooter. He is a questionable defender. Not nearly as fast as he thinks he is. Yet, he could find a niche on this team. But he is convinced of his own greatness. A cockiness that could be endearing if he didn’t publicly go after the coaches and appears to piss on his own teammates.

I hope Johnson’s words don’t affect the team. This needs to be nipped in the bud. Or he needs to transfer.

Comment by xfmrman 11.10.12 @ 5:27 pm

Johnson is what he is..he’s a spot up three point shooter who cant do anything won’t be a huge loss if he transfers…he wont be in the rotation once conf. games start

Comment by pitt-for-life 11.10.12 @ 5:36 pm

Johnson is probably the only decent 3point shooter on the team.
I can’t blame him for wanting to play… that is the type of player I want on my team!!!
I think everyone is surprised Robinson is starting at the 2… I had him as backing up Woodall… and the 2 would be Zieglar/J.Johnson. I thought Cam Wright would be odd man out and transfering after this season.

Comment by Joe D 11.10.12 @ 6:26 pm

Thank God for Twitter.

How did we ever do without all the insight of young impressionable minds?

Comment by PittofDreams 11.10.12 @ 6:36 pm

Joe D, Robinson is actually starting at the point and Woodall is at the 2. I wasn’t there last night but the first two exhibition games that was the lineup. Robinson is good, he might have a bad game once in a while as a true freshman but he is legit. Dixon wants him experienced for the ACC next year, does not want to go into ACC with no experience at point.

Comment by Wd 11.10.12 @ 6:55 pm

wd, I saw the game… and frankly wasn’t sure who was the 1 or 2 as woodall and robinson played interchangeably..

Comment by Joe D 11.10.12 @ 7:06 pm

Too bad PC didn’t consider the experience at QB going into the ACC next year

Comment by spindler's spirit 11.10.12 @ 7:07 pm

I’m not happy either, so what……

Comment by Dan 11.10.12 @ 7:21 pm

Next year we have 2 scholarships to give with Woodall and Taylor graduating but I predict the Johnsons will be gone and free up 2 more scholarships. John Johnson is not a Pitt type of guy, never was. Its all about him and not the team, the rest of this team gets along and have accepted their roles because they want to win. Durand Johnson will be advised to leave because he will not get playing time and he could be successful in another system somewhere else. That let’s Jamie get four more studs in here for the ACC next year. The power forward that played with James Robinson in high school will be a target and with Robinson and Adams starting from the getgo that will excite recruits.

Comment by Wd 11.10.12 @ 7:29 pm

This kid was a questionable recruit to begin with playing at a low classification HS. And as the season got into conf. play last year his play dropped off the cliff. He’s not quick enough to play the point imo. And he can’t create his own shot. He’s not a great passer and he can’t get into the lane off the dribble. And he’s too small to play 2 guard imo.

So while he is a good long distance shooter, as Chas said he’s very streaky and got more streakier against better competition.

If he’s gonna cause problems, we could use another open scholarship for someone with more potential. Just sayin.

Comment by Emel 11.10.12 @ 7:45 pm

lol Dan-o I don’t think any Pitt football fans are happy….we deal with it.

Mostly with humor.

Maybe we can replace JJ with Sir Tino as the backup 2 guard. Nah..he would want to start.

Comment by Emel 11.10.12 @ 7:50 pm

How about #1 Alabama losing to Texas A & M in Keith Jackson’s favorite locale, ..Tuscaloosa.

A & M is having quite the season under their first year HC Kevin Sumlin and their sensational true freshmen QB Johnny Manziel, who has accounted for an amazing 33 TD’s. Good for them getting out from under Texas’s shadow.

Comment by Emel 11.10.12 @ 7:53 pm

Wasn’t Kevin Sumlins name thrown out there as a possible replacement to be our head coach but was never interviewed by pederson.

Comment by Wd 11.10.12 @ 8:08 pm

I think Johnson and Wright would have trouble starting in the PSAC. Open those scholarship’s for ACC caliber players. I think Duke and Carolina can’t wait to play against those two.

Comment by Wayne 11.10.12 @ 9:29 pm

Wayne, I don’t like Wright either, feel his game is limited and his forte is supposively defense but I don’t see him as a shut down defender. Dixon loves him though. His offensive skills look like an 8th graders.

Comment by Wd 11.10.12 @ 9:46 pm

Sumlin had no interest in Pitt. Whether you put that on Steve or not (for not being able to convince him to at least interview), I don’t think Coach Sumlin’s regretting it too much.

As the hoops season progresses we’ll see less of Wright and more of Zeigler — his defense just needs to get up to speed to satisfy Jamie.

Funny moment last night watching hoops game: Adams came to bench late in game, next to him was J.Johnson. Adams was joking around with a teammate on other side of Johnson, then said something to John and got a short, pissy response. So Adams gave him a patronizing back pat, said “sorry” and then leaned back behind Johnson’s back and raised his eyebrows/started giggling. You could tell Johnson was not a happy camper then, regardless of what Jamie said about being sick. Either way, thought it was funny. (Also funny that the cameras stayed on it that long…)

Comment by JW 11.10.12 @ 9:57 pm

TANTRUM is a strong and wrong word to use. Anyone who is on a team and NOT STARTING, yet thinks he (or she)should be has gone through these moments. Great scott, gentlemen of the press, the season is one game old and you are magnifying a not UNCOMMON situation. Mt. St. Mary’s had several sharpshooters. It could happen down the road that Pitt might need some as well. Give the kid a break. Move on to another subject. Or is this one too delectable to relinquish?? RevGeirge from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 11.10.12 @ 10:45 pm

I guess a malcontent on last year’s team and his problems have not been forgotten. I would rather resolve any issues quickly.

Comment by xfmrman 11.10.12 @ 11:02 pm

I think j Johnson is gone after this season. As for Durand Johnson I really like his game and think that he is going to be a really good player in the future for pitt and I would hate to see him go. Also I would like to see a little more of zeigler in the coming games

Comment by Matt 11.11.12 @ 1:57 am

The reality is that JJ can only play guard, and he is at best the 5th best behind Trey, Robinson, Zeigler and Wright (Cam has little O but decent D, with long arms and nice height for a guard. JJ doesn’t). JJohnson impressed early last yr but fizzled down the stretch of our CBI championship yr. If he wants to start, and you can’t blame him for that, then transfer. Or, stay at a great university on scholarship and try to enjoy the ride. Not exactly a pro prospect.

Dan’s comment made me LOL too

Comment by Bossdaws 11.11.12 @ 8:45 am

Ask J.Johnson if he can play football.
Pitt football needs a few more players like him with fire in the belly!!!
Too many Pitt players on scholarship just going through the motions for 4 years to get that degree!!

Comment by Joe D 11.11.12 @ 9:25 am

Rev – I think part of the panic over JJ’s remarks is that one of the biggest contributors to last season’s downward spiral was a lack of team chemistry. One malcontent can fracture a team – see Birch. I HOPE Woodall or Patterson or Dante step up here and put him in his place. This is at least the 2nd time I’ve seen pouting from him via Twitter. If I’m Dixon I sick the leaders of the team on him. If not, we’ll see how this plays out – Last year’s team didn’t have the leadership in place to handle this. I believe this year’s team is well-equipped.

Those of you hating on Cam should get over it. He played quite a bit last year despite his struggles and based on the pre-season and first game he will be playing a lot this year. Dixon sees something in him and is giving him experience. He is NOT a candidate to leave anytime soon. You could see Dixon’s vested interest in him with his remarks about Cam’s family. Dixon has missed quite a bit the last few years on projects (and the 8th grader comment is pretty accurate) so I understand the skepticism … but he is here to stay.

Go Pitt!

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.11.12 @ 10:04 am

Agree with the Rev. Tantrum is a bit much. The first tweet is the only problematic one, the second is ambiguous enough that its basically harmless.

Dont forget that after his declaration and prior to arriving John Johnson was the most enthusiastic recruit we had. He very much wanted to come play at Pitt and I remember at the itme thinking “he’s going to either be frustrated because the guard spot was too full for him to get many minutes or he’s enthusiasm will also translate into patience and positive leadership”. Let’s see how this goes.

Complaining after one regular season game is sort foolish, but this isn’t a big deal yet.

Not surprised at all Robinson is starting. He’s much bigger than Johnson which is necessary if your other guard is small like Woodall. Cant have Woodall abd Johnson up top together.

B-ball maybe political (ie we need to show other recruits that Freshman start, and Dixon needs to show he’s always put his best players out there), but its also pragmatic for Johnson to be getting the short minutes.

Comment by PantherP 11.11.12 @ 5:13 pm

Please, I’m not equating Johnson with Birch–YUCK!! Really, I don’t know any of the details of John’s “UNHAPPINESS”,so I should keep mum. However, I musy ask if the Panthers are the only sports program in the nation to have a QB who misspeaks and a sub PG who Twitters TOO MUCh. Or perhaps we just hve too many malcontents who are ready to POUNCE on any 2o year old who talks before he thinks!! No disrespect intended gentlemen. Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 11.11.12 @ 5:14 pm

He’s 20 years old — he’s a kid. He’s probably never had to fight for PT in his life, so can’t we just let the kid struggle a bit without crucifying him? He needs to understand he’s a sophomore and there will be plenty of opportunities for him in the next three years. Tact and wisdom are usually gained through adversity, so let’s withhold a verdict for a minute.

Comment by Denny 11.11.12 @ 5:30 pm

I must agree. “Tantrum” is a little too strong and patronizing of a word to give to an athlete he is upset about not playing. I personally love to see players upset about playing time. Now it is up to “good coaches” to channel that energy into productive work. Too often coaches and the media try to malign a player (especially a 18-19 year old) for being competitive. Sure he should learn to express himself better but that will come with maturity.

Not playing a kid in a 32 point blow out is a little puzzling. I hope Jamie isn’t trying to pull that old trick of pissing off players so that they transfer and open up a scholarship. He has been know to do this a time or two in the past. Just saying…. Eventually a coach can gain an unwanted reputation if this is happening.

Comment by Pitt Fan in Atlanta 11.11.12 @ 6:25 pm

I didn’t mean to imply that you were comparing JJ to Birch – no one should. But, after last year – it is a valid enough of a concern for people to comment on. Remember, JJ did the same thing last year on twitter as well. I agree, being angry about not playing is a good thing but you keep that in house… especially after you’ve already done it once before. Like I said, this year’s team is probably better equipped to handle him and I’m sure the team leaders have spoken to him about it… hopefully, he learns from his mistake… if not, I’m sure he’ll be playing somewhere else next year.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.11.12 @ 6:46 pm

Fire in the belly or talk is cheap? It is one or the other.
Want playing time? Earn it with your play, not your damn mouth.
Shake a tree in D1 hoops and somebody whining about playing time falls out.
Pitt (and I attended the game on Sat) is VERY DEEP.
Maybe he can transfer to Duquesne.

Comment by SFPitt 11.11.12 @ 8:21 pm

Just watched the Duq game. If they would have made a couple of wide open 3s, they would have beaten G’town. They could use him.

Comment by xfmrman 11.11.12 @ 8:45 pm

It seems to me that anyone not played in a blowout is either sick/injured, being punished, or being redshirted.

Comment by San Diego Panther 69 11.11.12 @ 9:07 pm

Seems like if you want something known to ALL you tweet it. If you just want to complain to a friend, call him on the dang phone instead of tweeting it. Oy vey what a twit !

They should just ban this stupid way of supposed communication by (student) athletes. I believe other Universities have done it.

Comment by Emel 11.11.12 @ 10:13 pm

Cut him now. He’s nowhere near worth the cancer he brings to the locker room. Quit blaming others. Blame yourself or how about you accept your role. You were never going to the NBA so stop whining

Comment by TonyC 11.11.12 @ 11:58 pm

Do we need a Baldwin td to keep the streak alive?

Comment by alcofan 11.12.12 @ 9:33 am

let’s move on, excited about this team. Like the talent we have. I would like to see Jamie trying to develop the half court game through Adams to help him build confidence with his offensive game around basket. When you are up 30 and leaving him in, run some plays for him! Should also help us get open looks and maybe enable a clear out for someone like Patterson to drive the lane.

Comment by pittfan92 11.12.12 @ 11:40 am

I would prefer they take advantage of Adams athleticism and play an uptempo game, as that is more the style in the ACC. And if you want to advance far in the BIg Dance, you don’t see many plodding half court teams get far.

And you’re playing two PG’s at once, so that’s perfect to push the ball up the court and get some easy baskets.

And it’s a hell of lot more fun to watch.

Comment by Emel 11.12.12 @ 12:39 pm

On paper, this Fordham team seems tailor made for Pitt to whup up on tonight.

*They lost their first game @Texas Tech by 10, 86-76.
*Starters played 25+ minutes each. Four of them played over 30 minutes.
*They have a 6’8″ freshman center, who isn’t much of a scoring threat.
*They start 3 guards (6’2″, 6’3″ and 6’0″), one of whom is also a freshman.
*They only shot 4 of 13 from 3 point territory.
*Their best player is Chris Gaston a 6’7″ senior power forward who played with Travon Woodall @St. Anthony’s. He is a pre-season first team all-A-TEN selection.
*Their 2nd best player is junior Brenden Frazier a 6’3″ combo guard.
*Looks like they like to play up tempo, scored 76 points against texas tech, with only 12 points coming on threes.

While I expect Pitt to cover the 19.5 point spread, it will be interesting to see what happens with Lamar Patterson. He has looked out of synch so far this season, especially on defense. He has looked a step slow. Not sure who on this Fordham team he could guard. Conversly, none of the Fordham guards look to have the size to watch Patterson. Will be interesting to see which way that goes.

Also, will be interested to see how Moore does defending Gaston, a legit power forward. If either Moore or Zanna can get him in foul trouble or even make him work on defense, Fordham could be in big, big trouble.

Lastly, it is hard to complain about much after Friday’s game, but I am slightly concerned about Pitt’s 1-6 three poing shooting. If you’re shooting 70+% from short range, why bother to jack up a three, I get it. BUT Zeigler, Robinson, Patterson and Moore need to at least be a threat to knock one down. Otherwise teams are going slow it down and pack it in.

After a reasonably close first half, look for Pitt to wear them down and finish strong in the second half.

Pitt 89 Fordham 64

Comment by boubacar aw 11.12.12 @ 1:48 pm

word is johnson has decided to transfer

Comment by Joe 11.12.12 @ 2:26 pm

bobocar–Not Texas Tech, they lost to Texas State.

Comment by pitt1972 11.12.12 @ 2:49 pm

My goodness!!! The power of the Bloggers is IMMENSE. Would Joe identify his sourse? Would TonyC be more foregiving. Holy moley! Talk about “LEAP to JUDGEMENT!!!”. I’d sure be uncomfortable being in front of that locomotive. Is the PITT FANDOM really the most wrathful in the sports world? I don’t want to believe that, but—- Rev. George from Columbus oops! I meant SOURCE. Pleasae forgive.

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 11.12.12 @ 2:52 pm

emel, I agree with you to a point and we have more depth to be able to play up tempo but there will be times when we need to play the half court game.. would like to see us work on it when we are up by 30 and still have starters in, that’s all.

Comment by pittfan92 11.12.12 @ 3:09 pm

Yes, sorry I was thinking “State” and typed “Tech”, TWICE! Must be Freudian, thinking about Bobby Knight……I guess.

Comment by boubacar aw 11.12.12 @ 3:24 pm

Pantherlair is sayin what Joe says right now. I trust pantherlair more than my wife.

Comment by TX Panther 11.12.12 @ 3:25 pm

I am so glad I retired from coaching basketball! The first thing I did after mskin final cuts was meet one time with the parents and laid down the rules that I would be glad to meet anytime with them except for game night.Too emotional for everyone. The to speak.

Making comments while in the “moment”, is the scariest thing I can imagine and that’s what twitter does.

I have taught and taken part in courses on “email etiquitte” and one common rule is never email in anger or after a glass of wine@

If there had been twitter, I would have revised that statement and only coached orphans!

Comment by Dan 72 11.12.12 @ 4:08 pm

Tonight’s game is on ESPN3 at 6:00. For folks without ESPN3, you can listen on radio at 90.7 FM (available with the app “Tunein Radio”) or

Comment by steve1 11.12.12 @ 4:24 pm

Need to add: 90.7 is a NYC area station, so you’ll have to do a geographical search on Tunein Radio first.

Comment by steve1 11.12.12 @ 4:28 pm

As per the Fan J Johnson is transfering.

Comment by JP 11.12.12 @ 5:04 pm

Ray Fittipaldo just tweeted as well. Best of luck to the kid but his attitude was terrible and Pitt doesn’t need another prima dona. Opens up room for another recruit.

Comment by TX Panther 11.12.12 @ 5:09 pm

PG confirms JJ transfer
link to

Comment by winedogs 11.12.12 @ 5:14 pm

Joe: I apologize. Obviously you are in the loop and I’m across the state line. I will not dimiss you so readily next time. Meanwhile, I wish John Johnson well and hope he grows more mature. Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 11.12.12 @ 5:17 pm

you all will be sorry if some one gets hurt

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.12.12 @ 5:59 pm

He should transfer to duquesne he would get playing time and they need him .
and he would be able to play pitt every year.
and may be make us sorry we let him go from his point of things not ours.

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.12.12 @ 6:05 pm

How many have we lost from the class he came in with 3 or 4.

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.12.12 @ 6:07 pm

I was wrong, 90.7 isn’t carrying it. Sorry

Comment by steve1 11.12.12 @ 6:10 pm

well if he going i think we go after one of two
players if he wants to go big he trys for jordan washington PF 6 foot 8 225 pounds queens ny
or SG jon severe 6 foot 2 broklyn ny he does not hamdle the ball well but shoots lights out.

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.12.12 @ 6:22 pm

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