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December 6, 2012

Anyone who has followed Pitt this season knew that Pitt was going to do everything they could to get the ball inside this game. They were going to focus on trying to feed the big men and get more rebounds. There wasn’t any secret. Especially against an undersized and young Duquesne team.

The good news: they pulled down the rebounds. The bad news: Water. Boat. Fall. Miss.

Pitt was really, really trying to get the bigs to score — defined in this case as Steve Adams, Talib Zanna, Dante Taylor and J.J. Moore. But it was ugly. At halftime, those four combined to shoot 2-16 (that’s 12.5%). And basically that was what was keeping Duquesne in a very ugly first half for the first 12 minutes or so.

Then Travon Woodall had just about enough of that. Woodall didn’t even attempt a shot until nearly 7 minutes into the game. Offensively he was deferring. Working with James Robinson in the backcourt to get the ball inside. Passing up shots. As was most of the front court. Woodall, Robinson and Lamar Patterson were clearly focused on feeding it inside or penetrating to the basket.

But there is only so long you can feed it inside for nothing but padding rebound stats:

Not shockingly, Pitt shot under 30% in the first half. The defense was solid, though, and Duquesne was held to under 25%.

Woodall asserted himself late in the first half. Scoring 8 points in the final 3 minutes to push Pitt out to a double-digit lead by the half. Now I’ve made no secret of how much I think of Woodall. This and the last game illustrate why he is a leader on the team and so vital. No, not because he scored 38 points in these past two games (on very efficient shooting). Because he only has 5 assists in those games.

James Robinson is clearly the better point guard and as capable as Woodall at penetrating the lane. What he lacks is a 3-point shot. Woodall very quietly has shifted to playing much more off-ball and being the shooting guard. He, once again, is doing whatever he has to do to help the team. By shooting more and passing less, he is being unselfish.

Any basketball future for Woodall involves him playing point guard. Not as a shooting or combo-guard. He’s too small. Too slight in frame. Without any fanfare or public discussion, he pushed that aside for this team. Playing and doing what he is needed to do to help this team.

Woodall is the team captain. He started this season as the clear point guard. And seemlessly moved out of the position for the good of the team. Playing where they need him. The way he works so well with Robinson has been impressive. Deferring to Robinson in running the offense, while being the vocal leader to make sure the rest of the team is in-step.

/end lovefest for Woodall portion

Steven Adams was a force on the boards last night, and even found the basket in the second half. There was a definite boost in Adams confidence as the game went on — not to mention a lot more grabbing rebounds with both hands. Hopefully he carries it over to the next game.

It would be nice if Pitt could get off to a faster start. Something they haven’t done since playing in Madison Square Garden at the end of November. These slow starts are a little unnerving.





I was there; this team still has a lot to work on, including rebounding and the obvious paint-points.

This team has no pure shooter at all, maybe aside from Tray last night(5-8 3’s)

Comment by HLandPitt 12.06.12 @ 8:39 am

I’m very happy you gave a shout out to Woodall. Pre-injury last year, he was heading for a breakout season … and this year he has been the closest thing Pitt has to a “go to” player. Some on this board I’ve felt have been a little harsh on him.

The missed put backs are starting to annoy me. This was a major problem last year but has now carried over into this season. The bigs don’t seem to have that “feel” you need under the basket. I’d rather see them get blocked going for the dunk rather than missing 3 consecutive bunnies.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 12.06.12 @ 8:43 am

Adams reminded me of the time Aaron Gray had 20 rebounds..I think 8 of the rebounds that night were his own misses and catches.
That said Adams did take a step forward last night in his game..although a small one it’s promising.

25 days and 4 more games against cupcakes till the season really start.
Can’t wait to see Pitt play the 1-7 Kennesaw St. Owls (who lost to Georgia Southern 62-46).

Comment by milobloom 12.06.12 @ 8:47 am

Im glad for the cupcake schedule.. as this team has plenty to work on. I hope they are tuned and ready for Big East.

Also Durand Johnson is supposed to be a knock down shooter…with the way lamar and tray have been shooting.. Pitt looks like they have a decent outside threat.

Comment by Snala The Panther 12.06.12 @ 9:25 am

THIS is nothing to do with pitt or BB but
it is funny there is a on crigs list a add
for tenn head football coach.
tenn has been turned down bye so many coachs that it is now a joke.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.06.12 @ 9:38 am

Last night was the fifth consecutive game Pitt shot over 40% from three. This team is quickly debunking the myth that they can’t shoot. Sure, there isn’t a pure shooter on the team, but they have guys from the 1 to the 4 that can knock down shots and there’s always a good shooter on the floor.

Comment by Denny 12.06.12 @ 9:54 am

FRANKCAN, that’s hilarious!!!

How the mighty have fallen.

Phil Fulmer had them in the top 5 for about 5 or 6 years in a row.

Comment by Dan 12.06.12 @ 10:10 am

Tossing, I agree. Trey Woodall was doing a terrific job until he got hurt in last year’s Duquesne game. The Panthers really weren’t the same team with out him and he wasn’t the same when he tried to come back. I never imagined Dixon playing him in the No. 2 spot, but he seems to be thriving there. Playing him there is making ing a big difference because a 2 guard who can hit the 3 would have been a missing ingrediant otherwise.

Comment by Justinian 12.06.12 @ 10:11 am

Don’t think Woodall has the quicks to be PG but would be a good #2 shooting guard as Mr. Robinson can dribble drive on anyone.

Comment by Dan 72 12.06.12 @ 10:45 am

From ESPN…only 11th for Home Court Advantage..Zoo needs to pick it up a little.

THIS WEEK’S POLL

Ranking the best home-court advantages in the country (voters: myself, Andy Katz, Dana O’Neil, Fran Fraschilla), ordered by total points with number of first-place votes in parentheses:

1. Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas (3): 39
2. Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke (1): 37
3. Assembly Hall, Indiana: 24
4. Carrier Dome, Syracuse: 23
5. The Kennel, Gonzaga: 18
6. Viejas Arena, San Diego State: 17
7. Rupp Arena, Kentucky: 16
8. The Pit, New Mexico: 14
9. Breslin Center, Michigan State: 8
10. Koch Arena, Wichita State: 6

Also receiving votes: Peterson Events Center, Pittsburgh, 5; Kohl Center, Wisconsin, 4; Bramlage Coliseum, Kansas State, 3; McKale Center, Arizona, 2; Bud Walton Arena, Arkansas, 2; Gallagher-Iba Arena, Oklahoma State, 1; CFSB Center, Murray State, 1.

Comment by milobloom 12.06.12 @ 11:12 am

Barry Alvarez WILL NOT be interviewing Paul Chryst. Off the ledge everyone.

link to host.madison.com

Comment by ECH 12.06.12 @ 11:35 am

“I asked some very close friends of mine to help Paul get that job,” Alvarez said. “I wouldn’t feel right and it wouldn’t be appropriate … for me to hire him.”

Comment by TX Panther 12.06.12 @ 11:42 am

Now we can go back to threads about expansion, Pitt script, crappy Compass Bowl, Ole Miss, Foster and Boyd, ‘O’ fries, etc, etc, but the coaching talk is finished. I’ve lowered my hand.

Comment by TX Panther 12.06.12 @ 11:46 am

chryst is staying at pitt my hand is down this is great now win the bowl games and sign all thoes players foster you must come to pitt and boyd.

now i can think abought recruiting and laugh
at tenn coach search and wonder if butch jones is leaveing cenci life is good.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.06.12 @ 12:07 pm

Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said Thursday he won’t try to hire Pitt coach Paul Chryst to replace Bret Bielema as his head coach.

“Paul’s going to stay at Pitt,” Alvarez said at a news conference in Madison, Wis. “Paul has already come out and said he is committed to Pitt, and I think he should be committed to Pitt.

Read more: link to triblive.com

Thank God the annual coaching carousel was getting a bit much.

We can concentrate on more important things, like
Pitt script and the old uni colors. lol

HTP !

Comment by Emel 12.06.12 @ 12:22 pm

More strangeness

Wisky has (or did) a Bielema
Pgh. has a Bylsma (as in Dan)

pretty close, strange last names.

And Bielema gets hired by a former Pitt AD which could have caused even more of a mess at Pitt.

Comment by Emel 12.06.12 @ 12:27 pm

One more thing before closing this out.
Good luck to Wisconsin and one Mr. Barry Alvarez.

Seems like a really good guy which I’m sure he is.
College football needs more people like him in positions of leadership.

We wish him well in his coaching search and his return to the sideline for their Rose Bowl game
with Stanford.

Now go and win Bucky !

Comment by Emel 12.06.12 @ 12:34 pm

So I take it that Chryst isn’t going to use this to get more money out of Pitt?

Comment by TX Panther 12.06.12 @ 12:37 pm

Some info for you all recruting.
here are some players pitt wanted and my now
have a shot at becuse the schools lost there
coach or got a new coach.
1 Buddy Brown LB commited to temple
2 Cory Clement RB
3 Donlad Rocker OT 6 foot 4 296 pound florida int
4 Terrish Webb wr kent state
5 Blake Mcclain DB kentucky
these players will all be back in play and pitt
offered all of them in the past.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.06.12 @ 12:50 pm

Finally, we can move on to the bowl game and recruiting.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.06.12 @ 1:20 pm

I read somewhere that Clement does not have Pitt in his top 3 any longer.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 12.06.12 @ 1:22 pm

Clement playing wait and see with Wisconsin.

He would be smart to reconsider his decision to back out of Pitt.

Pitt is the Perfect Fit!

Comment by PittofDreams 12.06.12 @ 2:02 pm

i know clement commited to wisconsin but
maybe now he re thinks things now that there coach left.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.06.12 @ 2:03 pm

it will be really neat to see our head coach actually coach in a bowl game!

Comment by goalie44 12.06.12 @ 2:06 pm

The power of continuity in college football. We Pitt fans go from dreading another coach going to dreaming about stealing prized recruits from other programs.

Since Clement is a Wisconsin commit that would mean he has no top 3 right? Clement would help give Shell a good push and vice-versa.

Comment by Wardapalooza 12.06.12 @ 2:34 pm

as much as it would be nice to see Clement reconsider Pitt but he would need to initiate the contact. Given the class move by Barry I would not want to see us try to steal any of their commits. I want Pitt and PC to stay classy as well.

Comment by giveitarest 12.06.12 @ 2:44 pm

Adams definitely looked his best last night. Slightly more aggressive. I don’t think he is used to playing against guys that are smaller (6′ 8″), but can jump out the gym. He’s already coming down (if he jumped at all) with the ball as guys are still rising.

He has to go up strong with both hands and snatch boards with the authority he went up on that one dunk last night.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 12.06.12 @ 2:53 pm

More info for you on recruting .
JC DT Lyndon Tulimasealii to vist on 1/17/2013
6 foot 4 290 pounds.
LB 3 star nigel harris to vist on 1/11/2013
and we have offered another QB Asiantii Woulard
from FL. 6 foot 4 200 pounds.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.06.12 @ 2:58 pm

Woulard backed out of a commitment to USF. He was the “surprise” star performer at the Elite 11.

Personally, thought he was the best of the lot.

Don’t think we got a chance here. A lot of competition for his services.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.06.12 @ 3:08 pm

“I don’t perceive us as a spread ‘em out, fast-paced, no huddle, one back, five wide. I don’t see us doing that because that’s not the type of kid we can consistently recruit and we have to remember that.”

“You know what the plan is and it starts with those big palookas upfront.”

Barry Alvarez – Wisconsin 12/6/12

Comment by PittofDreams 12.06.12 @ 3:24 pm

I rejoice that Coach Chryst will be staying at Pitt. However, I do not feel it is because Mr. Alvarez is just a nice guy with friends of grid influence in Da Burg!! Paul Chryst made the decision because he honors commitments. Now if Only the Pitt Administration would honpr the HEAD COACH and Staff by extending contracts and stipends. It’s a competitive world and if youy have a good staff YOU KEEP THEM. Rev. George from Columbus

Comment by Rev. George Mehaffey 12.06.12 @ 5:28 pm

Several points

1) PITT should stay away from Clements (never taken back when they back out on you and go with another date)

2) more than one factor contributed to Chryst staying starting with a) Chryst character b) Alavarez feeling awkward about pushing hard for him to get PITT job as PITT was probably cool on him initially but Alavarez convinced them c) Nordy and Jerry putting that 6 M buyout clause in place

3) will be really nice to see HC take team through bowl prep and game

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 12.06.12 @ 6:14 pm

Hopefully the new Wisconsin coach is a wild success or we’ll be dealing with this in three years again.

Comment by Chris 12.06.12 @ 7:49 pm

@giveitarest
Atta boy. Class begets class. You are right.
Adams needs to use his butt. Standing straight up in the post won’t work in the USA. You gotta push people with your caboose.
This hoops team has more talent than grit. I want to see more grit.

Comment by SFPitt 12.06.12 @ 8:19 pm

Chris, with what we have been thru over the past 24 mos, and with head coaches jumping ship these days like rats off the Titantic, three years sounds pretty damn good!

Comment by Bossdaws 12.06.12 @ 8:24 pm

Yes damn good

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.06.12 @ 8:32 pm

Now that all is well in Oakland and you folks can focus on the BBBVVVAAA whatever Bowl, I would like to pose and idea to Panther Nation.
Instead of the “City Game” why not have a four team tourney with Pitt, WVU, Duquesne and Penn State (or Robert Morris)at the Consol? 4 games (play a consolation game)2 nights showcasing the regions Div 1 schools. Wouldn’t that be a tad better than beating up on the Dukes every year?

Comment by A-Wild 12.06.12 @ 9:37 pm

Clement not good for Pitt. Keep WI happy. JOJO, Greene, Williams better.

Comment by frank MD 12.06.12 @ 10:10 pm

@A-Wild

Penn State doesn’t want to play Pitt anymore. The coach cancelled the series after Pitt won by 37 at the Pete if I recall. Doubt they ever resume that.

Comment by Kenny Powers 12.06.12 @ 10:12 pm

A-Wild, I’ve been pining for that for years.

In the 70’s, they did have something called the “Steel Bowl”. I believe it was 4 teams also, and I believe it was Pitt always in it, two of PSU, Duq, and WVU, and finally an at large national team.

I could be wrong about the format.

Would love something like that.

Comment by Dan 12.06.12 @ 10:12 pm

I must say that the love Chryst was getting from the media, Wisconsin fans and alumni makes me think that Pitt found a good ball coach. In a weird way, if his name hadn’t at least been mentioned for the job it would make me wonder why since he does seem like such a natural fit. In football circles, Chryst has a good reputation and I’ll take that any day over that pig of a human being Pitt employed last season.

Comment by WorkinOnMyPittness 12.06.12 @ 10:16 pm

I remember good old Steel bowl. ACC – B10 next year.
Dixon likes NYC so we need to go there for something.

Comment by frank MD 12.06.12 @ 10:26 pm

I remember UCLA playing in the Steel Bowl late 60’s early 70’s.

Comment by Moe Greene 12.07.12 @ 5:30 am

KennyP Please don’t overlook the fact that the last time Penn State showed up to play us in football we shut them out.I relish pointing this out to all concerned at every opportunity even when it is only vaguely relevent.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.07.12 @ 9:22 am

Hey spirit, I still have a bunch of the 12-0 forever bumper stickers!

Comment by Kenny Powers 12.07.12 @ 12:27 pm

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