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January 23, 2013

Poker? I Hardly — Oh, Forget It

Filed under: Football,Recruiting — Chas @ 4:17 pm

Hey another verbal.

Zach Poker out of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. He’s listed as a tight end, but by all accounts he will be converting to a linebacker.

ESPN.com, Rivals.com and 247 have him unranked. Scout.com says 2-stars. And in the most shocking rarity, all 4 sites agree on his size and weight. He’s listed at 6-4. 220 pounds.

Poker had offers from Syracuse, Army and Air Force. Wisconsin showed some late interest, but only so far as offering to let him walk-on (Insider subs).

“I heard from [Wisconsin] this morning,” Poker said, “but I committed to Pitt.”

Poker officially visited Pittsburgh this weekend and added an offer while on the visit. He also held FBS offers from Air Force and Syracuse.

“The visit went well,” Poker said Wednesday night. “I got to see the city of Pittsburgh and meet the coaching staff and current players. It seemed like it was a cool city to be in.”

The Panthers coaches want Poker as a strongside linebacker, but they have not ruled out playing offense.

Part of the appeal of Pitt — aside from being the best scholarship offer received — is that Poker plans to major in engineering.

Another Wisconsin native, Jester Weah, plans to decide on Pitt, BGSU, Colorado State or Wyoming this weekend. After he completes finals (Insider subs).

More of the Same In Providence

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 11:41 am

In a way it shouldn’t be a surprise that the final score of the Pitt-Providence game was so close. In the prior four games Pitt lost once when ranked #1 to the Friars and in two others needed a just past half-court 3 to win and blew another lead before Woodall hit a go-ahead 3 with under 45 seconds left in a game. So, when you look at the recent games between Pitt and Providence, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the game finished with more drama than we wanted.

Then there’s the nature of this team. They just aren’t putting teams away at this point. On the bright side, it is better than the way Big East play started. When they didn’t just fail to put teams away but blew the lead and couldn’t get it back. Cinci, Marquette, Michigan. There’s improvement but isn’t always easy to watch. Coach Jamie Dixon will just take the win and accept the nature of this team (for now).

“Teams are going to make runs,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “We‘re on the road. We didn‘t give up the lead. We kept the lead, and we made free throws. If you watch games in our conference, there‘s always going to be runs, always going to be teams make it a challenge.”

It was the third consecutive conference win for the Panthers (16-4, 4-3), who had lost close games to Cincinnati, Rutgers and Marquette, and one where they relied more on 51 percent shooting (26 of 51) than their trademarks of defense and rebounding, as both teams had 30.

“We had a nice lead, played well early,” Dixon said. “I thought our offense really carried us the whole game. We don‘t want to rely on our offense to win games for us, on the road especially, but that‘s what it was. They made shots, and they rebounded evenly with us.”

Okay, on to the thoughts from the game.

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