December 20, 2012

Really thought I would have all this done by the end of last week. I was going to lump all the big men together, but given the panning of his first couple months (Insider subs.) nationally, followed by his game against the oh-so-overmatched Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (wildcats? Really? Well, it’s… generic.), along with another near double-double versus Delaware St., and the spirited defenses of him in by Coach Dixon. It just seemed that Steven Adams probably deserved his own spot.

At the very start of the season, Adams was facing the expectations. And after only one game, it prompted Joe Starkey to issue a warning.

We all agreed on these central facts:

• Adams is legitimately oblivious to the hype and harbors no desire to be “the man.” How that plays out — say, late in games when somebody has to be the man — will be interesting.

• His game is part raw and part refined. He‘ll block a layup, then step out to block a 3. He snaps a wicked outlet pass. He spots open men and gets the ball to them quickly, sometimes creatively.

On the other hand, he‘ll probably want to curtail those one-armed rebounds, judging from one coach‘s reaction, and his low-post game is undeveloped. Pitt didn‘t throw it to him inside until nearly eight minutes in.

• Man, can Adams run. He‘ll trail the break like a speeding freight train and finish with a flying alley-oop dunk. Which is precisely how he scored his first collegiate basket.

The rebounding with only one-arm is a common big man bad habit. Especially for freshmen big men who infrequently went up against players of similar size or physical strength. It was a very frustrating sight in several games. Adams was there for the rebound but either stabbed at it with only one hand — allowing a smaller defender to either go up and snatch it or knock it free — or let himself be bumped out of position because he wasn’t expecting anyone to be able to move him.

And it has only been in the past few games where he has started to shed that habit. Corralling and securing rebounds with both hands. Being more prepared and able to absorb contact. It’s a noticeable change in the stats. In the first 8 games, Adams had 35 rebounds. In the last 4 games: 39.

The rebounding — especially at the offensive end has jumped. 20 offensive rebounds in the past 4 games. Arguably, the only reason the number isn’t higher is the lack of opportunities. Pitt has shot over 6o% in the past two games and 59% the game before that.

The improvements are being noted by his teammates and Adams.

“Early in the season I think he was thinking too much,” junior forward Lamar Patterson said. “When you think too much it’s hard to play your game. You worry about little stuff that doesn’t even matter. It just doesn’t even feel natural. But he’s starting to not think as much and just play his game.”

Adams agreed with Patterson’s assessment.

“That’s probably spot-on,” Adams said. “I’ve been told that by all the coaches. I know I think too much. I’m just too nervous to make a mistake. I was playing like a robot, really.”

For Patterson, the struggles Adams endured were not a surprise. He was a freshman three years ago and knows how hard it is to make the transition from high school to Pitt.

“This program is built to move you along gradually,” Patterson said.

“That’s what you expect making the transition from high school,” Patterson said. “Everyone expected him to be ready right away, but it takes time. He’s getting his feet wet. He’s starting to get more comfortable out there and it’s starting to show in his game.

“As a freshman, it’s all mental. The college game can break you. You want to do well. It’s change of speed. He has to get up to speed, but he’s definitely getting there now.”

Also worth noting, despite his apparent obliviousness to the hype and importance of Big East play. He has been surprised and even a touch intimidated at the noise and excitement from the fans.

“Apparently it’s big,” he said. “Should be good.”

Adams said that he gets a little nervous when he first runs out in front of so many fans at Petersen Events Center.

Told that once the Big East season opens the crowds will be even bigger and louder, Adams laughed remembering the overtime win against Oakland.

“Oh my God, I couldn’t hear myself think,” he said. “Just constant yelling. It was cool, though.”

More adjustments that he is making and will have to make. It will be curious to see how he responds in an actual hostile venue.

His presence in the lane is huge. On defense, teams are acutely aware that there is a 7-footer there to defend inside. Even if teams don’t go directly at him to challenge, Pitt’s defense is noticeably better with him on the court. The backcourt can play up on the guards. There are better chances for steals. It helps mask some of the weaknesses in Talib Zanna’s defense.

Offense is a different issue. He is still struggling against more physical teams inside — something to watch with some concern when the Big East play begins. How much will he get moved out of the paint on offense. Both for being in position to grab offensive rebounds and to be in position to receive passes at spots where he can score (which, right now is within only a couple feet of the basket). His 60% field goal percentage is nice, but if he can’t be in position to score enough, it becomes a misleading stat it is coming from nights of going 3-for-5 from the field. As for free throws, um, that really, really needs work.

Michigan had him so agitated and pushed around, that he committed quick fouls and was not as much of a factor in that game. He is going to see a lot of that starting right before the New Year with Cinci. There isn’t going to be time for him to get stronger in the weight room this season, so he is going to have to absorb more punishment, and learn to hold his ground without using his arms — and getting called for fouls.

I think Pitt fans have shown early patience with him. At least it seems that way. Trying to figure out the reason, I think it is in no small part because he has that big, goofball, kid attitude. That he is out there having some fun and clearly still learning to play at this level. But there is also a little self-interest. With Adams being a little slower to catch on to the game, it increases the chance that he sticks around for at least another year. Giving Pitt even greater potential in 2013-14 for that squad to be truly special.

His potential is obvious, beyond simply the size. He already has good footwork. He has a certain fluidity in his movements to go with his athleticism. He’s very different from the recent big men of Gray, Blair and McGhee. In that way, as fans, we are still trying to figure out what we’ve got.

I love his statement: “This program is built to move you along gradually,” .. as long as he believes it, of course. He is certainly a 2 to 3 year project until he fully reaches his potential.

While he is surrounded by enough talent to make Pitt a pretty good team this year, I believe next year is The Year of the Cat. But I’m getting ahead of myself — and will enjoy the reast of this season especially when I don’t have to watch them on computer

Comment by wbb 12.20.12 @ 7:58 am

If Dixon can mold McGee and Gray into quality players, then I am highly confident that Adams will progress beyond the level of performance achieved by the other two.
Simply put, he has better physical skills than any center we have ever had and he has virtually zero experience at any truly competitive level of basketball.
Here is what I expect to see. January filled with bumps and bruises, February putting the pieces back together, March coming out as a force.

Comment by sfpitt 12.20.12 @ 8:28 am

I hope he’s here longer than one year….

Comment by Imma Man! Im 40! 12.20.12 @ 8:40 am

Great analysis Chas. What a raw talent. If he stays, we may get our final four. Funny that we have three big men that are easily pushed around and have weak hands, when compared with our superstar rebounders of yesteryear.

All three have gotten better and will get better. Zanna’s improvement from last year is excellant. Taylor looks to have a solid senior year and Adams (needs a good nickname) is getting better with every game.

Yesterday, was the first time that the guards and forwards seemed to focus on getting them the ball inside, really fun to watch.

Chas is also right on about the Adams intimidation factor, no more easy layups for opposing guards.

Preseason is almost over. Can’t wait for Cinci.

Comment by gc 12.20.12 @ 9:17 am

I believe the best rebounders have preternatural instincts for it. Like a sixth sense. They also have a huge motor. Adams may not be a natural like Sam Clancy, Jerome Lane or DeJuan Blair — Lane’s was like fickle high performance engine sometimes attached to a beater car body — but he’s got a solid motor and he just needs to gain more confidence. Adams does put his size and strength to good use and plays hard. He will learn to play smarter. All of which will serve him well in time. I love that a guy as big as him can run and has hops. He doesn’t need two years to learn not to trip over his own feet like most 7 footers.

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 12.20.12 @ 9:32 am

You cannot teach height!

Comment by Dan 72 12.20.12 @ 9:43 am

I think everyone is still shell shocked from last year because why else would everyone be talking about what our team will be next year.I think we have a final four capable team now.Zanna has become an all conference power forward.Adams doesn’t look to me like he will be back. He shows improvement every game and I think he will be an NBA star.He has Blair length arms and catlike quickness,and at 7’can do things nobody else on the floor can do.Yes he is raw,but he appears to be anything but a slow learner and his defensive presence will have us dominating good teams just like we have been dominatig these patsies by years end.Don’t be misled by polls and people who haven’t been seeing these kids play,Pitt is real good and getting better.We played Michigan eye to eye without Adams (2 minutes).Everybody seems to think Cincinatti poses some big hurdle.I think they better worry about us.Forget about that 10 and 6 Big East team everyone seems to be hoping for or the 8 and 8 team the media has people thinking.This team could win 12 or 13.I have not seen a center with as much potential in the Big East since Patrick Ewing and the only center Pitt ever had that was even was close to as talented with real NBA size was Mel Bennett and he was one and done too.Patterson is also really starting to come on and Zeigler seems to be starting to look like he can provide spark off the bench and be a defensive plus.Where did this Robinson kid come from,freshman aren’t supposed to be that poised and he might set career assist records at Pitt that surpass anything we have seen before.We are ranked 27,2 to 7 is closer to the truth.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.12 @ 10:06 am

Zanna is actually a very solid defender at the 4. I think Zanna will play at the next level.

Comment by omar 12.20.12 @ 10:12 am

“the only center Pitt ever had that was even was close to as talented with real NBA size was Mel Bennett”


Comment by wbb 12.20.12 @ 10:23 am

Really,Clancy 6’7″,Blair forward in NBA, Grey not near as talented.Smith forward NBA.Am I missing anyone?Omar I agree on both points and he and Adams really have started to complement each other.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.12 @ 10:39 am


You thinking of Mark Blount? Not sure Bennett(pride of Peabody HS) is a good comparator.

Let’s not forget that Charles Smith played mostly C for Pitt. Even as one of their top 3 all time players, he used his full eligibility playing for Pitt.

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 12.20.12 @ 10:45 am

I wasn’t comparing height. There’s always Darren Morningstar or Eric Mobley if you want random really big dudes. Rebounding is much more than height, but it also doesn’t hurt to add height and length. It’s position, strength, leverage, and ability to read and react to where to clean up misses. Clancy may be Pitt’s best all time rebounder — he also was more like 6’5″, even if he was listed at 6’7″

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 12.20.12 @ 10:49 am

Spirit, I appreciate your spirit, but this team is young and untested, let’s see where they stand, halfway through the Big East schedule.

When I see them pull out close victories against ranked teams, I will be a believer. On any given night they can probably compete with anyone, but who is going to make the last second shot to win at the buzzer?

By the way Steven Adams is no Patrick Ewing, not even close. Maybe he will leave after this year and no one will blame him, but he may not be ready for the Big East let alone the NBA.

Robinson is great but let’s see how he does against Big East guards.

Let’s see how they all do in hostile environments.

I think we are better than 27, but I doubt we crack the top 10 this year.

Comment by gc 12.20.12 @ 10:52 am

Mel Bennett signed a million dollar contract to the ABA after a great freshman season in the 70’s or very early 80’s.He had incredible talent but could have been better if he had stayed at Pitt.Back then that was all the money in the world so he left.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.12 @ 10:53 am

gc I understand your reservation,but I know what I see,Robinson has already done very well against 3 of the top 10 guards in the country.Hostile,we probably won’t win at Louisville or Notre Dame.I have seen every minute of every game and when I saw Adams last month he looked like a long term project,but every game now he takes a big 7’step forward.You are right he is no Patrick Ewing yet.The reason he won’t be here nexy year is because that is his potential. He already has begun to make plays that no one else on the floor can.Last night he made this rediculous save-switch-reverse-layup thing that made me gasp,the game befor that he jumped higher than I have ever seen a human jump.This guy is a sick talent and I stick by my comment.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.12 @ 11:12 am

Unfortunately I think NBA executives put more stock in potential and physical attributes how good a player is right now. If Adams chooses to leave Pitt this year, he will probably be a lottery pick. Whether he is ready to perform at that level does not really matter. The kid is 7 feet, long, strong and athletic.

Comment by Floyd 12.20.12 @ 11:23 am

When Adams sticks his toe in the water at season’s end, if it looks like he will be a lottery/1st round pick, he is gone.
With a signing bonus and big $ contract, he MUST go.
As much as I would love to see him stay for another year(s), it is not likely we will.

Comment by xfmrman 12.20.12 @ 11:36 am

@Floyd, you’re absolutely correct. 7’0″ and athletic. In their minds, they’ll mould him.

Allthough, it depends on what kind of upbringing he had.

Has a big family, I think 17 kids or something??

Are they well off in New Zealand or struggling.

I would hope we could have him for at least two years.

Comment by Dan 12.20.12 @ 11:39 am

spiritofsection, Mel Bennett was 6’7 and never played center for Pitt or in the pros

Comment by wbb 12.20.12 @ 11:58 am

Pitt’s success this year is going to be directly proportionate to Adams’ development. Adams has improved steadily, game to game. But he still hasn’t even come anywhere near his potential.

Recently, he has improved his rebounding. Last night on a couple occasions, when the shot went up he was behind his man, out of position. With cat like quickness he stepped in front, boxed him out, went up strong with two hands and grabbed the board. He has great feet and if he masters those fundamentals, he’ll be a force on the glass.

He is really good at setting the ball screen. Last night, for the first time he really started looking for the ball off the pick and roll. And the guards actually got it to him a couple times for easy hoops. He has good hands, decent hops and can finish strong. Combine this with the already good passing and surprising shooting, this offense could be lethal.

He is still picking his spots to be aggressive. As he gets more comfortable, he will be more and more active and assertive.

His defense is good now, but even Jamie said, in his postgame interview with Hillgrove, that he can get much better. He is still thinking too much and is often out of position. Jamie said that on one of his blocks he was supposed to slide much more quickly to help and could have prevented the drive vs. being under the hoop and having to block the shot.

The good news for us Pitt zealots (not “sycophants”), is that Pitt doesn’t need Adams to be the man. He needs to be a force on defense (possible), make some plays within the context of the offense (possible), and rebound (likely). He is an unselfish guy and is perfectly willing to play his role, and with continued improvement that could be good enough for Pitt to have a very good year (ie 3rd in BE and sweet 16).

A quick scan of the NBA draft sites gives us even more good news. Most have Adams as around the 20th best NBA prospect and some have him as the #1 pick in the 2014 draft. That would be the ideal scenario and would most likely have to include a trip to Dallas in April, wbb. I’d say 60/40 he stays, I would have said 70/30 he leaves before the season started.

Omar, you are correct about Zanna. The Pitt coaches have said for years that he has NBA potential. Think how good he’d be now if N. Robinson hadn’t stolen so many minutes from him over the last two seasons.

Both Moore and Zanna have benefitted from Adams’ presence on the floor.

Comment by boubacar aw 12.20.12 @ 12:02 pm

@Dan, I agree with you that what is really going to drive Adam’s decision to stay has alot more to do with financial/personal reasons then where he is going to be drafted. I hope he has the luxury of staying to develop his game and is not driven to leave due to family financial worries etc.

Comment by Floyd 12.20.12 @ 12:26 pm

not sure it’s possible, at least not this year, given his personality but would really like to see adams develop a bit of a nasty streak. methinks he’s gonna need it when BE play starts.

Comment by scott 12.20.12 @ 12:36 pm

Mel Bennett was great but he was 6 foot 7
and Sam Clancy was a great center but was
only 6 foot 5 but he was a mile wide huge chest
and arms.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.20.12 @ 12:39 pm

Thanks for the excellent analysis on Adams. If any teams actually project him as the top pick in 2014, there is no way he is sneaking outside the lottery in 2013. There are not many elite players in a given draft class. I am sure most NBA teams would choose to pick a potentially elite player rather than a player who is currently further along but only rates as being a solid player at the NBA level.

Comment by Floyd 12.20.12 @ 12:42 pm

Mel Bennett could really rebound that was what he was known for and isent he the only pitt BB
player to be a first round draft pick.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.20.12 @ 12:46 pm

no i was wrong there was first round picks
billy knight eric mobley jerome lane c smith
and vonteego cummings

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.20.12 @ 12:56 pm

I’m a New Zealander, I agree with you all that Adams has huge potential and also agree that he has a long way to go.
He’s is lacking confidence and too nice at the moment, no surprise given his upbringing. that said, once he gets the confidence and fire inthe belly he will be an absolute freak.

Don’t be surprised if he does stick around for more than 1 year. His girlfriend is actively being recruited to play for 3 of the schools in the area.

Comment by ajd81 12.20.12 @ 1:48 pm

Wbb in the pros bennett played foward
but at pitt he played center
try this book tales from the pitt panthers
google books it says freshmen center
mell bennett i tryed just looking up roster
from the year but it would not come up.

my memory said he played center but i knew you would not except that that is why i went to the book.

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.20.12 @ 1:56 pm

@boubacar Thanks for your take on Adams.The BE 3rd and sweet 16 might be a realistic approach but as I stated previously I think it underates us.I picked this up from Steve 1 last night on the gamelog link to I am starting to see some support for my perspective even though I am often extreme in my support of the Panthers.These folks have us at 5 or 6 now.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.12 @ 1:56 pm

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.12 @ 1:59 pm

You’re all sidestepping the reason for this year’s success.

JR, and I don’t mean Ewing.

He’s the one who I’m more afraid of going pro after one.

Comment by steve1 12.20.12 @ 2:03 pm

And spirit, I love you’re enthusiasm but not your prose.

Paragraphs, please. You can’t be that far removed from English 80.

Comment by steve1 12.20.12 @ 2:05 pm

spirtofsection mel bennett did play center for pitt but he was 6 foot 7 tales from the pitt panthers google books freshmen center mel bennett

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.20.12 @ 2:20 pm

@steve 1, I am living proof that a virtual illiterate can love Pitt hoops. My memory of Mel Bennett has him flopping better than a senior Dukie and then jumping up with a huge smile of pride at having fooled the officials. He was so good at it even the officials used to snicker and he often got away with it more than once in a game.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.12 @ 2:32 pm

LOL, spirit!

Comment by steve1 12.20.12 @ 2:35 pm


Nice analysis, you hit the notes. I would also add that I was extremely impressed with his showing/hedging on high ball screens yesterday. Much improved.

Zanna’s ability to run the floor is unlike anything I’ve seen from a Pitt big man. He is up and down and up and down quicker than most guards.

I also must give a shoutout to the guards for their unselfishness…Woodall with 2 shot attempts? Robinson 3? and 17/4 A/T ratio. Basketball poetry

Comment by Joe 12.20.12 @ 2:45 pm

Pitt is going to have a nasty frontcourt next year with Adams as a sophomore and Talib Zanna as a senior. They sort of ALREADY have a nasty frontcourt, but these are two guys I expect to be back next year with an extra level of development.

James Robinson looks like Mr. Smooth too. I think next year’s squad could be shades of Fields-Young-Blair.

Comment by pittbaster 12.20.12 @ 2:46 pm

@ghost of hornman,There used to be a hornman in section 22 at Pitt stadium that tooted out every point after every score in the 70’s and 80’s.That was when we were a jugarnaut and scored a lot. Is that you?

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.12 @ 3:05 pm

Mel Bennett played one year at Pitt 1974-5.

The starting center that year was 6’8 Jim Bolla, who also was the starting center the year before for the team that made the Elite 8 and finished in Top 10. Now it could be that Bennett played some center while Bolla was resting, but Bennett played mostly forward.

Comment by wbb 12.20.12 @ 3:45 pm

I think Bolla broke his arm and Bennett played center was my recollection but it was only 39 years ago. Bennett was very good, Bolla was tough but wasn’t destined for the pros.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.12 @ 4:17 pm

what can i say i remmber him playing center
i remmber the talk abought him being a 6 foot 7 center and was he big enough .
and the book says mel bennett pitt freshmen center just saying.
i know he played foward in the pros

Comment by FRANKCAN 12.20.12 @ 5:11 pm

SFPitt, I too think Pitt has the best team ever with this group. Final four? That’s a push. It all keys on point guard play. Robinson will have to step it up and I think he is the best of our new class. Trust me, when the regular season begins, he is the only one with the speed and quickness to match up. We saw a good bit of Trey Woodall last night, loafing on D and playing lackadaisical BBall in the first half…except, that is all he is capable of when matched against another quick PG. As Robinson goes, so goes Pitt.
Adams is window dressing and a defensive luxury.

Comment by Dan 72 12.20.12 @ 5:20 pm

My vote is next year for Pitt’s best team … provided of course tht everyone retruns who is suppsoed to and Adams improves as expected

Comment by wbb 12.20.12 @ 6:50 pm

Didn’t Melvin Bennett post comments on his site? I think he banned himself after taking some heat from the rest of us.

Seriously, if you don’t remember Mel Bennett, like I didn’t (slightly before my time), google him. Tremendous Afro and nerd glasses combo. Reminds me of Coolidge on the “White Shadow”.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 12.20.12 @ 7:19 pm

Sorry “this” site. Damn iPad.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 12.20.12 @ 7:20 pm

Looked to me like Zeigler has stepped up his defense and he even looked a little better form wise at the foul line last night. I think maybe he is starting to vie for the 1st back-up guard slot.Offensively he made a real nice play agressively putting back an offensive rebound.I remember being a little surprised at his tenacity.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.12 @ 8:18 pm

spiritofpitt, your mentioning Bolla’s injury sort of rings a bell .. could be that Bennett did play a great deal at center. What I do remember for sure that in addition to being a really good rebounder, he was a great shot blocker

Comment by wbb 12.20.12 @ 8:49 pm

Mel Bennett came along the year AFTER Pitt made it to the Elite 8 in 1974. So Bennett was on the 1974-1975 squad and did indeed play Center at 6-7.

Had he been only one year older and played with the 1974 Billy Knight Pitt team I believe we would have won the National Championship in ’74.

I believe some of Mel’s teammates were Keith Starr (played in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls), Tom Richards from Moon HS & Kirk Bruce.

Pitt went to the NIT in Mel’s only season at Pitt.
He then was drafted in the 1rst Round by the either the Spirit of St. Louis or the Virginia Squires. Can’t remember since the ABA folded shortly thereafer and remaining teams were merged into the NBA. He went the ABA route like Billy Knight, because was ABA was paying higher contracts than the NBA offered.

Comment by Emel 12.20.12 @ 8:55 pm

Robinson plays the game like a seasoned NBA vet.
Good analysis Dan.
I see Pitt as a classic peak at the right time team.

Comment by SFPitt 12.20.12 @ 8:59 pm

Sam Clancy played Center as well at 6-6 & was just as strong as DeJuan Blair, but better leaping ability. Lead the league in rebounding yearly. Actually became an All-Pro DE for the Cleveland Browns, he was that good of an athlete even though he NEVER played College football. Amazing !

Pitt could get away with a small Center since it played the Amoeba defense under Coach Tim Grgurich who then took that Amoeba to UNLV as Jerry Tarkanian’s top Asst. and helped them to the NC in the 1990 era and two NC games. Later took it to the Seattle Supersonics in the NBA which made them the top defensive team in the NBA and they reached the Finals one year.

The Amoeba was an ever changing match up type zone defense that morphed into a 1-3-1 trap with Guard Dwayne Wallace running the baseline at the back of the trap. You also had Sammie Ellis at forward, Carlton Neverson & Lennie McMillan Undersized as the team was, it gave opponents fits, even for a half the team that made up the ’82 National Champions UNC Tarheels with James Worthy, Sam Perkins & Matt Doherty in the ’81 NCAA’s.

It was really a fun defense watch create turnovers and general havoc on the court.

Comment by Emel 12.20.12 @ 9:36 pm


I’m not said “Hornman” — but we sat close by in the adjacent section and he is one of my favorite memories from going to games at Pitt stadium. He was a rock star in that part of the stadium. Back in the late 70s thru 80s there were a lot points scored and many good times. Cavanaugh and Marino at QB didn’t hurt.

For some strange reason, Hornman and the notorious bathroom troughs are my most vivid memories of the old Pitt Stadium.

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 12.20.12 @ 11:01 pm

I loved the cartoonish Pitt Panther painted on the side of the House that overlooked Pitt Stadium.

With it’s ever watchful eye on the playing field.

I think it read “Go Pitt” in script of course.

Also loved how you could actually look down into the stadium & playing field when you walked on the sidewalk going towards the VA hospital.

There’s a great article on Bleacher Report outlining all the positive effects building an on-campus stadium would have on the program.

I totally agree !!

Comment by Emel 12.20.12 @ 11:33 pm

Emel, Amoeba D was invented by Fran Webster,he wrote a book on it, and he was an assistant under Buzz Riddle with Ggugrich. Hornman,I sat in sec 22 20 some rows above “Hornman” After he tooted out the points he would point to me and I would Spell P I T T kind of YMCA style and we would start a Let’s Go PITT cheer and the whole section took it serious.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.21.12 @ 9:21 am

Ghost of Hornman,I find it iroic that we both chose our “ghost/spirit” moniker off the same basic good memories of 70/80’s football at Pitt stadium.The best was Tiger Paul at the Feild House though.What a show that was.These kids at the Pete think they invented cheering,but they have nothing on the bizarre behavior of our warped generation.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.21.12 @ 10:10 am

TIGER PAUL! YES! Pitt hoops was 2nd to football even with Sam Clancy and Clyde Vaughn back inthose days, but Tiger Paul was awesome at Fitzgerald. He looked like my chemistry teacher. ALWAYS jacked up for Pitt hoops, working the courtside like a total nutter.

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 12.21.12 @ 10:50 am

I remember Tiger Paul actually making an appearance at a Pitt football game. He ran the full hundred yards doing his his spastic move.The place went crazy but unfortunately that was the 48-14 loss to Penn State,and I never saw him at a football game again.I heard he went to Vegas with Grgurich but I don’t know if that is true.He could make the Field House rock and was worth at least 5 points a game.The plaid crowd at Pitt couldn’t stand him but he was adored by the fans.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.21.12 @ 12:17 pm

who’s arms were longer … Sam Clancy’s or DeJuan Blair’s?

Comment by wbb 12.21.12 @ 12:57 pm

Blairs but Adams are longer than either.Clancy had a one hand reach,palmcurl,and yank that would scare most mortals.It was a more powerful one hand version of what Blair did to Thabeet of UConn.He was one of the greatest raw rebounders the good Lord ever made.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.21.12 @ 1:29 pm

Comment by xfmrman 12.22.12 @ 2:29 pm

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