November 18, 2012

Coming Back To Survive

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 10:10 am

I could only “watch” in the live gamecast. No noise. Nothing. Silent agony. I writhed and contorted in the chair as the score seemed more dire and time got shorter. Not even bothering with Twitter or anything outside of that single screen. Matching the silence from the “game,” I said nothing. No shouting at a miss that could have happened a minute, two minutes, seconds before. Just tense silence.

The sips of my double IPA becoming drinks, becoming gulps. No joy taken from the resiny nose and the flavor. It could have been anything, as long as it helped to dull the emotions. I’d pay for this later. The impotent frustration of not even being able to see what was going wrong.

Scanning and rescanning the box score. Looking to see if there was anything that gave a glimmer of hope. Extremely poor shooting from the outside. Oakland shooting well — or at least getting good looks it would seem. Were the Golden Grizzlies having a hot shooting night? Was the defense playing poorly? Was Oakland packing it in against Pitt, daring them to shoot jumpers? Was Pitt simply settling?

Trying to figure out if this was a let-down game after rolling Lehigh, or a look-past game as the team thought about the Wednesday game with Michigan and the trip to Madison Square Garden. Did it matter? It wasn’t looking like a win would happen. An inexplicable home loss to a good mid-major, but in the end still a team from the Summit League. A game that seemed like a mere formality to another good start. Set to become a debacle.

And then Pitt started closing the gap. It did not feel like a mad, manic rush. It was in fits and starts. Inching closer, stumbling back. Hitting a couple big shots only to see enough of an Oakland response to make the game seem just out of reach. There just didn’t seem to be enough time.

No one would have blamed any of the 9,710 in attendance Saturday night if they had bolted for the exits early. Not with the home team playing poorly and trailing by nearly three touchdowns. But almost no one left, and, in the end, they were rewarded for their loyalty.

Three seasons after recording epic comebacks against Louisville and West Virginia at Petersen Events Center, the Panthers did it again Saturday night with a miraculous, 72-62 overtime victory against Oakland University of the Summit League.

Pitt trailed by 14 at halftime and by 18 with 11:35 remaining. It was the largest halftime deficit overcome in school history. The only better second-half comeback was when the Panthers rallied from 22 down to beat Purdue in 1960.

Tray Woodall played in those comeback victories against Louisville and West Virginia. He said this victory was more satisfying in some ways.

“When you think about it, the West Virginia game was a much longer game and much more exhausting,” Woodall said. “With this new team, we have a bunch of young players, and this shows we have character. We didn’t shoot well at all. We didn’t defend well at all. The one thing we did do was fight and show character.”

The shooting improved a little. A few more shots hit. Free throw shooting went a little better. That you could see in the stats. From an Oakland team hitting nearly 60% in the first half (while Pitt was around 30%), you knew the numbers for Oakland would drop and pitt’s would rise. But it did not happen fast enough. Especially the Pitt offense which couldn’t make a significant dent in the 14 point halftime lead for the first 9 minutes of the second half.

But, it was the defense. More aggressive. More mistakes being forced.

Woodall revealed there is an ongoing debate within the staff on utilizing the full-court press following Pitt’s 72-62 comeback win against Oakland. Apparently, one coach would like to use it more while another takes the opposing view.

Woodall was asked a question about Pitt forcing four turnovers in the final 37 seconds of regulation against Oakland. He then volunteered the following: “One coach who shall remain nameless doesn’t want us to press much and another coach who shall remain nameless wants us to press more.”

An educated guess is that head coach Jamie Dixon is the coach who does not want to press as much. He has never been a proponent of the press unless his team is trailing and even then it’s only been implemented late in games.

The Panthers, who are concentrating on creating more turnovers, forced 18 Saturday night. Eleven of those came in the second half and overtime. At least half of those second-half miscues were caused by the press.

It will be interesting to see if the Panthers go to the press more often after having so much success with it against Oakland.

This is the first time under Dixon where they have the players and the depth to press. One or the other has always been lacking to press for extended periods.

The depth was the big saving grace for Pitt. On a night that saw Steven Adams struggle to stay on the court. Where Lamar Patterson continues his really, really poor start to the season in shooting. Where Woodall’s shot was completely off. Dante Taylor and J.J. Moore were tremendous off the bench. Embracing their roles, rather than starting, they led Pitt to storming back for this game.

Reserve forward J.J. Moore led the Panthers (4-0) with 16 points, including five in overtime. Another reserve made some clutch plays at the end of regulation to send the game to overtime. Dante Taylor scored off offensive rebounds with 37 seconds and 28 seconds left to cut the lead to two.

Taylor was in the game because freshman starter Steven Adams had four fouls and played only 17 minutes. Taylor was 6 for 7 from the field and finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.

“He’s been playing so well,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “He’s a good scorer. He’s a great person and a great teammate. He is a very good player.”

Moore also led the team in rebounding with 10 to notch a double-double. Rebounding stats were a little skewed considering how badly Pitt shot most of the games. Pitt ended up with 18 offensive rebounds — which will happen when you shoot 42% overall.

Once Pitt managed to get the game tight in the final minutes, Oakland began to crack. Not simply from the pressure defense, but the pressure of the game. Oakland turned the ball over 8 times in the final 3 minutes of the second half. By the time they got to overtime, they had nothing left emotionally or in depth. Both Drew Valentine — their senior forward — and Duke Mondy — a transfer from Providence — had fouled out. Pitt ran away in OT.

“Not your typical 10-point win, that’s for sure,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “We battled, I guess that’s the most important thing.”

The winning kind of matters as well.

Somewhat off topic:

Did our 4**** recruits stay for the entire game? If they were in the house to the end they had to catch some of the frenzy and excitement of being a supporter of the Panthers.

Comment by isnore 11.18.12 @ 10:17 am

Easily the best nonconference game ever at the Pete…What an amazing comeback..It’s a shame it wasn’t on TV because I don’t people are going to realize how incredible by just reading about it.
I thought at the game that the refs were making some crazy calls on both teams at the end of the game but I came back and watched the end of the game online and realized the refs did an excellent job on the calls.

Comment by milobloom 11.18.12 @ 10:19 am

Every young team goes through these kinds of games early in the season. They can become “disiasters” or “character builders”.
Congrat to Pitt for making this a character builder. They will learn more from this game than any blowout. HTP!

Comment by Dan 72 11.18.12 @ 10:19 am

A number of people had left..but a bunch came back when they tied it…as far as the recruits I was only watching the court at the end of the game but pretty sure they were still there.

Comment by milobloom 11.18.12 @ 10:22 am

If Pitt lost the game… the blame would fall squarely on Dixon…

Dixon allowed Woodall and Patterson to continue shooting even though they couldn’t hit the side of a barn… he didn’t bench either… and both got 35min of play time.
Pitt has the depth this year to bench stone cold starters…

That has been the problem I’ve had with Woodall his entire career… He shoots toooo much… forces up shots… and doesn’t know when to stop shooting… and he is NOT a pure shooter type like Gibbs… but do you blame Woodall or Dixon..
I think you blame Dixon..
Hopefully this is a learning experience.

Comment by Joe D 11.18.12 @ 10:22 am

Joe D – you are making too much of Woodall’s off night. He played poor but a lot of his misses were offensive rebounds. He was taking good shots but they just weren’t falling. Because they were good shots, however, Pitt had guys in position to rebound and keep possession. In fact, the only really bad shot I saw was from Patterson. he took a 3 with Pitt down by 4 with about 4 minutes to go. Oakland went down and scored plus 1. I thought the game was over at that point. Scorers are going to be a little streaky from time to time but he played himself out of the slump and made some key shots down the stretch (the final shot of regulation notwithstanding). Even so, there was no one else on the team that I wanted to have the ball in that instance.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.18.12 @ 11:09 am

… and that’s the other thing. This team did not give up. They played hard the ENTIRE game. No bad body language or throwing in the towel. Even down 18 with 11 minutes to go, I never got the feeling that the game was quite over. Last year, Pitt would have folded (and they did several times). This year, they are playing to win. Good stuff from last night. Showed heart, passion and pride. When was the last time we said that about any Pitt team? It’s been a while (2009?).

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.18.12 @ 11:12 am

If shots aren’t falling… you stop shooting… or you go to the bench.
Pitt has depth that they don’t need a streaky shooter… which is what Woodall has been his entire career… to continue shooting.
Dixon is to blame here!

Comment by Joe D 11.18.12 @ 11:14 am

GREAT come back glad we won but what abought maryland leaveing the ACC. Inever saw that comeing
who do we replace them with U CONN OR TULANE.
and will this be the death of the big east.

Comment by FRANKCAN 11.18.12 @ 11:21 am

The story of this game is James Robinson’s play. He showed an incredible amount of poise and a level of maturity beyond his years. I think the biggest example of this occurred right after he was called for traveling with around 30 seconds left. Rather than putting his head down, Robinson goes out, plays the press, get a big steal and draws a foul. And then he hits two foul shots to tie the game with 10 seconds left. His contributions to the team this year may be greater than Adams’s.

Comment by PatMac 11.18.12 @ 11:23 am

Joe D – they won the game and even with depth he is one of the few who can create his own shots. He’s going to be shooting all season so get used to it. They don’t win the game without him and part of Dixon’s philosophy is offensive rebounding. Woodall’s shooting falls in line with that approach.

Dixon’s philosophy is you take the open shot. Woodall was. If he was taking bad shots it would be an issue but he wasn’t. Pitt was rebounding a large percentage of the misses so it wasn’t hurting the team. Dixon will not change this approach – he expects good shots and offensive rebounding which they were doing. Pitt’s defense and turnovers – Oakland shot 60% in the first half – were the issues. To blame Woodall for the close game is not an accurate assessment.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.18.12 @ 11:26 am

Wow!!! Frustrating, but the reward was worth the anxiety. I viewed the proceedings (from start to finish) on my computer. The outcome seemed a no brainer, excuse me, I mean tha apparent outcome. Frankly, I gave up and was attempting to analyse Pitt’s poor play. Yes, I gave up and so did some courtside fans, but this Panther team is a prize package. I was elated over the overall play of James Robinson, the continued bullseye shooting of J>J> MOORE and the debut of the REAL DANTE TAYLOR who has been submerged for three seasons. Of, he was but a Junior. Great game guys. More Panther hoop fans will be watching via ESPN 2 on Wennesday nite or in person at THE GARDEN. I’m not predicting a national championship. BUT a GOOD season is quite possible. Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 11.18.12 @ 11:26 am

FRANKCAN – I mentioned on the other thread that I think they should TRY to replace MD with PSU. I don’t believe the Big 10 has an exit fee and they have always been outsiders in the league. If PSU wants a fresh start, the ACC may be an option. From what I understand, the difficult thing about leaving the Big 10 is the way they share research and collaborate on that front. BTN is nice but PSU would increase the value of the ESPN contract and may even convince ND to join full time.

I’m not sold on MD leaving yet either. It depends on who wins the boosters vs. regents battle going right now.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.18.12 @ 11:30 am

pat-mac..totally agree about robinson…this kid has ice in his veins and he’s unflappable…he’s poise and basicly runs this a freshman!!..totally impressed wit dante..(good for him)…as for adams..yikes…he needs alot of work..but im sure he’ll get there…great character win…now lets beat michigan!!

Comment by pitt-for-life 11.18.12 @ 11:45 am

I saw every dribble via Directv 639 and I’m still elated and pumped. A comeback like this requires two components: they have to blow an opportunity to ice the game and we need a Havlicek miracle and both happened. Bader, as steady as Gibbs was from the line blew front end of 1 & 1 and Robinson stole the inbounds. I’ve seen enough, Robinson has it!! If Adams leaves for NBA after 1 season he’s being misguided. He might need 3 years (I hope) certainly 2. There is a lot of talent and upside on this team, this is going to be fun! Dixon’s best squads always perform well in NY, can’t wait for Michigan game. LET’S GO PITT!!

Comment by Old School Panther 11.18.12 @ 11:51 am

Last night was as much as a red flag as anything else. Seems like we’re picking up right where we left off last year.

Just a matter of time before the fingers starting pointing again at Jamie Dixon.

I like Dixon. Who doesn’t? But he couldn’t have turned last year’s team around if he was driving the them to a game on the team bus.

Believe then and believe now that a lot of the magic of past years where Dixon was credited with making lemonard out of the lemons he had as players was due to some of his assistants who have since moved on.

Be prepared.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.18.12 @ 12:03 pm

Chas – excellent write up. Thanks for the story & game perspective. Can’t wait til Wednesday night, to see the boys in action at the Garden!

Comment by Rieur1114 11.18.12 @ 12:07 pm

PatMac sezitall

Comment by steve1 11.18.12 @ 12:19 pm

Player of the game had to be the freshman Jimmy Robinson. He got called for traveling, didn’t let it get to him, gets a steal immediately then gets fouled with 8 seconds left or so. PITT is down by two and Robinson needs to MAKE BOTH. Upperclassmen would be gulping.

And Calmly he hits both Free Throws to send the game into OverTime. This kid is a winner.

If that wasn’t enough he hits the first basket of Overtime and gives PITT it’s first lead since the first half. A lead they would never relinquish.

Finished with 14 points on 3 of 5 shooting, 1 of 2 from 3 and 7 of 8 from the line. Plus only ONE (1) turnover, which brings him up to a GRand Total of two (2) Turnovers for the Season. He also had 3 assists and 2 steals with that huge one in the last 20 secs of play. And he’s playing 30 minutes a game, last nite 35 minutes.

Last year we lose this game big, as we would have had 20-25 turnovers at least and with the awful shooting we would have been blown out.

So adding just one guy who can take care of the ball at PG has made a tremendous difference.
And he’s got the confidence needed to knock down crucial freethrows with the game on the line.

I’ve been critical of our recruiting, but Coach got a real gem here.

Comment by Emel 11.18.12 @ 12:27 pm


In the first half, the recruits looked uninterested, by the end they looked into it.

Comment by DCPinPGH 11.18.12 @ 12:36 pm

PItt of Dreams – they won this game where they would have lost last year. It was just a bad game … and they fought through it. Is this a National Championship caliber team – No … but the foundation is there. The entire roster is filled with top 50 and 100 players. It’s a legit team. Your handle should be Pitt of Despair. I understand not overhyping the team but you’ve gone a little extreme.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.18.12 @ 12:37 pm

Sleepy played really well too. With Adams on a steep learning curve as long as Coach forces him to play with his back to the basket, having Taylor come in and do what he did down the stretch was huge as well. He finished up with 12 & 9.

And JJ is turning into a real force with 16 & 10.

Those two guys coming off the bench have to give us one of the best bench’s in college hoops, along with Ziegler & DJ.

Time to turn this up a notch for the clash with Michigan as PITT sits right outside the Top 25 at #29 in the AP and #30 in ESPN/USA.

Comment by Emel 11.18.12 @ 12:43 pm

Props to the Zoo last night — they never stopped believing and were a huge factor down the stretch.

I love Coach Dixon and I think most of the criticism he’s heard during his tenure has been unfair. However, he has a big problem developing that he must address ASAP: because JJ Moore and Talib Zanna can apparently only play the four, the two most consistent scorers this season can’t be on the court together, making it impossible to have Pitt’s five best on the floor.

How did this happen? And why do Moore’s minutes have to come at the expense of Zanna? Both of the them should have position flexibility — Moore played the three his first two years and Zanna played the five. All of a sudden, both can only play the four? Dixon must find ways to use his depth as a strength, otherwise, what good does it do having so many capable players? Patterson should have played less than 20 minutes last night and Zanna should have played more than 25.

Comment by Denny 11.18.12 @ 12:54 pm

I think, as promising of a start he’s had, Adams will definitely be back for another year. And can you imagine, after last night’s game, Dixon using TAYLOR as an example to Adams? How Dante played-that’s what we need from Adams.

Comment by Lou 11.18.12 @ 1:00 pm

Joe D — Woodall shot 39% last year from three with a terribly painful sports hernia. How does that classify him as a “streaky shooter”? Michael Jordan had nights where he went 3 for 25. Bad nights happen. Coaches always tell their best players to keep shooting — it’s the only way to start making shots. Also, Woodall wasn’t taking bad shots. And let’s not forget, he made a couple big shots — and passes — down the stretch.

Comment by Denny 11.18.12 @ 1:00 pm

Woodall is not the best player for Pitt…
Coaches do tell players to keep shooting WHEN they don’t have any other alternative… in this case, Pitt is DEEP…
and you looked at overall %… look at game by game and you see the up and down last year and previous years… Woodall is NOT a consistent shooter… he is a wanna-be Gibbs in shooting 3’s. His old HS coach would have benched him last night.

Comment by Joe D 11.18.12 @ 1:28 pm

Tossing Thabeets — we shall see.

I would love to be wrong on this one. But don’t think so.

Comment by PittofDreams 11.18.12 @ 1:47 pm

Last year Gibbs shot 35% from three and Woodall shot 39%. Pitt may be deep with players, but they’re not deep with shooters, especially when Patterson can’t make anything. Other than JJ, Woodall is the only reliable three point shooter on the team. Woodall has to be aggressive and I’m sure both the coach and players want him to shoot when he’s open.

Comment by Denny 11.18.12 @ 1:50 pm

Joe D – Woodall is not a wannabe Gibbs. He’s the player that the offense runs through and when he has an open shot he’s supposed to shoot … which he has done. As I said before, offensive rebounding is part of Pitt’s offense … shooting and missing is okay as long as they are within the offense. He took smart shots they just weren’t falling.

1st half defense – Oakland shot 60% – and turnovers are the problem. Woodall did contribute four TO’s so bash him all you want there as he does have a history of being TO prone.

To say his shooting was the problem though is not understanding what Pitt tries to accomplish on offense. Take open shots, if they go in great. If not, pound the boards and get the ball back to try again.

Part of the problem last year was Gibbs taking bad shots with no one in position. Woodall played very well the first 3 games and he’s also gone out of his way to praise the freshmen. I think he’s been a great leader on the court. Part of the reason Pitt stayed in the game was because Woodall never quit trying and it rubbed off on the team.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.18.12 @ 1:54 pm

Woodall should have spent more of the first half on the bench, he was awful. Head was not in game looked like some of the Gibbs games last year. We have enough bench this year to sit guys down when off.

Comment by Jimbo 11.18.12 @ 1:57 pm

Dreams – Being a Pitt fan I understand being pessimistic but the team has talent, is deep and is experienced. In addition, Pitt’s had some continuity in the coaching staff. The bad seeds have also left the program – Gibbs, Birch and Johnson. There is a lot to be optimistic about. It’s going to be a fun team to watch this season. They will not be an easy out by any means.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.18.12 @ 2:00 pm

I’m expecting big games from Steve Adams and Zanna on Wednesday. Gutsy win last night. Team came out flat and Oakland is no slouch. They were on a roll. Credit the boys for fighting back.

Still not sure where this team shakes out, but sure do like going into this game with Michigan undefeated.

Comment by PaulyP 11.18.12 @ 2:01 pm

I’m the jagoff that stopped turned it off and went in my room to sulk when we were down 18.

Robinson may have a better freshman season than Adams! Srsly.

Comment by tacocat 11.18.12 @ 2:38 pm

Chas … not sure what limited your viewing access but try ..

I am outside the country and have seen nearly all Pitt f-ball & b-ball games this season. The site does have a lot of popups to contend with but they go away after a while. Give it a look .. lots of other serious sports content as well.

Comment by Tomas 11.18.12 @ 3:25 pm

Loved the way Taylor played off the bench…his rebound and put back near the end of regulation was huge. I was also surprised that the bench outscored the starters.

Robinson can do it all already….this game was a great learning experience for him…..much better than what he’d learn from a blowout.

For those with Comcast, you can watch the replay of the game on ESPN3.

Comment by Jackagain 11.18.12 @ 3:49 pm

I wrote a recap of last night’s game. The Zoo was as loud as it’s been since the triple ot game.
link to

Comment by Jordan 11.18.12 @ 4:13 pm

nice recap…
grade inflation..
Woodall B+… C’mon man… that was a D.
And yes… he is turning into a Gibbs 2.0… when you can’t hit the side of the barn… you stop hoisting them up!! That goes for Patterson also.
Are you grading on a curve?

Comment by Joe D 11.18.12 @ 6:33 pm

I am watching a replay of the game and for those of you who want to make a goat out of Travon Woodhall didn’t see the game. Yes, he had an off night shooting. But when the comeback was being engineered in the last 10 minutes of the game he was a major part of the it. In one sequence he had a block, assist (Adams jam), and drained a three with the shot clock winding down. He never stopped playing hard on both ends of the court even when having an off night shooting.

Give the kid a break. He’s a senior and this is his team. I predict that Tray will be viewed as our team MVP by the end of the year.

Comment by Jeff in CPa 11.18.12 @ 6:34 pm

and how many turnovers in the last 5min of regulation?
and I could care less if he is a frosh or senior…
and it’s Dixon’s team last I checked!!!

Comment by Joe D 11.18.12 @ 6:43 pm

Knight wants to press. Dixon doesn’t

Comment by TonyC 11.18.12 @ 6:56 pm

Joe D — You’re being ridiculous. To answer your question, in the second half and overtime, Woodall had 8 assists and 1 turnover.

I don’t care if you’re a frosh or senior, that’s getting it done.

And bullshit. This is Woodall’s team. He’s as tough as any player Pitt’s had during this great run.

Comment by Denny 11.18.12 @ 7:11 pm

PG+ Pitt Basketball
Unfortunate verbal exchange between two Pitt players

Read more: link to

What’s this?

Comment by steve1 11.18.12 @ 7:22 pm

Denny – Joe D is impossible to argue with. Just an FYI. He’s obsessed with the tangibles and can’t see the intangibles. It’s always measurable numbers – 40 times, height, weight etc. He can’t see leadership or heart (both traits that Woodall possesses). He can’t grasp that Pitt’s offense incorporates misses into it’s strategy. That offensive rebounding is as important element of Pitt’s game as shooting percentage. It’s pointless. He expects Pitt to be Alabama in football and Kentucky in basketball. The high expectations are fine but the reality is not. Pitt can be elite in both but they will have to take different route than the football and basketball factories.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.18.12 @ 7:23 pm

Re: The verbal exchange. Zanna, Patterson on who should inbound.

Ho hum.

Comment by steve1 11.18.12 @ 7:56 pm

Regarding the verbal exchange, almost always the person playing power forward inbounds the ball after a basket. That seems to be one of the actual roles of that position in Dixon’s system. After inbounding, he then jogs ahead of the point guard to provide some “active” interference. So not sure what Zanna was up to. I mean, he’s the one playing power forward. Fittapaldo’s article seems to intimate that there are broader chemistry issues or potential issues. I guess the comeback and the overtime victory weren’t enough of a story..

Overall, shooting is not this particular team’s forte, so we’re going to have some rough patches this year. Woodall and Patterson, despite shooting poorly, for the most part remained calm and made smart plays down the stretch.

Patterson did finally shoot this time and yeah, he sucked. He missed a lot of open shots. They weren’t bad shots, but they were open shots. Sill, his hands were all over the place late. He caused a key backcourt violation and pulled down some nice rebounds. And he controlled the ball and made good passes down the stretch and in OT. Zeigler, another option at the 3, looked a little bit scattered when he was inserted. And he forced a couple of shots trying to make something happen. And I don’t think he’s got the defense thing down yet. I didn’t want him in late. Durand Johnson has looked alright at the 3 but you don’t want him in late either as he’s still getting the defense down as well. But his mid-game minutes have looked good. Clearly, they’ve converted JJ Moore full on to PF. I didn’t mind Patterson in late and he didn’t look spaced out at all as Fittapaldo kind of leads on. I mean, most of the team looked like shit most of the game.

Woodall is this team’s version of a playmaker. He heaved up a few to try to cut into Oakland’s lead. And he missed a lot of open shots as well. Eh, whaddaya gonna do? Players don’t really get pulled for being cold. He did hit some key shots and had some key looks when it mattered late and he played some pretty pesky defense as well. He had some sloppy turnovers in the first half. But other than foul trouble and an injury, I don’t really envision a scenario when Woodall shouldn’t play at least 30 minutes a game. He’s a poised player and is what passes on this team as an outside shooter. There’s not that many alternatives and you can’t just pull a guy every time he gets cold.

The question about getting JJ Moore on the court more, perhaps along with Zanna at the 3 or just having him start at the 4 ahead of Talib, is an interesting one. Personally, I don’t think either Zanna nor Patterson would provide a spark off the bench like Moore, so I prefer him to be our version of the 2011-12 James Hardin. He might end up getting starter’s minutes though. I was definitely shouting for him to be inserted in late and was surprised Zanna played as much as he did.

The full-court press discussion is interesting because this team is so much more athletic than past teams. I’d love to hear that internal debate in the coaching staff. I would imagine that Dixon’s reluctance would be a concern that the half court defense would suffer and ultimately, the team’s fate will be determined by the half court defense. But if the opponent or situation fit, it would be nice to see them press some.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 11.18.12 @ 8:16 pm

…also, James Robinson. I already love this guy!

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 11.18.12 @ 8:18 pm

Good stuff, Silver.

Here are my concerns
1) Jamie needs a collar stay
2) Jamie needs a styptic pencil
3) Take the “D” off Johnson’s back. There must be a seamstress on the payroll.

Comment by steve1 11.18.12 @ 8:25 pm

Wow, if the Queen had balls, if Pitt lost, if, if, if.
The Black lining to the silver cloud has spoken.
I love teams that win games they should have lost.
Some Blather blubberers can’t stand Pitt football snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
But what really gets their undies in a knot more than menstrual cramps IS WHEN PITT snatches victory from the jaws of defeat!
Deprive them of their whine against whomever and Satan himself runs in fear of having to listen to them.
Blame Dixon? Simple and unmitigated stupidity.

Comment by SFPitt 11.18.12 @ 8:29 pm

Well said Silver

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.18.12 @ 8:30 pm

God, I love this blog!

Comment by steve1 11.18.12 @ 8:30 pm

SFPItt – also well said.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 11.18.12 @ 8:38 pm

One down, two to go.

Welcome Dorian Johnson

Comment by PittStadiumShuffle 11.18.12 @ 8:59 pm

I did not see the game, but was getting updates on my phone via ESPN scoreboard. They posted a final score of 58-56. I did not know Pitt actually won until the next morning. How does that happen?

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 11.19.12 @ 9:26 am

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