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January 12, 2013

Open Thread: Marquette-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 10:13 am

So, has Pitt started to find its footing after getting smacked in the mouth by Cinci and Rutgers? Was Georgetown more along the lines of what can be expected, or was it simply that the Hoyas were the perfect match-up for Pitt? There is an awareness that they have to show that was the norm.

…Dixon has been emphasizing to his players why they were so successful against Georgetown. He said that is the key to building a winning streak.

“We want them to recognize why,” Dixon said. “We watch film to show them what they didn’t do well, but we wanted to watch film of why they did things well, show the things we have to continue to do and improve on. There are not many wins like that on the road. We have to see how we respond to it on Saturday. Marquette won two close games that speaks to how good they are.”

Marquette (11-3) brings a 2-0 Big East record into the game after home victories against Connecticut and Georgetown. The Golden Eagles beat Connecticut in overtime and Georgetown by one point.

Pitt also has the looming issue of a back-loaded schedule in the conference. So they can’t afford the luxury of having off-games against teams in the middle and bottom of the conference. Cinci and Rutgers used up the quota.

The players and coaches talk of practices picking up intensity after the losses.

“Those few days in practice, we were getting after it aggressively,” senior center Dante Taylor said. “Coaches weren‘t calling (fouls), just letting (us) play.”

Redshirt freshman forward Durand Johnson liked it.

“We just felt like enough was enough,” he said. “We just had to get back to the way the normal Pitt team was, being aggressive and getting after it, and stop letting teams get after us and getting us on our heels.”

Johnson said Pitt, which opened the season 12-1 before losing to Cincinnati and Rutgers, was developing bad habits.

“Sometimes, you come out in practice, you might be lazy, you might be beat up and sore,” he said. “The old saying, you practice how you play. When we practice lousy and don‘t get after it, we come out with (losses). And we did that at the beginning of the Big East.”

With Trey Zeigler still struggling to find himself on this team, Durand Johnson has gotten more opportunities and taken advantage of them.

Marquette has gotten off to a 2-0 start in the Big East, but it comes with a caveat. They were both home games. The Golden Eagles haven’t won a road game this season — granted they have only played two losing to Florida and Wisconsin-Green Bay — so they have something to prove.

“Good teams win at home,” coach Buzz Williams said. “But all we have done is hold serve. You’re supposed to win at home. The great teams win on the road. Now we have nine chances. That will determine if we’re going to play in some kind of tournament other than the Big East tournament.”

At least the Golden Eagles have done the prep work for this opportunity to keep their early foothold in the Big East.

On New Year’s night they beat Connecticut in overtime. Then on Saturday, they took No. 15 Georgetown inside the final seconds to win, 49-48.

It’s not often that a team gets such disparate competition in the matter of a week.

To overcome the Huskies, Marquette had to contain speedy guards. To beat Georgetown, it was all about preparing for the Princeton offense that is rarely seen anymore.

“We’re thankful for the first week we had,” Williams said. “But we haven’t had any success thus far on the road, and I don’t know if starting at Pitt changes those odds. They have thoroughly dominated us during my tenure in the Big East at home. “

Hopefully Pitt continues that today. It’s a nooner on ESPNU.

Pitt teams continue to lack “that guy” they can count on when things get tough. Basketball is the one team sport where having a go to guy, star, whatever you want to call it really matters. Adams may be that guy in the future but the team doesn’t have one at this time.

Comment by Pittastic 01.12.13 @ 4:56 pm

I taught free throw shooting for 7 years. I would be more than happy to offer my services for free and as a Pitt grad it would not be illegal. Just another student manager.

Comment by Dan 72 01.12.13 @ 4:58 pm

goalie44, IMO, we only had one legit team that was good enough for a final four and they missed by the smallest of margins.

The difference last year and this year is that we have no defensive toughness. There are no shutdown guys like Wanamaker, Dixon, Jaron Brown to name a few. Teams get too many easy baskets on us. I think we are getting better but it’s a process. In the past, if we were close at the end or in overtime the d took over.

Comment by gc 01.12.13 @ 4:58 pm

Dan 72, you’re hired, no resume needed. Report to the Pete immediately.

Comment by steve1 01.12.13 @ 5:13 pm

Someone who knows more than I do…please tell me there’s hope.

Comment by panther94 01.12.13 @ 5:15 pm

There’s hope. Adams will only get stronger and better. Durand Johnson will add value. James Robinson is solid, but tired today.

And Trey will recover.

Comment by steve1 01.12.13 @ 5:18 pm

Pitt has a good team this year. I believe they will make it to the Big Dance. We’ll see how they play next week.


Comment by MariettaMike 01.12.13 @ 5:25 pm

Fellow fans, let’s not take this game for more than it is….a learning experience. Look, we lost our 2 guard and senior play for the game early. Even with that and playing an experienced team who has won 5 close games late, we hung in there and got it into OT. Durrand Johnson will be huge later on, love Robinson at the point. Zanna needs to be replaced in the starting line up, bring him in off the bench.

Jamie is a terrific coach. Let’s give hime the time to develop this team. We have 5 new players.
Also, I believe Ziegler will be a better player. He is going to class, hitting AA meetings and has just transferred into Pitt after his dad was fired. It has not been an easy transition so let’s give him a bit of time. I think, in the long run, he will help this team as much or more than Durrand Johnson.

Last, we play Villanova next. They are “Marquette light”. We have today’s experience to beat them.
No more excuses.

Comment by Dan 72 01.12.13 @ 6:20 pm

Well said Dan72

Comment by Pitt Is IT 01.12.13 @ 6:56 pm

Should of kept j. j. and not t.z.

Comment by frankarms 01.12.13 @ 6:57 pm

Not to be overtly negative, just stating the facts as I see them.

With Jamie’s system, it has been bring kids slowly around, depend on your upperclassmen that have been in the SYSTEM for a few years. Freshmen don’t play much or indeed they’re redshirted unless exceptional or there is an extreme need. (Taft, Fields, Blair, Adams, JR come to mind)

DeJuan was one of the exceptions and maybe since he played at Schenley HS, on Pitt’s campus basically, he was able to play with some of Pitt’s players in the summertime, so he knew the system. Plus he was just special imo.

Now, this year, we’re veering off the SYSTEM bigtime, we have 2 (two) true freshmen starting for PITT. As far as I can remember that never happened in the Dixon/Howland era. And a 3rd, (redshirt freshmen) Durand Durand is starting to get more minutes as Coach is looking for anyone that can shoot and make a few.

While the two true freshmen are talented, in this system it takes several seasons to fully reach or come close to your talent potential (see Sam Young & Aaron Gray as best examples).

So what we’re seeing is kids that would normally be brought along slowly playing minimal minutes or possibly redshirted, instead be in the starting lineup, playing lots of minutes…. BECAUSE WE HAVE NOBODY ELSE. Or the alternative is a lot worse (see last year).

And that imo is why this team is so inconsistent.

So, what we need to do now, looking forward, is follow up last year’s excellent recruiting class with 2-3 excellent years in a row. We have to basically reload. There can not be a near total wipeout of a recruiting class as just happened.

Truth is, Jamie’s system takes to long to learn for the Top players who want to come in for 1 or 2 years and be on their way.

So you either have 2 options:
1) change the system
2) go back to recruiting 2 & 3 star kids (not Top 150 players) that you take a flyer on and that will be in system for 4-5 years. Those type kids are more willing to play tough defense, for the most part, and they’ll be around enough to transform them (see Wannamaker, J. Brown & McGhee)

Anyway, (have a good nite my Panther Brothers)

Hail to Pitt !
Veritas et Virtus

Comment by EMel 01.12.13 @ 7:28 pm

Ha ha. Thanks for saying in 7 paragraphs what I said in 2 earlier Emel. Lol. Agreed.

Comment by Cnorwoodaz 01.12.13 @ 7:38 pm

In the past other schools were always trying to grab our assistants. Don’t have that problem with this group. Assistants that can’t coach or recruit are not in demand. Dixon better get some better help sitting next to him quick or were in big trouble. Recruiting is not good enough right now.

Comment by Wayne 01.12.13 @ 7:40 pm

Manning folds like a cheap suit.

Comment by alcofan 01.12.13 @ 8:48 pm

Goalie, ya, brother, you would have thought they would have looked down on us by now. Ugh!!!

Well, by your name, you’re a hockey fan, we got the Pens back!!!

Funny, a few radio people try to make it like the fans will be mad.

Ya, I guess a couple will, and that’s their right.

I myself think it’s just about perfect. 82 games is too long. 60 would be about right.

Once they start next week, we’ll be right in the thick of it, then the playoffs, I’m pumped up!!!

Baseball could due with about 120 games instead of 162 or whatever.

I know it’s money, they’ll never change, but seasons way too long, too many games meaningless.

Well, they’ve been meaningless in PGH for 20 years I guess, but, baseball in general.

Anyhow, I’ve recovered from the game today, hopefully we’ll get going.

I still think we have a chance to have a very good season and get to the tourney.

Time will tell.

Broncos Ravens, hell of a game!!!

Comment by Dan 01.12.13 @ 9:11 pm

Emel well said as usual.. but the systme is an easy one…1-4 offense against man / triangle against the zone, man d and 2-3 zone d. It’s not learning it (brain surgery), it is being able to do it without thinking, make adjustments on the move (like Zanna all day forgetting that when Adams moves out to hedge or goes to the high post, he has to rotate to the bottom of the key). Marquette got many easy baskets and rebounds from Zanna’s inablility to adjust. He does not appear to be the brightest bulb in the ceiling as I listened to JDixon school him on the sideline several times on that point. Zanna is still a thinker and not a reactor.

I know I will get an arguement, but I tell you all that Pitt will learn more from this loss than any easy win (like G’town). Let’s see if they can apply it next game vs Nova.

Here in B’more land they are partying heavy tonight after one of the best football games I have ever seen. May rank second in playoff greatness to the Immaculate Reception.

Comment by Dan 72 01.12.13 @ 11:54 pm

It was a dissappointing loss. Marquette is good athletic team and I don’t think any of us expected a win. The toughgest part for me, is how Pitt hung in there, when I thought the game was over, and then took the game into overtime. You would think after Lamar Patterson hit the 3 point shot to take the game into overtime, that Marquette would have been demoralized. The Panthers were at home and it was a golden opportunity for the them. The table was set, and they needed to finish. I don’t think they are a bad team, but they have a way to go before they are a good one. Pitt is 1-3 in Big East play. It’s gut check time. Either they find a way to FINISH their games, or the season will quickly slip away from them.

Comment by Justinian 01.13.13 @ 7:28 am

The sad part is that they could easily be 3-1, instead of 1-3, if they shoot their foul shots, as well as a girls high school team.

Comment by Justinian 01.13.13 @ 7:38 am

No leadership including from the coach. All must gut check. I just don’t think they have them. I actually enjoyed watching football over basketball this year. Boy has Pitt basketball gone down hill and fast.

Comment by TX Panther 01.13.13 @ 8:09 am

When you can’t win at home to middle of the road teams, you have a major problem. So much for the Pete being a tough place to play. I don’t want to sound overly pessimistic but I truly don’t see an individual on this team capable of stepping up and leading. I know Jamie has not forgotten how to coach and I know he is slowly adapting. My biggest criticism is his recruiting. He needs to recruit better athletes. The ACC is far more athletic than the Big East. Some big bruzers are fine but we need better guards. I like Robinson but he’s a frosh. He has leadership potential and mental toughness but he’s not going to wow you with his athleticism. Pitt needs some big guys with toughness but also better hands and are not afraid to shoot. Maybe the new guys coming in next year are the answer. Why is it so hard to land elite players at Pitt. Basketball should find it far easier than football. Maybe Chryst can help Jamie recruit some guys.

Comment by TX Panther 01.13.13 @ 8:44 am

Agree on leadership (lack thereof) and lack of toughness.

This team is no where near aggressive enough.

What came thru loud and clear yesterday was that the half court offense isn’t working and it is contributing to the overall passivity of the team. It takes 5-7 seconds to get the ball over half court, then they throw it around the perimeter (with no threat to go to the hoop) for another 15-20 seconds, then they aggressively look for a shot. They need to drive to hoop sooner AND go inside sooner. But mostly start looking for shots sooner.

Marquette runs a deliberate offense, but with every pass they are forcing the defense to actually defend.

Johnson and Wright are getting PT because they are aggressive and trying to make something happen. Jamie has to figure out how to get Moore more minutes. He can be aggressive in spots too.

Despite his career high in points and his clutch three, I would reduce Patterson’s minutes. He is a big part of the lack of motor on this team.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 01.13.13 @ 9:03 am

If Patterson would just look to take it to the hoop more, he would be much more effective. He can stroke it, his defense is acceptable, and he can distribute the ball. Just needs to be more aggressive. Whole team needs to be. Cam Wright is by far the most aggressive player on this team. I have been really impressed by him. He’s made tremendous strides.

Moore has got to be more creative. He needs to learn the pump fake and the drive. He settles for too many jump shots. He had the minutes yesterday and did not do enough.

This team needs Zanna to perform at a high level or they are not going anywhere. They need his rebounding and short game around the hoop. Neither was there yesterday and it really hurt us.

That, and the FT shooting. The poor performance from the charity stripe is just unacceptable. I don’t get it.

Even without Woodall, if they make FTs and get some rebounds, they win that game yesterday.

Comment by Carmen 01.13.13 @ 9:41 am

Emel, Norwood, you are on track. That “toughness’ element that Pitt teams were known for over the past decade was almost genetically handed down from one class to another. For whatever reason, it has skipped this generation. Robinson, Adams still learning, but who of the uppers is going to teach it to them?

Eh, guess I just bought into the hype of Adams too much, and thought all the ills from last year would be cured by him, and to a lesser extent, Ziegler who I envisioned as the next Wannamaker. Rather, this team is going to grow with Adams, as long as he is here, and Ziegler just looks unsure of his role. Reality is, we’re still in the midst of rebuilding, and the players who we struggled with last year still play significant roles and are what they are. I guess what we hope for this year is improvement between now and March.

Comment by Iron Duke 01.13.13 @ 10:28 am

When Cincy, Rut and Marq start by hitting easy 3s at the start of the game then Pitt is not ready to play. Pitt needs to come out hard like at Geo and not have to fight back the whole game to win.

BE teams come out hard and fast. Pitt needs to step up quick.

Comment by Frank MD 01.13.13 @ 10:49 am

News for ya fellas, ain’t a rebuilding year! More upper classmen on this team then most in NCAA. Of course, unlike every other program in the country they redshirt several years…. Maybe just aren’t D-1 players to begin with???

Comment by Punxy Panther 01.13.13 @ 12:22 pm

This team has talent so it’s definitely not a rebuilding year. In fact, there aren’t many differences from this team compared to the successful teams of the past. Toughness, which has been mentioned quite a bit, and passing (touch) in the front court are the glaring weaknesses.

I’ve been happy with the guards and they’ve performed well enough to win. Zanna, despite the season he is having, still has brick hands. The same goes for Taylor and Adams. Catching the ball does not come naturally to them and they are all poor passers.

Pitt’s never been overly big up front but they made up for it by being able to catch and pass with ease. These traits are fundamentally missing in our front court now and the biggest reason for the struggles.

Get back to recruiting kids who can catch and pass despite the stars. That doesn’t mean recruit someone 4 inches too short like Robinson but he did possess the skill set that was needed to be successful in Pitt’s program … his lack of height at the position was just too detrimental to overcome.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.13.13 @ 1:24 pm

Terrish Webb just committed, that makes 3 from Clairton.

Comment by markp 01.13.13 @ 1:35 pm

We have an outstanding coach.

Bad break for Woodall
Poor free throw shooting
I like Robinson however he
dribbles too much
Adams has to demand the ball too
passive so far
This team will get better as the season

Comment by JR 01.13.13 @ 1:42 pm

Some football news:

Webb is a Panther.

Comment by isnore 01.13.13 @ 2:01 pm

In the off season, my high school basketball coach had us shoot 100 free throws a day. In the season we shot nearly 75% as a team. It’s no secret how to get better. When I see college or pro teams shooting between 60%-70%, I just shake my head. practice, practice, practice

Comment by gdodson 01.13.13 @ 2:14 pm

Buzz Williams says, “Good teams find a way to win”, I guess were not good now.

Comment by alcofan 01.13.13 @ 2:44 pm

The big advantage we should have had yesterday against Marquette (as they always have better guards than us) was on the inside. Let’s take a look:
Sleepy 3 points 0 rebounds
Zanna 3 points 5 rebounds
Adams 4 points 6 rebounds

Combined production from the 4 & 5 spots

10 points 11 rebounds.

There my friends lies the answer and the problem with this team (for the most part). These 3 ALL play significantly better in transition. They are all soft and are minimally effective in the halfcourt offense.

Score of note: Cinci 68
@ Rutgers 58

Cinci came out early and put the hurt on RU, as it was 27-15 at halftime at the RAC. Both Cuse & Cinci beatdown RU quickly. RU came out against us and immediately got ahead 15-5. Game over
Other than the G-town game, where the Hoyas couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn, we have not come out with guns blazing. Something is amiss.
This team isn’t ready to play at the beginning of games. Even in the weak non-con against some terrible teams, they were not able to get a substantial lead in many of those games in the first half and even trailed in some. Against lame competition. Again other than the G-Town game and maybe a few other as exceptions, they seem to come out very tentative, not sure of themselves.

They are under pressure more to win at home, and it’s becoming obvious this team doesn’t play particularly well when it feels any pressure.

Don’t know how this is cured since the team is made up of mostly as the same lot as last year. And the new players are not scoring enough points to make much of a difference. While we did get an unexpected 10 points from Durand Durand yesterday, that was more than offset with the near goose egg
by Zanna (3 points) who is the team’s leading scorer.

This team is like a ‘box of chocolates’.

Comment by Emel 01.13.13 @ 4:57 pm

Here’s piece in Cardiac hill about Terrish Webb committing to Pitt.

link to

Welcome to Terrish Webb, we’re glad to see you sign on. Best to luck to the Clairton Bears as new Pitt Panthers.

Comment by Justinian 01.13.13 @ 5:37 pm

Just meet Ray Graham and Ryan Turnley at shriners hospital very nice they both took time out to talk and sign autographs for my kids! I also talked to the punter from Arizona St. and asked him about Fraud Graham and he said they wasnt too happy with him being their coach.

Comment by FLPOLE 01.13.13 @ 6:12 pm

Good news indeed. Welcome Terrish. H2P!

Any chance those stickers come back for the helmets? My understanding is that players got them for good play but does anyone know more about them. Such as…what specifically did a player have to do to earn one, was there a max number per game, did the player place them on the helmet, any guidelines on the placement, what did they look like, did the design change from year to year, what former Pitt player had the most?

I always loved dem stickers and the script but I’m just a big ole redneck from Texass.

Comment by TX Panther 01.13.13 @ 7:04 pm

Tx panther… Give me your email address.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.13.13 @ 7:57 pm

Sorry, but it IS a rebuilding year, because this team seems unlikely to achieve what is expected now of Pitt teams. There are only 2 seniors in the 10 man rotation, and 3 freshman – 2 of which are playing significant roles, and who clearly are struggling now but have the highest ceiling of anyone on the team. Lets put it this way: if they are NOT rebuilding, then…what? Treading water? Getting worse? Rebuilding is an optimistic perspective. It means, we will eventually improve.

Comment by Iron Duke 01.13.13 @ 8:18 pm

Same here TX Panther, would love to meet up for a Bball game or something. I’m in Fort Worth.

Comment by tedsptman 01.13.13 @ 8:41 pm

Ted….I’m in Keller.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.13.13 @ 8:51 pm

Here’s an idea… how about we authorize a feasibility study to judge the cost of tearing down “The Pete” and building a new state-of-the-art Pitt Stadium.

Pitt Basketball can play its games at the Consol.

Wait a minute. Hold the bus. An off-campus facility would never work.

Think of all the inconvenience for students having to make their way down and up Fifth Avenue for games.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.13.13 @ 9:02 pm

Pitt of Dreams – Love your philosophy. I would do anything to have our own campus staduim. Even visit the Pete for the first time to give some free throw lessons!

Comment by Dan 72 01.13.13 @ 9:51 pm

I’m at

Would love to meet up with anyone in DFW. I know there’s a Dallas Pitt Club and they meet every once in a while for games. They just haven’t learned to meet in a central location like Arlington. Addison seems to be their watering hole of choice. Too far for me being that I live in Mansfield.

Who is working on that feasibility study again for the new on campus football stadium between Frick and Katz and down to the Hollow? CompLit?

Comment by TX Panther 01.13.13 @ 9:55 pm

Some last thoughts on losing…and Saturday. Michigan lost today, Duke Saturday. There are no undefeated teams.

You will have to give me some poetic license when I tell you that teams learn more from losing…and yes, I loved the comment “that Pitt players should have their PHD.”

These quotes out of the most recent SI issue:

* “success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people to thinking they cannot lose” Bill Gates

* “winning is overrated. The only time it is important is in war and surgery” Al McGuire

* “winning!” Charlie Sheen

There, don’t we all feel a little better now!

Comment by Dan 72 01.13.13 @ 9:58 pm

Agree with those above who point out that this is NOT a rebuilding year for Pitt Basketball.

Getting the sense now that even the most ardent Dixon supporters are starting to waver a bit as the evidence mounts.

The question I posed prevously, at what point… how many losses… will it take to realize the USS Dixon is taking on water?

It’s been my opinion going back to last year’s lost season that Dixon is being exposed as being limited in his ability to single-handedly lift a team to success.

It is my opinion that in the past it was some key assistants now gone who played key roles in developiing players while Dixon was getting the credit.

Last year really threw up the red flag when it became apparent that Dixon was totally unable to turn the team around time after time. It seemed as though players did not respond to his coaching style.

A year later, not much has changed.

And this is not going to change unless Dixon is able to bring aboard one or two assistants who complement his style well enough that their effort as a whole will once again make Jamie look like the master of turning lemons into lemonade.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.14.13 @ 1:53 am

POD – you can have different assistants if you want. I much prefer better players, especially at shooting gaurd where we need quicker, taller, & better shooters I think the Marquette guards showed exactly what good guard play can do for a team.

Comment by rayhpgh 01.14.13 @ 6:36 am

Key assistants leaving hurt recruiting and coaching. Some players leaving and transfering out probably isn’t a bad thing. I don’t see any open rebellion on this team. I see frustration. I see a lack of focus and discipline at times. That is on the coach. I don’t see leaders or some guy that will step up and be the man. I don’t think the team knows its identity. That is on the coach as well. Losing is fine as long as it keeps you humble and makes you better. This Pitt team has little confidence and doesn’t seem to learn from their mistakes. This is going to be another long year. But this time, they should decline the CBI invite.

Comment by TX Panther 01.14.13 @ 7:07 am


A 7-foot 5-Star center would also help.

OK, he’s got that.

Trust me. It ain’t the players.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.14.13 @ 7:07 am

POD – trust me, it is the players. BETTER PLAYERS MAKE BETTER COACHES. Practice, off-season training, teaching, etc. can only do so much.

Comment by rayhpgh 01.14.13 @ 8:30 am

Funny how it was not so long ago that Dixon had an uncanny ability to take cast-offs and mold them into a perennial Big East contender.

Now cast-offs aren’t good enough. He needs “better players.”

What’s changed?

Comment by PittofDreams 01.14.13 @ 9:03 am


Got the #2, 3, 4 or 5 top recruit by anyones standards. Think ESPN had him at #4.

Robinson, pretty much the #10 to #15 guard by most services.

Ya, numbers are only numbers, and don’t mean anything, we’ve discussed that ad nauseum on the football posts.

But, they are a general starting point and give an idea of what kind of player they are.

So, a top 5 big man and and a top 15 guard.


Comment by Dan 01.14.13 @ 9:21 am

Here’s an update that I don’t think made either the Post Gazette or the Trib.

There was a lot of opinions offered as to the likely outcome, a good portion of it from contributors making their living in the courts.

Let’s see who was right.

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pitt football players Ray Graham, Lafayette Pitts and Devin Street have cut a deal to reduce misdemeanor assault and conspiracy charges to disorderly conduct counts.

The players were charged in November after police say they surrounded another student on a sidewalk near the campus before one of the players punched the man in the head.

The man told police he didn’t want to press charges but wanted to ensure the players didn’t harass others.

The three players were scheduled for a preliminary hearing Wednesday. But Graham’s attorney, Mark Fiorilli says a deal was struck to have their charges reduced to disorderly conduct — a charge similar to a traffic ticket that carries up to a $300 fine.

The players must complete community service by April 15 for that to happen.


Comment by PittofDreams 01.14.13 @ 10:10 am

Chris Peak was on one of the sports talk shows last night and he made a good point. He said the problem with this team is that they are not dominant in any one area, everything is about average (including rebounding). If they can improve and excel in just one area, they can start to win on a more regular basis. Let’s hope that happens as the season progessses. HTP. Bring back the script!

Comment by longsufferingpittfan 01.14.13 @ 10:19 am

Far more elite programs than Pitt go through dry spells. It happens. Despite the lack of Final Fours, Pitt has been the model of consistency the past decade, so to potentially miss the tourney 2 years in a row is all the more frustrating. If their struggles extend to next year, then it’s time for the program to do some “re-evaluating”.

Comment by Iron Duke 01.14.13 @ 10:48 am

That was a tuff hit Woodall took and I sure hope he is ok.Maybe this game would have taken a different direction if he was able to play.I wonder if Talib was healthy too because he sure didn’t show much Saturday.Adams was wearing tape on his right hand and it looked like a thumb problem,perhaps that is why his freethrows were so bad. Zeigler sure struggled too.I can’t watch objectively but it seemed like it wasn’t bouncing our way all day.Whatever the problem we need to start to get better soon because without some improvement soon we won’t be dancing again.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.14.13 @ 10:52 am

@IRON DUKE…..absolutely.

I don’t get it. Yes, last year was horrible, a little rocky so far this year.

8 or 9 years of NCAA’s, 2 outright BE champs, a BE tourney championship.

Now, because of a bad year, Dixon has suddenly been exposed???

Was he exposed the couple years we had 31-5 records??

Was he exposed not more than 2 years ago when he won the BE championship outright with a 28-6 record???

Wow, tough crowd. Ya, I’m not happy either, and if this year goes into the tank, and next year is bad, sure, you have to take notice.

One bad year and a so-so start this year condemns him???

Geesh, tough, tough, crowd!!!

And, if you really want him gone, please elaborate with who you would get to come in here and do better.

Not a wishlist, someone who we could afford, and someone that is known to have said that they want to come here. Ya, Jamie makes good change, you want some elite guy, gonna be double what he makes. We payin’ that??

Comment by Dan 01.14.13 @ 11:05 am

Player ratings are very overrated &/or wrong. Someone please let me know if there is an above average BB player on the team right now? I go to every home game and I do not see one.

Comment by rayhpgh 01.14.13 @ 11:21 am

It was a miracle Patterson was left that open at the end of regulation.Pitt did a horible job of handling the last 20 seconds before that shot.We tossed courtlength and dribbled around aimlessly.It wasn’t pretty and left me wondering what we wre supposed to be doing after our time out.Prior to that Pitt had caused yet another turn over with the press.Pitt only presses out of desperation but has had amazing success with it this year.It makes me wonder if Emel is right about us pressing as a strategy.Everytime we do it ,it works.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.14.13 @ 11:28 am

If the players are below average, (I don’t think they are) then who is at fault for that?
JD coaches one way only and when that doesn’t work Pitt is screwed.
Needs to be more flexible. And as far as freethrow shooting, they are regressing. I have seen them all shoot better than they have recently, it is called fatigue.

Comment by frankarms 01.14.13 @ 11:28 am

Dan, No need to defend Dixon.stupid talk for those who want him gone but well put on your points.

Problem with this team seems to be confidence..they start to miss a few baskets and it seems to snowball into a bunch more..if they start to fall then things really open up for them…see GT game and some of those early huge blowouts against the cupcake teams.

Dixon didn’t say it outright but whne asked about Zanna possibly being sick because how bad he paid he didn’t say Zanna was ill but he mentioned Zanna got down on himself after missing some early open jumpers and it effected his game. You see the same thing with Patterson at times

Comment by milo bloom 01.14.13 @ 11:36 am

The free throw problem goes back to the confidence problem…I actually think it is a lot harder for them to shoot FT’s at home then on the road…the building gets quiet as a mouse and then if they miss a collective groan. A litle noise would probably help.

Comment by milo bloom 01.14.13 @ 11:40 am

Ya, numbers are over rated, and sometimes wrong.

Everything being equal, would you rather have the #42 big man, and the #87 guard???

I think Adams is going to be an absolute monster, and Robinson has allready shown he will be good.

Are they now, no, probably not.

It is also only their 17th game of their freshmen seasons.

Comment by Dan 01.14.13 @ 11:53 am

If we could all find a bunch of Sam Young’s and know how they’d turn out, we’d all be rich.

Comment by Dan 01.14.13 @ 11:58 am

I would agree, that the overall recruiting may have taken a hit losing some of those assistants we had 04′-09′ ish.

Did seem like they knew how to find those guys.

Comment by Dan 01.14.13 @ 12:06 pm

The guys appear to be robotic & thinking of their next move instead of playing instinctively. Put a zone in front of these Panthers & it’s like a Panther in headlights. JD has won a lot of games but never have been a fan of the way he handles personnel or his x&o”s. Nova game looks like a must win. I would think PITT needs a .500+ record in conference to be considered for the Dance. HTP!

Comment by DC33 01.14.13 @ 12:13 pm

Dan == There is only one name PITT fans would consider their next BB coach == Sean Miller == I”m not stating PITT needs a new coach just commenting

Comment by DC33 01.14.13 @ 12:20 pm

No. 1… If you’re smart, you don’t talk about getting rid of a coach unless you know who you want to replace him.

No.2… Pointing out Dixon’s shortcomings is not the same as saying the guy should be shown the door.

There’s a mounting body of evidence to suggest it’s simply time to put to rest the urban legend of Dixon being the best at getting the most out of average players. In the last two years Pitt players have never been so average and look at what’s happened.

Accept Jamie for what he is and isn’t. A great guy and at times a pretty good coach who with the right assistants and players makes Pitt Basketball fun to watch and root for.

If you want someting more than this, a maximum return on investment for the University’s apparent commitment to building a big-time basketball program as evidenced by the erection of “The Pete” in place of Pitt Stadium… well then it’s time to start coming up with some names.

Then again… maybe the University’s commitment to building a major basketball program is also an urban legend?

Comment by PittofDreams 01.14.13 @ 12:37 pm

PittofDreams, I can agree with your comments.

Like I said, I’ve been a defender, but I’m a little frustrated. Tank it this year and start out horrible next year, I’d probably be doing a lot more questioning myself.

Almost is just a word, I understand that, shoulda, woulda, coulda, I understand that.

However, in comparing to say, a coach that only got to the NCAA’s and lost in every first round, Dixon did in fact get as close to the final four as humanly possible. Scottie effin’ Reynolds.

Bottom line, he didn’t, I understand that.

Not like he wasn’t on the cusp though.

Comment by Dan 01.14.13 @ 12:55 pm

Probably odd, for me to ask this question, having defended Dixon a bit, but just out of curiosity’s sake………….

Has Sean Miller ever made it known that his goal is to come back to his alma mater someday???

Some guys get set up like kings, eventually some family moves around them, and they all don’t have that need and desire to “get back home”.

Just wondering if anyone has ever heard him speak of that???

Comment by Dan 01.14.13 @ 12:58 pm

There is not a sane decent coach at any level that would come to Pitt if Dixon was let go anytime in the next three years. (Yes, he would be given that much time)…unless we see Adams and Robinson arrested a few times then he might be gone. Pitt would seem unrational as a school if it did so.

As far as not getting the most out of average players…who (besides Taylor) who have stayed for their entire career has not at least played to their potential? You might list players who have transfered..OK…which players who have transfer have had more success elsewhere..(Birch perhaps but only because he did nothing while he was here.)

Comment by milo bloom 01.14.13 @ 1:26 pm

Well USC coach fired this morning so let the Jamie Dixon to USC rumors begin…I will go on record right now that Dixon would not leave for USC.

Comment by milo bloom 01.14.13 @ 1:35 pm

I am really tired of the Dixon should go/Dixon can’t/replace Dixon dog drool that shows up after every loss on this site. Dixon is the best hoops coach Pitt has ever had.Only an idiot(peterson does qualify I admit) would consider replacing a man who has done such a great job. I get as frustrated as anyone when we struggle but the reality is we are very fortunate to have Dixon and Pitt should hope to keep him as long as he wants the job.That doesn’t mean he is above criticism only that I don’t think replacing him is a reasonable option.I also don’t think he is at all interested in going elsewhere.USC would be a step down from the Pitt job.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.14.13 @ 2:09 pm

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