January 9, 2013

Epic Beatdown In DC

Filed under: Basketball,Opponent(s) — Chas @ 9:49 am

Obviously I did not see that coming. I’m pretty sure no one did. Not like that.

The Panthers came up with a victory they desperately needed Tuesday night when the knocked off No. 19 Georgetown, 73-45, at the Verizon Center. The win came on the heels of two losses to Cincinnati and Rutgers to open Big East play.

Pitt (13-3, 1-2) beat Georgetown for the 12th time in the past 18 meetings. The Panthers won seven of their final nine games against the Hoyas at the Verizon Center. This was the final scheduled game in the series because Pitt is moving to the ACC next season.

The 28-point margin of victory was the second-largest for Pitt in a Big East game. The largest was a 30-point victory at DePaul in 2011.

“We were clicking today,” Pitt senior Tray Woodall said. “We came out and fought hard.”

It was the most-lopsided home loss for Georgetown since a 40-point loss to St. John’s in the 1971-72 season.

“It’s embarrassing,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. “It was very disappointing. I know this isn’t who we are, but tonight was very disappointing.”

It was Pitt’s most complete game this year. They played hard in both halfs. They played defense. They took care of the ball. They worked it around on offense.

When trying to think where to begin, it seems the end of the first half would be a good place.

Pitt was finishing the half strong. They weren’t having a last minute let down on defense just because they were up by double digits. They even pushed it to a 15 point lead when Georgetown had the final possession. The Panthers wanted to deny Georgetown anything.

That was just what Pitt did. Steven Adams stuffed Jabril Trawik on a drive, and then Tray Woodall out-hustled, and out-toughed him corralling the rebound. Trawik was all over Woodall, but Woodall still saw and got the ball out and the ball reached Cam Wright nearly alone going to the basket as the clocked neared zero. We saw a Hoya player holding onto Wright’s off-arm to slow him down. No call, and the shot didn’t get off before time expired.

Then we look back to see Woodall lying on the ground. Replays showed how Trawik, after Woodall got rid of the ball, raised his elbow high and then swung it at Woodall’s face as he “turned” to go upcourt. It caught Woodall in the throat/neck.

The Karl Hess-led officiating crew that had called everything in the first half missed both calls. Worse, they spent five minutes reviewing the clear flagrant 1 foul, decided that it was a “basketball play.” Somehow, it was just an accident.

That may have been the best thing for this Pitt team.

They were back in the locker room by the time the word was finally given that there would be no foul shots. Pitt was called for ten fouls in a very tightly called half (to Georgetown’s seven). The senior leader was leveled by an elbow. Wright was clearly being dragged by his off-hand heading to the basket. Yet the officials saw nothing. Twice. If Pitt wanted this game, they had to make sure that no one else would decide it.

You saw it in their faces when they came out after the half, and the camera showed the players shooting around before the buzzer to start the second half with a fifteen point lead. Woodall had a stone look on his face. The rest of the team was business. No joking. No relaxing.

And they dismantled Georgetown in the second half. Woodall didn’t try to take it at the Georgetown team alone. No one did. As a team, they just broke Georgetown.

“It feels great,” said Pitt senior point guard Tray Woodall, who finished with 11 points, seven assists and four rebounds in 32 minutes. “It‘s our last time here against them. I‘m glad we did it the way we did.”

It was the first conference victory for Pitt (13-3, 1-2), which had lost back-to-back Big East games to Cincinnati and Rutgers, and the 28-point margin represented the Panthers‘ most lopsided victory in 55 Big East games against the Hoyas (10-3, 0-2). It was Georgetown‘s largest margin of defeat since a 104-71 loss to Maryland on Dec. 10, 1974, its worst home defeat since a 107-67 loss to St. John‘s on Dec. 7, 1971 and ranks as the third-largest margin of defeat in any home game in Georgetown history.

“I‘m very proud of our guys and how they responded to a disappointing start for us,” said Pitt coach Jamie Dixon, whose Panthers spent the weekend here after the Rutgers game. “I know how good of a team Georgetown is, so it means more. … They‘re one of the best programs in the country. We‘ve had a great rivalry, a great tradition. They‘re a great program with a great coach and great players.”

Made the Hoyas look slow, sloppy, desperate. Tentative to shoot. And it all started on the defense. They made the plays there, they had more opportunities on offense.

The difference for the Panthers, according to Woodall, came on the defensive end of the floor, where they “wanted to come out and be the aggressor.” Cut down open looks on the perimeter, pressure ball-handlers in the half court and attack the defensive glass. Pitt did just that, as Georgetown — an admittedly awful offensive team right now — never got into anything close to a rhythm on that end of the floor.

“I think our guys are recognizing what we’ve been trying to get across to them defensively,” Dixon said.

But the key to the game had much more to do with Georgetown’s defense than Pitt’s, as the Panthers absolutely shredded what had been one of the stingiest groups in the country coming into the game. Pitt was able to get penetration from Woodall and James Robinson, they knocked down their open threes and they got to the offensive glass. While their total number of points may not be all that impressive, it is when you consider that they put up 73 points in 59 possessions — or 1.237 PPP — against a team that, even with Tuesday’s hideous performance factored in, is allowing just 0.871 PPP on the season.

Pitt thoroughly humiliated a good Georgetown team on the road in a game that they really needed to win.

That’s what good teams do. And that’s how good teams handle adversity.

“I’m proud of our guys,” Dixon said, “and how we responded to a disappointing start.”

Before the game, the talk was how Pitt was desperate but Georgetown was tough. That Pitt would struggle to get it inside with the Hoya’s overall length. Instead it was Georgetown that couldn’t get the ball inside. It was the Hoyas that were stagnant on offense and let that frustration lead to playing bad defense.

I’m not sure Rutgers guards were really all that athletic. Pitt just came out completely flat and dug a big hole. Too big of a hole to climb out.

The opposite went down against gtown. Lets see how this team comes out on Saturday.

Comment by Omar 01.09.13 @ 3:40 pm

Durand Johnson = Last year’s JJ Moore

Steven Adam’s progressing quickly

I’m amped

Comment by steve1 01.09.13 @ 5:00 pm

emel As much as I hate to admit it I think you are right about the press.I think there is also no chance Dixon will use it.The reason I have done a flop on my position is that the few moments that we have actually pressed out of ergency it has been very effective.Speaking of flopping,our guys need to take a crash course in it before next season as it is a highly developed tactic in the ACC.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.09.13 @ 6:14 pm

Steve 1,D Johnson releases his 3 point shot from a greater height than anybody on our team,he has great size and though he is far from a finished product I can imagine him making significant improvement and maybe playing at the next level.I am not saying he is any shoe in,but other than Zanna and Adams nobody on this team appears in my NBA crystal ball.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.09.13 @ 6:21 pm

Spirit, I see Robinson in the NBA

Comment by steve1 01.09.13 @ 6:39 pm

Too small

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.09.13 @ 6:46 pm

lol spiritOS22

Yes I know flopping is big in the ACC, I’ve lived in the Carolinas for quite a while, right smack dab (like that Southernism) in the middle of ACC country.

Can’t wait to see my Panthers play on the road down here on Tobacco Road.

At least UVA under Tony Bennett is getting them all use to a physical type halfcourt game.
Sort of a trailblazer they are.

Although I’d rather see PITT recruit better athletes and play uptempo ala Duke or UNC.
We shall see !

Comment by Emel 01.09.13 @ 7:08 pm

I was at the game last night and while they looked good, I think some other factors came into play. One, Pitt came out focused based on the last three games (losers of two). Two, it was a very poor showing from the fans. There was a man threatening to jump off the Key Bridge in Georgetown that prevented entering or leaving the area. I was picking up a buddy at one of the hotels and it took me almost two hours to go 2 miles. The student section was much emptier than usual and the quietest I’ve ever heard it. Georgetown never had a chance to feed off of the crowd.

I just want to see a larger sample size before I go all in again. Cam Wright looked good, Kiwi Stevie is still looks lost with his back to the basket but I can see why the scouts and Jamie are enamored by him. Zanna was in beast mode again and played tough at both ends of the court.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.09.13 @ 7:17 pm

Emel I think you misunderstood my post,I wasn’t joking and if we ever do press flopping skills are vital.We wouldn’t have won the Oakland game without a great JJ Moore flop. I really think we should do it more.Last night we could have gotten to the line a lot more.You might think I’m funny but I am a flop science advocate.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.09.13 @ 7:17 pm

Robinson in the NBA now is pure fantasy, he has no consistent outside shot, nor he is (right now) a particularly good at penetrating and dishing.

However he has lots of time to develop a shot, which he would have to do, AT A MINIMUM.

He will be an excellent floor leader(pretty good now), as the kid is a winner. All-time leader in wins at a storied HS program (DeMatha Catholic).

A few former DeMatha Hoop Players: Adrian Dantley, Danny Ferry, Sidney Lowe, Adrian Branch (he should talk up JR & Pitt you’d think), Keith Bogans, Kenny Carr & several others. Mike Brey of ND & Ron Everhart went there as well.

Comment by Emel 01.09.13 @ 7:20 pm


Did he jump ?

Comment by Emel 01.09.13 @ 7:23 pm

TT I remember contemplating a bridge jump myself after Penn St beat us 48 to 14 Dan Marino’s junior year so I know how that poor Hoya fan must feel.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.09.13 @ 7:23 pm

TT just so no one gets confused here I was joking about the jumping but not the flopping.If it holds the crowds down though maybe someone can volunteer to help out when we visit Louisville.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.09.13 @ 7:29 pm

I was at the Verizon, it was nutty, we had Let’s go Pitt cheers running through the half empty arena. Georgetown is horrible. It was a good win but I wouldn’t get overly excited about this team yet. We have a lot of building to do. Dixon needs to chill out a little bit. He needs to adjust, Pitt is getting more talented players now, he needs to adjust his coaching style and his temprement. The party at RFD with the Alumni Assoc., was fun, a lot of young kids. Fun to see a roomful of Pitt shirts.

Comment by Justin 01.09.13 @ 7:36 pm

No – police talked him down but if you were in Georgetown and didn’t leave the area by 530PM, you weren’t going to the game unless you walked 3 miles to the closest metro.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.09.13 @ 7:36 pm

I would have been at Billy Martins on Wisconsin Ave in G-Town then, imbibing on some refreshments.

agree Justin, but he seems to be a one-trick pony for the most part.

Comment by Emel 01.09.13 @ 8:03 pm


we never mention that game on this blog FYI

It never happened !

Comment by Emel 01.09.13 @ 8:04 pm

sorry emel I understand. I got all carried awy with the idea of taking flop science to another level.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.09.13 @ 8:20 pm

Robinson has the potential to be a very good college guard. But NBA? Doubtful. Unless he has hidde athleticism, there’s no way. Adams on the other hand does so much on that doesn’t show up in the stat sheet. Let’s hope he’s not one and done.

Was at the game. just like the last two times, Pitt fans filled the upper bowl and made it a home crowd. And it was great seeing the DC kids play well at home. But as Omar said, we’ll get a better read on Saturday on how good this team is.

Comment by Velvil 01.09.13 @ 10:13 pm

@Emel, I was imbibing and enjoying chowder and a buffalo burger at one of America’s great Taverns this afternoon, Martins. Place never disappoints.

Comment by Justin 01.09.13 @ 11:27 pm

Very cool Justin. I love Billy Martin’s and Georgetown in general. The neighborhood that is.
Can’t stand the basketball team.

Use to live in G-Town a few years back. It was, what you would say……vibrant !

Comment by Emel 01.10.13 @ 1:31 am

No problemo spiritos22 my friend.

I get carried away quite frequently.

It’s called passion and PITT ppl have passion.
(and it’s a good thing, me thinks)

Comment by Emel 01.10.13 @ 1:34 am

You can’t write off James Robinson being in the NBA. Dude is currently 4th in the nation in assist to turnover ratio as a true freshman, which I think makes him a pretty good college guard already. He is only going to get better as he gets older and gets in man shape.

Right now Zanna is projected to be the 50th pick in the 2014 draft. If he improves his game half as much in the upcoming year as he did in the past, he will get drafted.

By the way, I love Durand Johnson’s range. The kid can shoot from anywhere on the court.

Comment by Wardapalooza 01.10.13 @ 8:35 am

I hated Georgetown, the neighborhood, in my D.C. days. Just couldn’t get past the ultra-snooty vibe. Lived in D.C. for nearly 12 years and the last 8 probably went to Georgetown twice and always left understanding why I didn’t like to go there.

Comment by Carmen 01.10.13 @ 8:43 am

Marquette is a poor 3 point shooting team and we should be able to hold them to less than 65 points,possibly under 60.If our bigs show up again we could put a serious smack on the golden eagles to go with the hoya thump.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.10.13 @ 10:29 am

lol Carmen,

You got to be able to change with the environment my Pitt brother. When in Rome do as the Romans.

I can just as easily transform from the University Club to a local shot and a beer bar in South Side (the little original ones hidden way off Carson) and converse and have a good time and make new friends.

Georgetown was cool cause of the density of good bars and restaurants. Although after looking at Billy Martin’s current menu, the prices have skyrocketed since I use to go there back in the 80’s. Oh… but there is no or little inflation, so tells us. 🙂

Comment by Emel 01.10.13 @ 2:07 pm

I guess I was last there around 2002, even since then…the prices have gone up substantially.

The devaluing of the currency doesn’t help !

Oh…right I forgot doesn’t do that either.
Never mind….

Comment by Emel 01.10.13 @ 2:10 pm

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