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January 17, 2013

And it already feels like Pitt has had its share of the latter.

Pitt got the job done. The front court continues to scuffle. James Robinson is finding out just how much tougher it is to go night-in-and-night-out in the Big East as opposed to getting up for a game or two in the non-con. Lamar Patterson had a bad night.

Thankfully Villanova was even worse. Some bad shooting by both teams made the defenses look even better. The thing is, as much as it was a defensive battle and both sides really did a good job of getting after it on that end. Coach Jamie Dixon felt compelled to play the offensive players.

Cam Wright saw a minute of action in the first half, and nothing more. Durand Johnson and Trey Zeigler were each out there for 13 minutes in the second half. Woodall played 17 minutes in the second half. James Robinson only played 10 second half minutes. At one point in the second half it was Woodall, Zeigler, Johnson, Moore and Adams on the court together. That’s a line-up I don’t think Coach Dixon ever envisioned using.

Durand Johnson had a very good game. As wild and poor shooting as he was against Marquette, he was on against Villanova. He stayed on his guy defensively and had active hands inside. The thing to remember is that this is Johnson’s first season playing. He’s going to continue to be up-and-down.

Trey Zeigler seemed find himself in the Marquette game, and he really stepped up against Villanova. Attacking the basket more, and being more confident out there. He went 6-10 (with all shots coming from inside the arc), grabbed 6 boards and only had one turnover.

The amusing/interesting thing is that the two seem to see each other as something of a team. Both looking for their chances to step-up.

Durand Johnson:

“In the first half, we were struggling offensively,” Johnson said. “Me and Trey decided when the opportunity presents itself, don’t let it pass. It came, and we were able to deliver and help our team get a win.”

Trey Zeigler:

“I think it was huge,” Zeigler said. “Me and Durand are scorers. We took advantage of the minutes we had. We wanted to give our team a boost. We‘re guys that can give offense.”

“We’re both guys who can make plays,” Zeigler said. “We can both score. We’re instant offense off the bench. It’s just about giving the team a boost — whatever coach needs offensively or defensively.”

And in this game, offense was needed. Painfully needed.

Of course we know what made Coach Dixon happy.

But it was the way Pitt (14-4, 2-3) crashed the boards that pleased Panthers coach Jamie Dixon the most. Villanova led the Big East in rebounding margin at plus-9.7, but Pitt finished with a 39-27 edge and held the Wildcats to one offensive rebound.

“I‘m really proud of our guys. We spent the last couple days and pep talk before the game talking about rebounding,” Dixon said. “We won it by rebounding and defending against a very good rebounding and defensive team.”

Rebounding margin is a little weird. The official box score gives Pitt 7 additional “team rebounds.” The big deal was in the offensive rebounds. Limiting Villanova to only 1 offensive rebound. That’s amazing on a good shooting night. Villanova missed 30 shots. They only had one second-chance opportunity. That seems almost impossible to have happen.

Actually, no sooner did I write that, I see that the Philly.com coverage similarly notes the offensive rebounding (“borderline impossible”).

“We didn’t make shots,” Wright said. “But you hate to say that. It means the other team’s playing good defense.

“They picked the right people to lay off of. But they were struggling, too. Then they hit some big shots.”

Darrun Hilliard was the only Wildcat to reach double digits, with 14. But he got all of them in the first 18 minutes, when he made all three of his three-pointers. He took only one shot in the second half, when he was hampered by foul trouble and a jammed right (non-shooting) thumb.

“They were tough,” Hilliard duly noted of Pitt.

In the meantime . . .

“I love this [rivalry],” Wright said. “It’s always a tough, physical game, a grind-it-out game. They always challenge your toughness. I do think about it [being over]. I will miss it.”

Coach Dixon, after the game, indicated he would like to keep playing Villanova. Specifically because of Philly. Between a large alumni base and recruiting the area it is a no-brainer. It’s a question of Villanova’s willingness. Of course, even if they aren’t there are plenty of teams Pitt could do a series in the Philly area.

There’s also a piece on the struggles in Big East play for Villanova’s precocious freshman point guard Ryan Arcidiacono. In so many ways he is mirroring the struggles that James Robinson is facing. Both are now struggling to score. Their committing more turnovers and their assists are down.

The grind and pressure Robinson is facing in each game has been very noticeable in the last two games. Versus Marquette, he had to play through his struggles because Woodall was concussed.

He saw limited minutes in the second half last night. In no small part because he was no threat to score. Villanova was daring him to shoot. They played the passing lanes and stayed on top of whoever they were guarding. They knew he wasn’t going to shoot. Robinson is a wonderful, pass-first point guard who has plenty of room to improve. When Pitt’s offense is struggling like it has the last couple of games, however, he becomes almost a liability.





My biggest disappointment so far is not Adams, but the continuing poor-to-mediocre play by Patterson and Moore. I really thought both of these guys would be keys, especially offensively.

Comment by wbb 01.17.13 @ 2:51 pm

there is no reason why Pitt shouldn’t play Nova, Temple and/or St Joe’s in the preseason.

I think Dixon has learned a lesson this year about playing too many patsies and not challenging his team. Yes, he will meet someone of value in the ACC-B10 challeneg, but he needs much more than that.

Comment by wbb 01.17.13 @ 2:56 pm

Moore is just perplexing. So much like G. Brown in his reluctance to get to the hoop. It was SO nice to see Zeigler attack the basket. Maybe that will inspire Moore to think, “Huh, maybe I should do some of that.”

Comment by Carmen 01.17.13 @ 3:34 pm

I agree that Patterson and Moore should be much better as juniors. Same with Zanna, maybe the shots will all start falling at the same time.

I have never seen a group of guys with weaker hands, they all get stripped too often, whether rebounding, dribbling, or receiving passes. Opponents are aware and taking advantage.

The big guys all need to go to the hoop more often, we have enough guys that we can give away fouls if necessary. Patterson is slow when he goes to the hoop and Moore and Zanna seem to get stripped too often, but they have to keep trying.

That’s why I like Durand and Ziegler starting to feel it. Unfortunately, Woodall and Patterson get to many blocked when they drive, need to dump it off more often.

Much more fun to win, ugly or not.

Comment by gc 01.17.13 @ 3:43 pm

@gc, great point, and I didn’t even know how to bring it up or what to say.

Saw it several times last night, even Zanna and Adams, after rebounding, even a strong rebound, they grab the ball with force, come down with force, but the 2nd half of the motion, when the ball is at arms length, they don’t seem to be strong with it, and also are not aware that the enemy could be lurking behind them.

Pull the ball into your chest. Secure it, then look to outlet.

I’m not saying it should be a 10 second ordeal to go through. Of course, this should be in all one motion and happen quickly, not methodically.

In the second or two of a rebound, from the beginning to end, some of them have some really vulnerable moments with the ball.

I’m sure the coaches see that, and can work on it. Strength will come, have got to be aware where the other team is though. No excuse for that. Not even being a freshman. It could be an excuse for a freshmans first few games, after that, it’s hoops, you’ve been playing it all your lives. Be sharp, stay focused, be aware.

Comment by Dan 01.17.13 @ 3:53 pm

@Chas, headline is excellent. Yes, could have easily lost ugly. Defensive shutdown was impressive. Ziegler showed flashes.

Wish we had Jason Mathews on this team.

Comment by Dan 01.17.13 @ 3:59 pm

“When Pitt’s offense is struggling like it has the last couple of games, however, he becomes almost a liability.”

Interesting observation Chas. And I agree, as I noted the other day when you’re getting almost no offensive production from the 5 spot (Center) and the 1 spot (PG) it puts a lot of pressure on the other 3 spots to pick up the scoring slack.

Fortunately last nite, we had two guys on the bench that really stepped it up, Z-Man and Durand Durand.

What is very worrying now is we’re starting to see the 4 spot become a concern offensively the last two games after Zanna being pretty consistent for most of the season. Hopefully this is just an aberration, because if you add another spot where you’re not getting any offense from, to the 5 spot and the 1 spot, you might have to juggle this lineup.

Additionally while I think the JR will be a good player, I’m thinking now the reason he had so few turnovers in the non-con was the fact he doesn’t do anything aggressive offensively (like dribble penetration for example), and therefore since there is no risk taking there are few turnovers.

You could get away with that in the non-con since those teams were outsized and over-matched, but not so much in conf. play. He’s gonna have to really work on his outside shot in the off season, since I don’t know if he has the quickness to ever be a dribble penetrator against better competition.

Patterson went from 22 points in 4 points in one game.

Again this team is like a ‘Box of Chocolates’.

Comment by EMel 01.17.13 @ 4:01 pm

On the rebounding, the bigs need to learn (of if they know….start) clearing space after grabbing a rebound with their elbows.

Little guys lurking to attempt steals, etc after rebounds will become very leery when they see some elbows flying.

You get hit once with a bow, you think twice about pestering that big guy again.

START CLEARING OUT WITH ELBOWS !

Comment by EMel 01.17.13 @ 4:16 pm

Thought the following was interesting and timely enough to paste.

It’s supposedly written by a self-described former D-1 player and D-3 Assistant whose Dad was also a coach.

How does Jamie grade out?

********

How To Determine If A Basketball Team Is Well Coached

I look at three things when watching a game and a particular coach. The first and obvious thing I look at is this: Is this team running some sort of continuity offense or are they running multiple set plays? Once I can determine that, I watch to see how the execution is. Do guys wait for picks they know are coming, do the guys setting the picks signal out they are coming to set them, do the pickers make sure they are set or does everyone run at warp speed not looking to set up their men? Do the guys setting the picks actually lay a good headhunting pick on the defensive player?

Sloppy execution is a clear sign that this coach des not demand the crispness and attention to detail needed during practice and that will always translate out on the court. You also let these kids get sloppy on the court, what do you expect them to be like in the classroom? You cannot separate the two things.

The second thing I look for is what is the defensive mindset of the team and how does the coach implement different defenses in order to best take advantage of that desired mindset. The game is still dictated from the defensive end and on the boards. Now so, more than ever, with the shot clock , you will never again see UNC call out four corners to dictate game tempo and a team’s defense. Does a team strive to execute a defensive plan from the start of the game or do they have zero defensive cohesiveness and tempo? Are they communicating?

The cornerstone of any good team is constant and loud communication on the court and off of it ( kids on the bench calling out plays that the other team signals, do they yell out to the guy guarding the ball that the man he is guarding is a lefty, to remind him)? Do players have that “balls to the wall” attitude on defense? Do they burn to stop the other team?

When a kid takes a charge, do the others run over to help him out? This is one of the things especially that Duke does well. ( I know you UNC folks hate hearing that one, but its true).

The final, and perhaps the most important thing or things I look at when watching a game and critiquing a coach, are the intangibles. How does a coach conduct a huddle, do players pay attention or is there a small group always playing grab-ass, not really playing attention? When there is a lull in play and a coach signals a player, does that kid or kids run over or strut over. When a coach chews a kid’s ass out on the court or off the court, does that kid make eye contact with that coach or does he look around or by him?

When a kid is pulled, does the head coach have an assistant sit with him first and speak with him or does the kid sit on the bench and simply languish? Does that team have a sense of time, score and possession? If a guy or guys have been hot, does that coach have something in the way of an strategy to take advantage of said hot players or do the kids simply allow the other team’s defense to take away the hot player(s).

Does the head coach have his assistants call out offenses and defenses or do assistants seem to run willy-nilly around yelling at officials as if they are the head coach? Classic example is the guy on Steve Lavin’s bench who you would think is the head man except he is sitting always. I was ready to reach through the TV during the Stanford game and strangle him. For the most part, assistants need to be the upbeat instructive ones for not only the players but for the head coach. The head coach will chew enough ass, the players then need a little “good cop” after the “bad cop” gets through with them. Assistants also need to keep focused on game flow, who is shooting well, which combos seem to be working the best, time, fouls, and any defensive or offensive adjustments that should be made and need to keep the head coach updated on such thoughts when the time is appropriate.

********

Comment by PittofDreams 01.17.13 @ 4:25 pm

I was wondering why Coach recruited another PG in the Josh Newkirk since JR is a freshmen.

I’m starting to see why. Most of the definitive info on Newkirk is behind pay walls. I know he’s anywhere from 6-0 to 6-2 and 155 to 170 lbs depending on the website. Interesting enough where he’s listed at 6-0 155 lbs, Scout has him as a 4 star. Where he’s listed taller & heavier, ESPN & Rivals he’s a 3, lol.

Anybody know if this kid has a dribble penetration game, is good off the dribble, can shoot from the outside or lead the break & distribute?? Thanks

Comment by EMel 01.17.13 @ 4:44 pm

@Emel: Can’t comment on the competition because it’s a highlight reel, but it’s very clear that Newkirk is a slashing, penetrate-first guard. link to youtube.com

Comment by MikePITT 01.17.13 @ 4:53 pm

Wish we had Sean Miller on this team.

Comment by TX Panther 01.17.13 @ 5:11 pm

Durand and Trey, what is it with the pronound “me” being used as a subject? You still have to take English Comp, don’t you? I don’t think we will be able to use those quotes in the ACC. Glad my grandsons play lacrosse and soccer anyway.

I didn’t think the game was ugly, just very good defense. Reminds me of the old Big East.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 01.17.13 @ 5:25 pm

Nothing about Zanna’s woes? My comments to my (few) friends this AM:

Zanna has a bad case of the yips.

Instead, wouldn’t it have been fun with
link to espn.go.com ??

Comment by steve1 01.17.13 @ 5:26 pm

Thanks MikePITT

That is very good to hear. Perhaps after seeing what JR can and can’t do, Coach knew he still needed a slashing penetrating guard.

Not to be to hard on JR, after all he’s the first true freshmen PG Pitt has had, that has been plugged into the starting lineup immediately.

And you have to be an extremely talented player to hold up to the rigors of the BigEast and the talent level. And it’s an extremely physical league and very few true freshmen can handle it, especially at PG.

While I enjoyed Sean Miller as a player he was by no means a penetrating PG, would rather have LeVance Fields or Carl Krauser. Miller was a very good 3 point shooter though, although he couldn’t create his own shot often. Had to be wide open, as he sort of shot a set shot.

If we have one guy who could wish on team, for me it would be someone who could consistently score points inside and snare rebounds. So it would have to be either Brian Shorter or DeJuan Blair.

Comment by EMel 01.17.13 @ 5:36 pm

Emel – Yeah, Who wouldn’t want DeJuan Blair on their team? I’d pay the cost of a season ticket just to watch him body slam Thabeet one more time.

Comment by dinosaur 71 01.17.13 @ 6:12 pm

I would have give my left one, to have seen DeJuan Blair play at Pitt for two more years. Heck, they became a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament without him. Could you have imagined how good they wood have been with still in the middle. You didn’t even have to pass the ball into him. DeJuan would grab the rebound on any missed shot and put it through the hoop.

I’ll take an ugly win any day over a loss. Last night was gut check for the Panthers. For much of the game they looked like crap, but they fought through it, and got the win. Having Trey Woodall at the point at the end was big. He and Zeigler were what Jamie Dixon envisioned when they brought him.

Comment by Justinian 01.17.13 @ 7:06 pm

Had the chance to meet DeJuan, along with the rest of the team, after the BE championship at MSG. A huge guy but as polite and humble as you would imagine. A real credit to Pitt.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.17.13 @ 7:30 pm

Did somebody say body slam Thabeet?

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.17.13 @ 7:58 pm

Tossing, I loved those games against Calhoon’s UConn teams. Particularily, when the Panthers kicked their No. 1 ranked asses. I’m not quite so confident this year, but that’s why they play the games.

Comment by Justinian 01.17.13 @ 8:47 pm

What channel is Saturdays game on, I’ll be at Jack Frost, going to duck into the lodge to catch it?

Comment by Justin 01.17.13 @ 8:50 pm

ESPN2, were going to need to step it up.

Comment by Justin 01.17.13 @ 8:52 pm

I really wish Pitt would get on board with the OOC schedule. ‘NOVA, G-Town and WVU should all stay on the schedule and would sell out. 1 home game against any of those schools would be the equivalent of 3 home games against the Wagner’s of the college basketball world.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.17.13 @ 8:58 pm

my favorite Pitt game was back in circa 03 on a Sunday afternoon CBS game — Mark Cuban was sitting courtside. Ben gordon and (forgot the tall guy’s name) led UConn to a 29-14 lead about 10 minutes in. Pitt then clawed back and took the lead witha few minutes left.

with about 2 minutes left, Jaron Brown stole the ball right in front of Calhoun and took off on a beeline towards the basket (I had the perfect angle from where I was sitting.) I was expecting the quick UConn guards to catch up but Jaron was obnsessed, made the layup and was fouled, and made the foul shot. Crowd went absolutely crazy.

UConn would go on to win it all that year but I’m nnot sure I ever seen the Pete so alive … and I hardly missed a game in the 1st 4 years the Pete was open.

Comment by wbb 01.17.13 @ 9:00 pm

well..i do like winning…but this team is questionable…along with it’s coaching staff…why johnson moore and zeigler is not getting more minutes..or even starting is beyond me…WE NEED SCORERS!!

Comment by Keith 01.17.13 @ 9:21 pm

I hope that Mark was on his best behavior that day. He’s an embarrassment sometimes down here in DFW.

I also agree that the scorers need to play more but Jamie is defense first…and he doesn’t press. I scratch my head on that.

I’ve always hated UConn. Then the Hoyas. Then Nova. Was a fan of the Cuse but took great pleasure in beating them obviously.

The Huskies had a hot trainer back in my day. When Pitt got behind in those games, I watched her instead.

Comment by TX Panther 01.17.13 @ 9:51 pm

Three freshmen are getting extensive playing time. There are going to be pockets of inconsistency. I continue to see some folks questioning JD. My goodness, are you people main lining bath salts?

This could very well be the team we have been looking for — you know, the one that’s peaking at the end of the year. There is a ton of talent and JD is finding the best way to use them.

Please practice patience. The GTown and Nova games were two of the best defensive efforts I can remember from a Pitt team.

Comment by Denny 01.17.13 @ 9:53 pm

Denny, I hope you are right. In the past, our teams have peaked early, only to see other teams catch up and pass us by tourney time.

Comment by panther94 01.17.13 @ 10:05 pm

Assuming Ziegler continues to progress, it would be wise to use him as the starting shooting guard. He is more of a natural scorer/slasher. I prefer him over Patterson who seems to disappear for long stretches. Robinson or Woodall should always be the point guards.

Comment by John In South Carolina 01.17.13 @ 10:06 pm

Hope everyone is well. I’ve been an infrequent poster this season because my wife and I just had the world’s newest Pitt fan. We had a baby boy on Sunday. He wore his Pitt onesie on Wednesday and willed the panthers to a W.

Comment by Omar 01.17.13 @ 10:20 pm

Denny….no use peaking at the end of the year if you miss the NCAA’s. With Pitt’s bad NC schedule they’ll need 11 BE regular season victories. No way they get with less than 10.

Look at the schedule and tell me where they are please. You are right about developing a young team and peaking at the end of the year like Kentucky, but without wins now Pitt will be peaking for the NIT.

Comment by Jackagain 01.17.13 @ 10:31 pm

Congrats Omar…

Comment by Jackagain 01.17.13 @ 10:32 pm

10 BE wins will get them in the Tourney … Just don’t expect anything better than a 6 seed.

Dixon has some hard decisions on the horizon. He has to find a way to get the JJ Moore of the 2nd half of last season back and it may mean swapping spots with Patterson. Nice to see Durand and Trey step up. Trey may be rounding into form and laying claim to the starting 3 spot.

Maybe have him and Moore at the 3 and moving Patterson to the 4 with Zanna. Keep Durand and Wright in the same roles.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 01.17.13 @ 10:41 pm

Mazel Tov, Omar. What’s the young panther’s name?

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.17.13 @ 10:47 pm

I would love a guaranteed 6 seed right now…

Comment by Jackagain 01.17.13 @ 10:52 pm

The BE will be a mess this year. Only a few teams will stand out as far as wins and losses. Lighten up people!

Comment by notrocketscience 01.17.13 @ 11:15 pm

Congrats Omar,

Where did you get the Pitt onesie, I need one for my girlfriend. :-)

Comment by Emel 01.17.13 @ 11:16 pm

Just gone down watching the UCLA cheerleaders, er I mean game

Now the USC cheerleades,er game is on.
These girls are outragious.

the GF is mad, but I dig the way she looks mad.

Me soooo bad. haha

Comment by Emel 01.17.13 @ 11:18 pm

Congratulations Omar!

Comment by panther94 01.17.13 @ 11:47 pm

Great job Mr./Mrs. Omar!

Comment by steve1 01.18.13 @ 6:29 am

Congrats Omar. Welcome to the family little Panther. If it will help Pitt beat UConn this Saturday, I’ll wear a onesie.

Comment by TX Panther 01.18.13 @ 7:13 am

Yes, congrats Omar! That’s great. We had a Pitt onesie for our first born, too. Loved that thing!!

Comment by Carmen 01.18.13 @ 8:01 am

According to an article appearing in this morning’s Post Gazette, Jamie Dixon has finally figured out what’s been wrong with the team… REBOUNDING, or lack thereof.

“I wish we had it figured out from day one,” Dixon said. “It’s a process. We’re finding ourselves. I wish it was figured out in September and October. But that’s why we play and practice. I hope this is something we can build off of.”

The problem is that the article correctly points out the problem is due to Pitt lacking a “dominant” low-post rebounder.

The bad news is the team’s rebounding against Villanova was not lead by anyone named Adams, Zanna or Taylor.

********

Not only did the Panthers come away with a plus-12 margin on the boards, but the Wildcats, also the top offensive rebounding team in the league, were limited to one offensive rebound and zero second-chance points.

Dixon spent most of his preparation time in practice preaching about the importance of controlling the boards, and his message finally got through to his players.

********
Who said Dixon is not an elite coach?

Comment by PittofDreams 01.18.13 @ 8:15 am

My granddaughter (2 1/2) had a Pitt onesie. Now she has a Pitt cheerleading outfit. But the best is, when you say to her “let’s go”, she says “Pitt!”

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.18.13 @ 8:37 am

Why didn’t they learn how to rebound before big east play? So the light bulb suddenly went on in Jamies head?

Elite players help make elite coaches. Can’t Jamie find some assistants that can grab one each year? That’s all you need.

They also need to continue working on free throws.

Comment by TX Panther 01.18.13 @ 8:39 am

There are only a handful of elite players. The rest, you have to project how much better they can get with age, practice, games, off-season training, etc. Most of Pitt’s players right now are not much better than when they arrived as freshman. It’s certainly not an exact science.

Comment by rayhpgh 01.18.13 @ 9:13 am

Great news for you Omar, and Mrs. Omar.. Congrats and best of luck to you and your new family!!!

Comment by Dan 01.18.13 @ 9:34 am

@Tossing Thabeets. Absolutely. I have walked on egg shells as not to get into an argument about the OOC. I have always landed, that the fans deserve at least one non-con game worthy of going too.

We had them only a few years ago. Wisconsin, Washington and Ohio St. to name three off the top of my head during the mid 00′s. Those were all home and homes. I think maybe Georgia also.

So, why, the past couple years, is Bethune-Cookman becoming our big OOC game???

Are we that poor in the athletic department, that we can’t afford to play one or two away games??

Really, we’re that destitute???

Also, tired of the “everyone else does the same thing”. That is patently false.

Yes, a lot do. Not all. I can’t think of them now, but, I know there are quite a few teams from BCS type conferences, that play other BCS type teams. I’ve seen them on tv with my own eyes.

Not just made for tv games either. Home and homes.

Again, maybe not a lot. But, they are there. And if you’re gonna say, “everybody else does it”, why, why do we have to be everybody else?????

Also, I’ve heard too many people, yes, bloviated talking heads, but bloviated talking heads that do know a little about hoops, saying it’s always better to play a tougher schedule. Vitale, Brando, locally Pompeani was just talking about it.

Vitale the other night, was talking about how it was only the 2nd time Louisville had been #1. He said, allthough true, that is because Louisville had always played a tough non league schedule, and would suffer some losses. So, they never got to #1 during the season. However, that schedule also helped them get a lot of final fours and some national championships.

Hey, I know they’re just talking blow hards. They don’t know anymore than anyone else.

Think about it though. When is the last time you ever heard someone say…………

“good thing they played 10 crap teams in the OOC”.

Comment by Dan 01.18.13 @ 9:53 am

I am on over load with the Manti story. He is
over rated and so is ND.

Need a solid effort recruiting this week end
plus a W in hoops! Recruits sure to attend
the game.

Comment by JR 01.18.13 @ 10:02 am

Hey Dan,
Not arguing your point about getting a better OOC game, it would be nice to see at least one decent game before Jan at Pete… but the reason people say everyone does it is because since that is the case it’s a big problem finding another good team who wants to come in play at Pete. Even with a home and home most teams will not do it.

Pitt also gets hurt because they play Dusquene every year and they stink and Pitt uses one of their few games away from Pete for that game..they have to have so many games at Pete every year for budget. (They used to have same issue playing Penn St every year.) Villanova playes the other philly schools which are pretty decent…Cinn gets Xavier..that said I see no reason why Pitt shouldn’t have WVU on their OCC every year from now on…If that doesn’t happen soon then shame on them.

Truth is though playing a harder OOC while good for fans doesn’t mean much going into the Big East season and really won’t effect if they get in the tourney or not….Playing a tougher OOC sure didn’t help Georgetown when they played Pitt this year.

Comment by milo bloom 01.18.13 @ 10:16 am

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Omar, your priorities have just changed. Family is what it is all about.

I have missed your analysis this year, welcome back.

Speaking of rebounding, some guys just seem to have a nose for the ball, some guys don’t. So much is anticipation and positioning. Adams and Zanna don’t seem to Have this natural feel. I have noticed that they either wait for the ball to come to them, or just stand there when they could maneuver into position. Some of it is a fear of fouling. Adams seems to be getting the hang of it.

Someone else mentioned, that we don’t follow our shots to the basket. A lot of easy rebounds are got this way because the shooter knows best where his shot may go. I guess this is part of playing defense first, but I see a lot of easy opportunities missed.

The better players always have a nose for the ball and anticipation skills. a lot of this is instinct. Mario Lemieux got more loose pucks that looked like they just came to him.

Why did Taglianetti make so many special teams tackles, some guys just have a nose for the ball.

There is one other thing that they all have, and that is desire and intensity. Zanna, Patterson and Moore need to show a little more of it right now.

Comment by gc 01.18.13 @ 10:25 am

Dan, You brought up Louisville. They do pretty much what Pitt does with there OCC except they play Kentucky and Memphis instead of having to play Dusqunse and Robert Morris or Penn St). They did play in much tougher preseason tourney this year but no shame in Pitt playing in preseason NIT which is normally one of the better ones as well..Pitt had bad luck with Virgina losing.
The only good OCC Louisville game at home was Kentucky..all the other teams are the same type Pitt is playing.
If Pitt adds WVU every year that would help Pitt’s OCC greatly.

Comment by milo bloom 01.18.13 @ 10:25 am

Dan of course you are right,I am convinced it is a simple cash grab.To enjoy tickets to a handful of good conference games you must agree to purchase tickets to exhibitions and then regular season games ,many of which are only exhibitions.The paying fans desire to see better games isn’t even a consideration.I envision a time in the near future when we play Duke and North Carolina at the Consol so they can grab more money.Our schedule isn’t determined by fan interest,it isn’t determined by helping the team develop and get better. It is determined by profit.Pitt certainly needs to make a profit so we can compete but at some point the lack of concern for the customers entertainment and disregard for competitive challenge has to be paid for too.I would gladly give back my comemorative t-shirt for a win over Cincinatti and I would gladly pay a surcharge of a dollar a ticket to play at least 3 top 25 teams during the non/con.I think these decisions are made at the AD level so I guess we shouldn’t expect much.How much influence does the coach have over schedule?How much control is in the hands of the school?

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.18.13 @ 10:37 am

Dan, I agree, maybe the pre-season should be shorter and more conference games be played. Seeing the Pete with 2/3 empty seats just seems wrong. Just dreaming but it would be nice to see a SEC, PAC 10, Big 10 team in once in a while.

I think it is also important to play good teams that play different styles. This hurt us often when we could bang against the Big East, but would get beat by seemingly less caliber teams in the Big Dance.

We all remember beating Duke at the Garden and Texas a few years back. Throw the fans a bone.

Comment by gc 01.18.13 @ 10:41 am

Good points Milo. I understand that.

I also understand the season ticket holder who doesn’t go to all of those games, and why, allthough the games are sold out, many games there are only 4 or 5 thousand fans at the games.

I can’t prove anything, and I’m sure there are examples, like your Georgetown example, where it doesn’t help,

but, I’ll always be a believer that playing tougher competition, makes a team better, no matter the sport.

Your points are taken. I get it. Just no fun for the fans playing 10 games against Coppin State and Delaware State.

Comment by Dan 01.18.13 @ 10:41 am

Zeigler is a natural rebounder. He led his CMU team in rebounds both years.

Zanna is a good weak side rebounder, but flat refuses to box out anyone. Adams draws a lot of attention on the glass which creates opportunities for others. Pitt will always struggle (inconsistent) on the boards with Taylor and Moore as the bigs playing together.

Connecticut guards are good rebounders. Pitt guards need to beat them to the ball, a lot of that is hustle, effort, quickness and instinct.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 01.18.13 @ 10:44 am

Hey, Blatherites, you can call me out on it. Ya, I am one of those season ticket holders.

I’m a big boy, I can take it. “you’re not a real fan”, “you’re not a loyal fan” LOL!!!

I’m no busier than anyone else on here, we’re all busy, but between work, family, home, I don’t have 10 nights in December to go see Kennesaw State.

Sorry.

I go to 4 or 5 of the OOC games, the other 4 or 5, I do my best to get the tickets to someone who can use them. Family, co-workers, neighbors, but frankly, many times, they lay unused.

“Then why do you get season tickets??”

Frankly, for the Big East games. Next year, for the ACC games.

I like to go to the opener, and the next few, to see what the team looks like, see who the new players are, but after 4 or 5 games against Oakland and Howard, I’m about done. You can only see so much progression against these teams. Beating Howard by 40 means absolutely nothing.

I had never thought of it, but I will comment on this next year. If some Blatherites would like some OOC games next year, maybe have some kids or Grandkids that would like to go to a game, I would be thrilled to send them to someone on here.

Gratis, of course.

Maybe I’m not a rabid fan?? I don’t know, I spend enough time on here talking about Pitt football and basketball!!! LOL

Comment by Dan 01.18.13 @ 10:56 am

P.S. In case any Pitt Ath. Dept read this, Chas says they do.

I’m not asking for a steady stream of Kansas, Kentucky and Indiana back to back to back.

I can’t do 10 Mt. St. Mary’s though. Sorry.

Comment by Dan 01.18.13 @ 10:59 am

In my opinion, Dixon’s comments regarding his recent revelation about rebounding is pretty astounding.

You’re telling me that it takes until mid January to figure out you got three stiffs playing under the basket?

I would think there are plenty of coaches who would have been able to figure out before the season ever started that what I’m seeing is simply not going to be good enough.

The fact that Jamie admits that it took him this long to realize this is astounding.

And in my opinion the fact that he is just now installing a strategy to cover for the team’s shortcomings undernearth the basket speaks to less than stellar coaching.

Now there are those quick to defend Dixon by saying the remedy is simply better players. This is true.

But, it lends little support to the long held urban legend of Jamie being special in his ability to take average or even below average players and turn them into world beaters.

It wasn’t true then. It’s certainly not true now.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.18.13 @ 11:15 am

I too am a season ticket holder. I normally make all the games minus a few each year but I can’t fault any other ticket holder if they don’t make many of the OCC.
There are way too many games in late Nov and Dec which is already one of the busiest times of the year. And some nights they are back to back on weeknights.
To be honest sometimes I like it when only 8000 fans show up…easier getting in and out; no lines at the bathroom and I can strech out a little in my seat :-)

Comment by milo bloom 01.18.13 @ 11:15 am

Dixon has been harping about Pitt’s rebounding all year…almost every post game interview he has brought it up.
And in his entire career at Pitt that was always the stat he has pointed to first.

Comment by milo bloom 01.18.13 @ 11:31 am

Dan,What I find as a bad practice is to not play any road games at all.I think not playing any legit road games could be why we lost at Rutgers.We needn’t schedule a Saturday night game in some can’t win situation but certainly we should at least be exposing our players to something beyond a neutral site. West Virginia should be played home one year away the next.Do it while the students are on break and both schools would benefit in attendance (cocessions) and competitively.This would continue a great traditional rivalry as well.The loss of revenue from having lost a home game evry other year would be softened by good will towards the fans and better exposure for the team.I might be wrong but if we would have played the hoopies this year in Morgantown instead of Kennesaw St at home I bet we would have been better prepared for Rutgers at the RAC,and next year we would be looking at a better home non/con game than what we are likely to see.I don’t like playing Duquesne at the Consul either.Another no benefit cash grab is all it is.If we have to play the Dukes at all then let’s do it home and away.There are no travel costs.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.18.13 @ 11:32 am

Ya, spirit. Something. Like I said, I’m not looking for Kansas and Kentucky. Something, anything. A bone???

They just did home and homes a few years ago with OSU, Wisky, Wash and Georgia.

What has changed since 09′??? The budgets have gotten that tight in 3 or 4 years?? Wow if they have.

Like Milo said, maybe a lot of other teams don’t want to do it either.

I gotta believe there are some teams, somewhere that would like to do it.

If you played one or two other BCS conference teams, or going forward, Villanova, G-Town, WVU, I would bet a chocolate chip cookie or two that CBS or ESPN would almost certainly pick those games up fot t.v.. Wouldn’t some of that t.v. money help out the budget for the year that you have to play an away game???

Smarter people than me make the schedules, just disappointing.

Comment by Dan 01.18.13 @ 11:43 am

Hey, gotta go pretend to do some work. Have a great weekend all.

I’m looking for a stoked up crowd tomorrow!!!

Omar, congrats again. Wonderful!!

Comment by Dan 01.18.13 @ 11:44 am

If Jamie was so aware of the rebounding problrm… why is he quoted differently in the Post Gazette story?

Coming into this season it was evident that Taylor and Zanna were stiffs. It took a couple of games to realize Adams isn’t much better.

Jamie simply misread the level of talent he had going into the year and apparently has failed to come up with a back up strategy until now.

Again, less than stellar coaching.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.18.13 @ 11:51 am

I too am a season ticket holder, have been since before the Pete opened. I try to get to all of the games, missed two so far. My strategy for getting the mot out of the embarrassing non-con is two fold:

Bring the kids, friends, coworkers, neighbors. They enjoy the games and it makes it easier to say no for the good games.

Upgrade your seats. I have traded my ticket or tickets with a scalper for club seats. It makes it much easier to sit thru a beat down of Kennesaw state while sitting in the club with a beer in hand. You could also just move to a better seat, the ushers couldn’t care less.

The non-con is really going to bite Pitt. Not only weren’t they ready for the start of the big east, but now they’re hoping to be a bubble team for the tourney. The committee is going to look at their non-con and laugh. Not good. NIT here we come.

After this season, smug smile Steve needs to send a jet to AZ for Sean Miller, load up a huge offer and bring him home. Won’t happen, but one can dream right?

Comment by Boubacar Aw 01.18.13 @ 11:51 am

Where is Talib?

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.18.13 @ 11:52 am

Thanks again guys. His name is Anwar (un-were) John. He is a good boy.

We got the Pitt onesie at the baby shower. Not sure if they come in adult sizes, but they look very comfortable… The cake at the baby shower was a Pitt onesie. I wish I could post a pic of it on here. It was awesome.

I’m gonna try to escape for a few hours on Saturday to attend the game. I will try to post some thoughts on Saturday. It sounds so cliche, but I hate leaving the little guy.

Comment by omar 01.18.13 @ 11:52 am

I thought this was a VERY BIG WIN, especially considering how the Panthers failed to make foul shots and get the clutch rebounds at the end of the other Big East losses. We have a lot new faces on the court and getting into Big East play is quite a step up from the earlier non conference schedule. I have no complaints with either Robinson or Adams, because they are freshmen, and it takes time to make the jump, to this level of competition. As good as Trey Zeigle played, it took him time to make the adjustment into Jamie Dixon system and Pitt’s style of play. Hopefully fighting through a hard fought Big East game on the road, will give them the confidence they need going forward. I am sure at this point, they realize how important it is to rebound and make your foul shots down the stretch.

Comment by Justinian 01.18.13 @ 12:00 pm

I do agree if Pitt looks hard enought they could find at least one good OCC home again..but in their book it is not worth the effort.

Pitt of Dreams — I think he meant up till now they haven’t been getting it done not that he was unaware of the problem.
But he got the job done against Villinova..guessing that wasn’t because of the coaching in your book?

Comment by milo bloom 01.18.13 @ 12:00 pm

I am a season ticket holder too and a pre-season of cupcakes without any real anticipation of quality is too much to endure.
First, I donate to get access to tickets or at least better seats.
Next, I buy tickets from Pitt.
I am a paying customer.
That puts me above most bitches/moaners.
I pay top dollar for something I can get for lower than face on game day to those pre-season games. They are worse than NFL pre-season games because at least NFL rules require an equal number of road trips.
In short, I am being used.
Next, if you don’t challenge yourself you don’t improve. It isn’t a new concept.
We did not improve before the BE season rolled around and we have paid the price.
Where Pitt has paid the price in found in a diminished basketball brand; to the point where people don’t show up for pre-season games.
The empty seats aren’t a figment of my imagination. That means people don’t want to go and can’t give them away.
So Jamie can say what he wants, but results matter and Pitt has eroded its basketball brand tremendously by following a policy of patsy consumption in November and December.
Finally, the pollsters caught on and Pitt rambled thru a pre-season with one tough game and one loss. The cry was “why aren’t we ranked? Boo hoo hoo”.
We weren’t ranked because the pollsters got it right and we weren’t good.
We still might turn out to be good, but our record against legitimate competition suggests otherwise.
Again, the chance to become good comes this weekend against UCONN. Use any excuse you want, but the other team has to show up at noon too.
I don’t see us winning this game. Wish I did, but I don’t.

Comment by sfpitt 01.18.13 @ 12:01 pm

First off – congrats Omar. We were in the same boat 2 years ago, and as someone else mentioned above, our daughter has since graduated from the onesie to a cheerleader outfit. When games are on, she appropriately says “Let’s Go Pitt”. Have fun!

On other topics, I think too much is being made of “Dixon’s revelation”. As noted above, Dixon has been harping on rebounding all season. I took the article to mean that certain players finally bought into the concept, rather than the coach. Also, for what it’s worth, Pitt has always (well, at least for the last 10 years) taken a “team rebounding” approach, so I’m not sure I buy Fittipaldo’s argument that this is somehow a new approach. I don’t disagree that they need more out of the 4 and 5 positions, though.

As for Patterson, frankly, something just hasn’t seemed right with him all year. Earlier in the season, I questioned whether he was playing hurt, although I haven’t heard any mention of injury.

Comment by Pantherman13 01.18.13 @ 12:11 pm

Omar. Congrats! can’t believe that you didn’t use Wannamaker at least for his middle name

Comment by wbb 01.18.13 @ 12:52 pm

Dixon is quoted as saying “I wish it was figured out in September and October.”

Maybe he’s referring to the players and not necessarily to himmself. So what?

Last time I checked it was a coach’s job to get a point across to their players.

If they weren’t getting it, it’s on Jamie… or the less than helpful assistants he’s surrounded himself with.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.18.13 @ 12:56 pm

Does anyone have any insight into why Adams is wearing a rap between his thumb and index finger on his right hand? It can’t be helping and I am curious as to how serious an injury it is?I haven’t heard it mentioned in any media.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.18.13 @ 1:25 pm

@wbb- haha. if i named him after a panther, then it would have been my man mr. wannamaker.

Comment by Omar 01.18.13 @ 1:47 pm

Jamie Dixon has done a great job at Pitt if you take away last year. My fear is that either his best recruiters are gone or the current mind set of high school players has changed greatly since Dixon took over. Going into the living rooms of these kid’s against the Calipari’s of the world when he is promising the NBA to everyone regardless of talent is not easy. Dixon telling recruits, come here and play good defense and keep passing for the open shot might not be selling too well.I think he is still a good coach, but this group isn’t that talented.

Comment by Wayne 01.18.13 @ 1:51 pm

@Wayne..Calipari and Dixon are not going into the same living rooms to recruit kids…if you think that some day Pitt will be competing with Calipari for kids you will always be disappointed. This is not a knock on Dixon or Pitt; it’s the way it is.

@sfpitt – you have every right to feel used and digusted with the OCC home schedule..but I think the real problem is with Colllege BB and no necessary just a Pitt thing (though they deserve some heat as well for it.)

As far as making fans pay for tickets they can’t give away…. I still think my ticket price is a good deal after when you spread it out over the season…sure we over pay for the ‘exhibition’ games but they are a bargin once Big East play starts. (I don’t take into account my donation to keep my seats since I tack that on my football seats.)

Comment by milo bloom 01.18.13 @ 2:38 pm

Pitt’s 0-3 in games at noon or ealier this year..another noon game tomorrow…maybe Dixon should have a 3:00 AM wake up call.

Comment by milo bloom 01.18.13 @ 2:39 pm

Does anybody else follow Shady on Twitter? He just retweeted some guy from Harrisburg saying that Matt Cavanaugh is the new Pitt QB coach?? One tweet before that Shady had Cavanaugh going to the bears to be their QB coach. Very confused.

Josh Reed?@reedabc27sports

Matt cavanaugh back to #pitt. Panthers new qb coach

Retweeted by Lesean McCoy

3hLesean McCoy?@CutonDime25

Hail 2pitt RT @AdamSchefter: Bears reached an agreement with Matt Cavanaugh, making him their quarterbacks coach

Comment by Kenny Powers 01.18.13 @ 3:08 pm

NEVERMIND

sounds like it was all a bunch of BS

And thank god at that.

Comment by Kenny Powers 01.18.13 @ 3:10 pm

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.18.13 @ 3:11 pm

On another note, how about KC Keeler for Pitt DC?

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.18.13 @ 3:36 pm

Looks like the ACC is about to be no more.

Comment by Chris 01.18.13 @ 3:52 pm

@Chris – huh?

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.18.13 @ 3:55 pm

Yeah what is going on?? I can’t find anything to the like.

Comment by JJ 01.18.13 @ 4:01 pm

@Chris. Did you really make me find out that Johns Hopkins may join Big 10 for lacrosse, for your own amusement??? LOL

Comment by Dan 01.18.13 @ 4:38 pm

You’re telling me that it takes until mid January to figure out you got three stiffs playing under the basket?

The fact that Jamie admits that it took him this long to realize this is astounding.
Comment by PittofDreams 01.18.13 @ 11:15 am

I’m with you, that is a truly astounding stmt from Coach. He just figured out that Adams, Zanna & Sleepy are softies under the boards.

You could tell that in the 2nd half of the Michigan game way back in November, when Michigan played volleyball on the backboards, especially on their offensive end. And you can’t say well it was only Adams inexperience, because he only played 10 minutes in that game and hardly any in the 2nd half. Sleepy had 2 rebounds in 22 minutes and Adams 1 in 10 minutes.

In the last game Zeigler had more rebounds (6) than Adams & Zanna combined (5). And only 3 less than Adams, Zanna & Sleepy combined (9).

Having height is great, but if they don’t know how to use their bodies, get position (that’s on the coaches, btw) or chase after loose rebounds, they are pretty much useless. Add into that, their lack of offense, and you might have to look at going with a smaller lineup.

Comment by EMel 01.18.13 @ 4:59 pm

I’m thinking possibly the only thing wrong with Zeigler, was Nova was the first game he was on the court long enough to break a sweat.

Hard to find a rhythm or anything when you’re only the court for 10 minutes total in 2-3 minute increments. In fact it seems kinda counterproductive. I always played better after getting a good sweat going, you were looser.

I found sitting in the sauna for 10-15 minutes or so before the game worked really well.

Comment by EMel 01.18.13 @ 5:09 pm

My understanding was that Nova was leading the conference in rebounding.We gave them 1 offensive rebound for the game.Michigan and Cincinatti have made a lot of teams look bad on the boards.My hope is we will continue to improve.We have played 2 good games in the last 3.The Villinova game was an impressive defensive performance.We aren’t used to having a team develop as the season goes along and I don’t agree with those who say we don’t have talent.You can’t just throw guys together and expect them to perform as a team.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.18.13 @ 5:19 pm

As far as the non-con thing.

It takes two to tango. Not many good D-1 programs want to come to The Pete. Ohio Fake backed out of that series after we whipped them in back to back years. Pedo State said “no mas” after their annual beatdowns. Wisconsin didn’t want to renew, nor did Washington according to sources.

We got screwed on the BE-SEC challenge this year, you can’t blame that on PITT. And we did play Michigan who was only…wait…the #3 team in the country. On the road at a Neutral site. Again not Pitt’s fault that they had the matchups screwed up and we got the weakest team of the 4 in MSG trip in game 2. (delaware)

IMO this team needs as many W’s on the resume to get a NCAA bid. Much like Syracuse has done for decades and it never seems to affect their seeding in the Big Dance. Now does it.

Oh and one more rant, you’re supposed to be going to the game to support and see PITT, not the other team. That’s how the elite team fanbases and alumni look at it. As I’ve noticed lots of no shows against even BE teams the last several years.

Comment by EMel 01.18.13 @ 5:24 pm

agree spiritos22

The talent is there. It’s knowing how to use the particular strengths of your current group. And on the flip side of that, lessen their weaknesses.

John Wooden, who imo, was the greatest college coach ever, would adjust his coaching style to the type of personnel he had on the team.

He did not try to force square pegs into Round holes.

Could you imagine if Lew Alcindor(Kareem) only got to touch the ball in the post, 3 or 4 times a game. His talent would have never been realized.

His very first college game he scored 59 points
and averaged 29 ppg in first season at UCLA.

But here’s the key he averaged 17 FGA per game and 9 FT’s per game.

Comment by EMel 01.18.13 @ 5:49 pm

From watching Pitt play, they do not know how to isolate their Big Guy on the blocks.

How you do this is…. have your PG and the big man, you’re trying to isolate on the block, on one side of the court and then have the 3 others on the opposite side of the court. You then can have a much easier entry pass into the post, if the other team brings a guy over to double, which they only will AFTER your post player is successful scoring a few times, it’s a very easy pass from the doubled post player over to the player who was left to double team, cutting to the hoop for a layup.

Pitt never does this, they have their big mostly on the Free throw line, where he is smack dab in the middle of the opposing teams defense. Certainly not isolated at all. This is ok if you’re running a High post/ low post action, but we don’t.

The key again for successful post play is isolating him on one side of the court.

Comment by EMel 01.18.13 @ 5:57 pm

103–51. Jamie’s Big East record. Usually with inferior talent. The guy can flat out coach, so just stop it.

Why did he wait for the three big guys until January to figure out rebounding? I don’t know, maybe it’s because one of them is seven feet and a freshmen, and the other is playing a new position. If you don’t think Adams is going to be a great rebounder before he leaves Pitt, you’re not watching the same guy I am. He’s nineteen years old.

Durand Johnson — Freshmen. Steve Adams — Freshmen. James Robinson — Freshmen. The people complaining about inconsistency are probably the same group that routinely complained about Dixon not playing Freshmen.

Don’t hurt yourself jumping back on the Dixon bandwagon once this team starts clicking, because it’s the most talented team he’s had as a coach.

Comment by Denny 01.18.13 @ 6:05 pm

Is this the end of the ACC per Chris?

link to nj.com

I doubt it. There are precedents galore.

A settlement is in the future.

Comment by steve1 01.18.13 @ 6:06 pm

Well it’s time for Happy Hour. Omg it’s a nooner tomorrow. That sux. I despise noon games.

Enjoy Friday Nite my friends.

HTP
Veritas et Virtus
GRP

Comment by EMel 01.18.13 @ 6:14 pm

Steve, Of course Maryland is sueing to get out of their 50 million dollar exit fee. What do they have to lose? They can’t make ends meet now and they cited their financial predicament as the reason for cutting athletic programs. Then they stated that they were joining the Big Ten despite the 50 million exit fee.

Comment by Justinian 01.18.13 @ 7:01 pm

And to think I could have gone to grad school at Maryland. What was I thinking?

No excuses for Taylor and Zanna for not getting rebounds.

I like Jamie playing freshmen. Its give and take.

I just don’t see leadership. Maybe Zeigler can be that guy. Woodall surely isn’t.

Lamar and JJ just need to shoot the damn ball.

Comment by TX Panther 01.18.13 @ 7:32 pm

frankcan, you may have some interest in this

link to blogs.post-gazette.com

Comment by wbb 01.18.13 @ 7:34 pm

Congrats to Omar and family! We are willing to play PSU home & home but they are to chickensh_t. Why help Luck, Huggins and his crew by letting them play local? Prefer the Big 12 jet-lag shuffle! Austin, Tx back the Cheat Lake, Aimes, Iowa, back to Cheat Lake, Norman, Oklahome etc, etc, etc. Like the idea of playin someone annually from Philly! Napier game time decision for UConn. Shoulder issue. Hope we can wear them down. Let’s go Pitt and Lamar loose the funk! UPone

Comment by UPone 01.18.13 @ 8:06 pm

Maybe Kansas and Kentucky wouldn’t come to The Pete, but I bet Xavier would. So would Temple, VCU, Belmont, Davidson and the like. So would any power conference school looking to make their mark. How ’bout Ole Miss? Maybe New Mexico could come for a football/ basketball weekend. WVU would, and I bet in future years some of the current BE rivals would too. The empty stands in the non con games are embarrassing, but I can’t blame people for not showing up to every lousy game.

Comment by Iron Duke 01.18.13 @ 9:17 pm

Yeah, bring in ‘Ole Miss and let us get some payback. Hotty Toddy.

Comment by panther94 01.18.13 @ 11:08 pm

Ormar, You have to thank Anwar for for us. The Panthers needed the good karma in the 2nd half at Villanova.

I wish you the best with the new guy and I’ll pass on my favorite comment regarding parenthood.

About Raising kids, By the time you know what you’re doing, you’re out of the buisness.

Comment by Justinian 01.19.13 @ 7:57 am

Big question going into the UConn game and any game for Pitt for that matter. Does UConn have athletic big guys underneath who can rebound?

If they answer is yes, well… not good.

But, no excuses for Jamie now. He says he and the players are finally on the same page with what they have to do to rebound and win.

Let’s see if it was really the mid-January changes Dixon instituted… or just Villanova.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.19.13 @ 9:04 am

Bad night for Pitt alumni hoopers. Gray and Blair never got off the bench.

Comment by alcofan 01.19.13 @ 9:24 am

@Chris, wait, I remember, aren’t you a WVU troll??? That would be a reason to put an ACC is done post up.

Hey pal, I have some advice for you.

Quit worrying about the ACC, and start worrying about WVU football and basketball.

No, you don’t even need to worry about the Big 12 falling apart in the future, you’ve got enough of a mess right in Morgantown with your hoops and football.

Talk about something being done!!!

Comment by Dan 01.19.13 @ 11:24 am

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