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December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy Depth

Filed under: Basketball,Players — Chas @ 12:14 pm

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday with friends and family. I’m still counting down to the end of the year with the same football coach. Don’t want to get cocky, but I think Pitt will make it this year.

You’ll be forgiven for skipping the Kennesaw St.-Pitt game. Even more so, if you watched but didn’t listen closely to the broadcast itself.

During the game, the play-by-play guy, Jeff Hathhorn commented to Julius Page about the injuries to Dante Taylor and Durand Johnson by calling it a concern, because Pitt “only” played 10 players in the rotation. There was a pregnant pause as Page must have been searching for the words. Finally he very gently told Hatthorn that Pitt is playing with some ridiculous depth to go 10-deep.

[As an aside, Julius Page acquitted himself well as color analyst. He just has to drop saying “most definitely” when he agrees with something his booth mate says.]

With a bench that is J.J. Moore, Dante Taylor, Cam Wright, Trey Zeigler and Durand Johnson; Pitt is giving 40% of its available minutes (80 out of 200 minutes) to the bench. No doubt it will shrink during conference play.

Still, Coach Dixon envisions sticking with giving all 10 players time.

Where in years past Dixon has shortened his bench to an eight-man rotation for Big East play, the Pitt coach seems open to the idea of going 10-deep this season.

“Most games, you‘re probably going to see 10 guys out there,” Dixon said, later calling it “a good thing.”

“It gives us some options and keeps guys in the right positions. And I think the versatility of these guys will allow us to do some things, too.”

It’s also given a lot of confidence to the players coming off the bench. Both Durand Johnson and Cam Wright are showing a comfort and confidence level out there. Something that was apparent even with just a handful of games played in November.

Dixon said this is probably the deepest bench, in terms of scoring, that he has coached in his decade at Pitt. What might make or break the season is the development of wings Durand Johnson, Trey Zeigler and Cameron Wright.

Dixon is high on all three, but they are all still trying to find their niche in the rotation.

“Those guys will be key for us,” he said. “They’re right there. They can do some things. It just seems like they need minutes, some confidence. They’ve had some good minutes, some good production at times. Putting it together and being consistent will be the test here as they go forward. ‘Zeig’ is getting more and more comfortable, in better shape. Durand is getting a better understanding of what we’re looking for. We’re excited about those guys.”

The production off the bench is a far cry from what Dixon had to work with last season. Pitt’s reserves are outscoring opponents’ reserves, 174-44, in the first four games. The 174 points represent 45 percent of the team’s points. The reserves last season were not nearly as productive or consistent in their roles.

One of Dixon’s problems is finding enough time to go around and keep all of them happy.

“It’s a nice problem to have and that’s what good teams have,” Dixon said. “I felt at times last year I didn’t know who to put in. This time I have some options. It’s a nice rotation if we can keep everyone on the floor and out of foul trouble.”

Johnson has been developing nicely. The redshirt season helped get him mentally ready to be playing on this team. He’s embracing being a more rounded player.

“Coach Dixon is big on defense, so I focused on the defensive end and let the offense come to me,” Johnson said. “If you’re on the floor, you’ll get looks on the offensive end. Focusing on defense helped me out a lot. I just relax, take my time and let the game come to me. On the offensive end, Dixon talks about not forcing it. I’m not forcing it, playing my game and waiting for my time to come.”

Johnson could turn out to be an important player in the rotation. Dixon has admitted this will not be among his best 3-point shooting teams. Woodall likely is the team’s top perimeter threat, but there aren’t many other options beyond him and junior Lamar Patterson, who led the team with a 41 percent clip from behind the arc a year ago.

Johnson came to Pitt with the reputation as a strong outside shooter, and he has made 2 of his 3 attempts from behind the 3-point line this season. But he knows he won’t be able to win a permanent spot in the rotation unless he continues to contribute in other areas such as defense and rebounding.

“I don’t want to be known just as a shooter,” he said. “I want to be a guy who plays defense, mixes it up on offense, get guys involved and be an all-around player.”

I’ve been impressed with Johnson’s patience on offense. He still has some moments as you would expect, but he really does get it. That the ball will reach you on offense. If you have the best shot, then you can take it. As he develops over the next year or two, I can see him being one of the primary scorers.





Speaking of NYC, the toothless ones took it on the chin tonight.

Nice ending for Gino who proved he can’t play in a cold weather city, talk about a fall from the Heisman heavens. Must be one of the all-time Heisman flops after the Sept & Oct buildup.
Maybe he was on crack, lol

The campers are not happy in Morganhole for they couldn’t ignite any couches tonight after that beatdown by Syracuse. 38-14 ouch

Lots of wife(gf) beatings and a Holgy bender is in the air.

Comment by Emel 12.30.12 @ 12:18 am

You mean lots of first cousin beatings in Morganhole.

Comment by PittStadiumShuffle 12.30.12 @ 12:29 am

I have to say that I don’t feel the same going back to campus for games when there is no stadium on campus. I feel like there’s little reason to stay in Oakland. And, that makes me feel disconnected…not good for alums.

Comment by panther94 12.30.12 @ 12:44 am

About T. Boone Pickins, Pitt recieved a $125 million from William Deitrict. However it wasn’t designated for athletics or a stadium. I’m sure Pickens’ money was ear-marked for the specific initiatives concerening Cowboy atheletics that he wanted to see upgraded.

It was nice seeing the West Virginia Mountaineers get their butts wipped in te Pinstripe Bowl.

Comment by Justinian 12.30.12 @ 5:31 am

Looking down on the proposed Pitt stadium site from the Cathedral of Learning.

link to old.post-gazette.com

Comment by PittofDreams 12.30.12 @ 7:36 am

An idea of what the view would be looking up at the Cathedral of Learning during a night game played at the proposed new Pitt Stadium.

link to flickr.com

Comment by PittofDreams 12.30.12 @ 7:41 am

Pitt lost a great deal by going off campus to play football. Having our own on campus stadium added a “big time” feel to the campus atomsphere. I’d love to see Pitt build another on campus stadium and I’m sure it would help recruiting. Being a native of Philly, I can’t help but feel that using a public stadium gives us a transient, commuter school feel, like the vibe given by Temple. I’d much rather return to campus to see Pitt at the old Pitt Stadium than see a game at the new, hyper comericialized Heinz Field.

Comment by Rich CAS 1970 12.30.12 @ 8:26 am

The Hoopies didn’t want to play Pitt. I think they are regretting that decision after being spanked by the Cuse. Syracuse has WVU’s number.

The Ville beat Kentucky.

Future ACC teams looking good so far. Let’s hope Pitt steps up.

I looked at satellite views for the stadium land and it does appear you can wedge it between frick and katz. You may need to buy out some buildings and homes in panther hollow but wouldn’t be many.

Posvar doesn’t have to be razed although that bunker is ugly.

Comment by TX Panther 12.30.12 @ 8:31 am

Hey say it enough time and maybe it will become true….reality is though it won’t happen in next 30 to 40 years…(probably never but I never say never.)
I could argue all your points on why it wouldn’t happen (most I already have but you’ve chosen to ignore them…but I’ll just pick one more since I have a minute..If you know the current state of public transportation in Allegheny county (and believe me I do), the current governor, and the backlash there was for the North Shore connector for the T you would know there is no way any politician is going push to get the T to Oakland..especially for a football stadium for University of Pittsburgh.

Comment by milobloom 12.30.12 @ 8:46 am

Pickens donated money for the construction of an athletic village, the stadium is named after him and 66 percent of his money has gone towards athletics according to wikipedia. He is Okie States sugar daddy.

We need some money to start flowing to sports. There should be a good balance between sports and academics. And yes I would argue more to academics but I just don’t see the money going to the sports side. Appears most of that money was saved when Pitt decided to rent Heinz. And look at how long it took to raise funds for the new athletic fields. That’s why there needs to be some big money boosters supporting this initiative and Stevie can’t be the one leading the charge. New era with ACC. Interest rates at all time lows. Coming out of recession. Support will climb as Pitt wins. Steelers will quickly become the Bungels of the division…the bad Cincy teams of past. Heinz might not be so attractive to recruits after all.

Comment by TX Panther 12.30.12 @ 8:51 am

Milobloom, it wouldn’t be just a sports stadium. It would be a place where people worked, lived and played. It would serve more than one purpose unlike heinz. It would be a focal point of the neighborhood with 24/7 activity. It would allow the city to raise tax revenue and fees.

I would like to hear your arguements against

The mass transit is the biggest hurdle to me.

Comment by TX Panther 12.30.12 @ 8:58 am

My cheap solution to transit is park n rides located on the north shore and on the parkway near bates. Have fans park and take a shuttle in. That’s if you don’t want to mess with parking in oakland. However there is more parking now in oakland than the old Pitt stadium days if I’m not mistaken. Plenty of parking garages now. But I know that getting in and out is the issue due to traffic congestion. Hence my park n ride solution.

Tailgating spots would be limited but Pitts bars would benefit and I would rather give money to an Oakland bar than a chain on the north shore.

Comment by TX Panther 12.30.12 @ 9:13 am

here is the latest from Tyler Boyd taken from an interview with Kevin Gorman in today’s Trib:
I‘m not sure. It‘s Pitt, Michigan State, Rutgers, Tennessee and West Virginia. That‘s it. Penn State would be sixth. I‘ve got kind of an idea where I want to go, but I want to see what else happens, which new schools I get offers from
———————–
not sure if this is good or bad

Comment by wbb 12.30.12 @ 9:27 am

I think UPMC should built a state-of-the-art trauma center in Oakland and attach a stadium where it immediately attends to player’s injuries: Freddie Fu Field at Non-Profit Stadium

Comment by wbb 12.30.12 @ 9:34 am

It would be alearning hospital/trauma center of course

Comment by wbb 12.30.12 @ 9:36 am

In honor of all of this Pitt Stadium discussion, check out this YouTube video of the Bob Hope All American teams from 1977-1981. Brzoza, Jury, May, Green, Sunseri, Dawkins….love the nostalgia.

link to youtu.be

Comment by Outlaw 12.30.12 @ 9:43 am

The easiest decision ever. That piece of trash golf course should be demolished. That is the worst course I ever saw. Solution….and easy access.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.30.12 @ 10:00 am

I’ll second the the demo of the golf course. I’m a non golfer anyway. Shenley Park would be a perfect location. There certainly isn’t a shortage of golf courses in the Pittsburgh area.

Comment by Justinian 12.30.12 @ 10:37 am

I think it’s a little redemption that WVU switches conferences and gets to play a BE team in a bowl and gets blown out. Pitt gets to play an SEC team as it’s transistion game to the ACC.

Comment by markp 12.30.12 @ 10:51 am

Watch the season ticket sales in Morganhole drop.
Too bad; that 70-63 game was the worst thing that could have happened to them.
Well, the worst thing that could have happened is just starting to take hold. They are a million miles from everywhere.

Comment by SFPitt 12.30.12 @ 10:57 am

You barely have room for a stadium and now you want to turn it into a small city..Oakland has a center it doesn’t need another one…good one on shuttling people to the game on buses from North Shore and taking over a public park that is on the National Register of Historic Places for a college football stadium (That’s sarcasm).isn’t the busing issue what you were arguing about that was bad for the students in reverse..you don’t need to reply… this is my last post on the subject.

Comment by milo bloom 12.30.12 @ 10:59 am

Students are lazy. They won’t take a shuttle but they will walk a few blocks. Adults wouldn’t mind the shuttle option if you didn’t want to deal with the traffic getting in and out. Again that was the cheap and very workable solution. Don’t equate students with adults. I am no fan of the schenley option despite the eye sore of a golf course. In my opinion, green space is valuable and that concept is too far removed from campus. Oakland can never have enough focal points and places of activity. The land there is unused currently. It helps develop the lower end of campus. Development is good. Adding a bit more density to an urban envrironment is inevitable.

Comment by TX Panther 12.30.12 @ 11:12 am

Nothing new in Birch’s game. Offensively, Pitt is much better off without him. Pitt needs scoring from the four. Birch would provide very little.

It does look like birch is a four year player and by his senior year could be very good.

Very disappointed that Gilbert is leaving. Jamie could have turned him into a decent player, defender, rebounder in a few years. You can’t teach 6’11 and athletic. Adams better stay 1 more year or Pitt is going to be really small next year.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 12.30.12 @ 11:34 am

The losses of Gilbert and Birch are going to hurt two years from now when both would be starters and key contributors. Now Dixon better recruit another big who is ready now and hope that Adams stays AND Young develops very quickly. That’s a lot of “ifs”.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 12.30.12 @ 11:47 am

milobloom

No offense, but if everyone thought like you, we’d still be waiting for America to be discovered!

Comment by PittofDreams 12.30.12 @ 12:19 pm

Nothing wrong with hoping! Indulge those of us that would like to see the team play in an on campus facility again. If nothing else, we have had an entertaining topic to discuss while waiting for the upcoming games.

From the way your posts sound Milo, are you sure you aren’t really Steve Pederson? (That’s sarcasm)

Comment by Outlaw 12.30.12 @ 12:33 pm

@ milo bloom, a debate based on logic and supported by practical premises is a hopelessly flawed endeavor when the opposing viewpoint is based on emotional sedimental fantasy. My suggestion would be to compromise and agree with those who hold an opposing concept, that it would be a fantastic accomplishment to have an on campus stadium constructed in the near future. Then simply agree not to be a detractor in that process, nor to invalidate the efforts of those who would commit to making it become reality.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.30.12 @ 12:43 pm

PittofDreams, if everyone thought like you, we’d be giving up a 20% increase in attendance (according to your own numbers) to fulfill some romantice fantasy of a few.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 12.30.12 @ 1:18 pm

For those who missed why we got into stadium talk.. Here’s the link again:

link to computerliterates.com

I also added a commments/messageboard section so the conversation can continue or die on it’s own. Not trying to steal any of Chas’s thunder (I’m only a small dark cloud), but would like to keep the conversation going without hijacking The Blather.

Comment by CompLit 12.30.12 @ 2:30 pm

Marcus of Schamburg…

First of all, be original.

Second… who is contending that a new as in NEW Pit Stadium as conceived by CompLit and others here would draw only as well as the OLD Pitt Stadium.

I can understand why you came to milobloom’s defense.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.30.12 @ 5:50 pm

PittofDreams, Milo didn’t need any defense, but don’t let his fact get in the way of a good pipe dream.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 12.30.12 @ 9:02 pm

Marcus

Then why did you do it. Your response here fits with what appears to be your personal challenge in making a convincing argument.

Still waiting for something of substance rather than simple generalties. (See Dr. Tom above)

Comment by PittofDreams 12.31.12 @ 12:36 am

Very simple solution to the space problem, Old Pitt Stadium was an oval design. Oval designs require more space.

New Pitt Stadium could be a rectangular design like Heinz Field and most new football stadiums these days.

You build up, not out, thereby making a pit at PITT.

That design could make a very advantageous home field and most importantly be built in a smaller footprint. Also if you start off with say 50K seats, thereby limiting supply, PITT gets much better, ie. like the bball team, demand increases, necessitating a stadium addition of seating (L-Ville & Rutgers just went thru this)at some point in the future.
So the design concept must incorporate the idea of building additional seating fairly easily.

@CompLit. Can you give us an idea of how a rectangular stadium fits in that area of Panther Hollow and Frick Fine Arts Bldg.? Perhaps the Bldg doesn’t have to be moved, existing housing purchased, streets rerouted. Or at least to a lesser extent.

Comment by Emel 12.31.12 @ 4:36 am

Here are some “rough” dimensions.

Heinz complete footprint 745′ x 745′
Heinz w/o upper deck 570′ x 640′
Pitt Stadium 617′ x 791′

Moving Frick over has width from Frick to Forbes Field Wall 530′ at 50 yd line width is at little over 600′

Distance from Schenley Fountain to Joncaire St. at Isis Way 640′

Just in case you were wondering about Joncaire:

Major Washington left Williamsburg the day after his appointment by Dinwiddie and headed for Fredricksburg and Winchester to get supplies. He appointed Jacob Van Braam as his French interpreter. Then he took the “new road” from Winchester to Cumberland following a northwest route that Gen. Braddock would make famous two years later. This took him through the northeast corner of Hampshire County crossing the Potomac at the Little Cacapon.

At Cumberland, Washington engaged Christopher Gist to be his chief guide. Again we see how the Ohio Company becomes engaged in politics as several of its members or employees end up in important jobs for the colony. He also hired Barnaby Currin, John MacQuire, Henry Steward, and William Jenkins to accompany him.

On the way Washington fulfilled two important duties assigned by Dinwiddie. First, he made every effort to gain the support of the Indians. He arrived at Logstown November 23rd to meet with the Half King and other leaders and he employed several as scouts and allies. Secondly, the Major took every opportunity to view the terrain and assess its military advantages. The Indians wanted a fort 3 miles downstream of the forks south of the Ohio, but the site did not please Washington as much as the forks did. He fully expected to return soon either with settlers or with soldiers. Winter was coming early, and the small band now including Half King and three other Iroquois quickly headed into the wilderness toward the French. The party arrived at Venango on December 4th. Washington took notes as the French and Indians became intoxicated a talked freely of their ability to descent the river in the spring and take possession of the entire valley. Joncaire was among the party, partially occupying Washington’s focus, as he kept the Indians interested in liquor and the benefits of the French. The party left Venango on the 7th and arrived at Fort Le Boeuf four days later.

Comment by CompLit 12.31.12 @ 9:39 am

Here’s a suggestion… rebuild a new better Frick at a separate location.

Why limit the potential of a New Pitt Stadium Plaza by feeling compelled to keep Frick at or near its current site?

Comment by PittofDreams 12.31.12 @ 10:04 am

@PittOfDreams..

you think republicans and democrats can’t get along? Try Art people and athletic people! Maybe the Frick Fine Arts could be rebuilt as the Taj Mahal.

Comment by CompLit 12.31.12 @ 12:44 pm

CompLit…

I’m anxiously awaiting your first rendition of what that might look like.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.31.12 @ 5:13 pm

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