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March 14, 2013

This week has sucked. Some poor planning on my part has me working late every day this week. So on one of the best weeks in terms of number of games and quality, I’ve largely missed them.

That also will happen with the 2pm meeting at the Garden between Pitt and Syracuse. I have the DVR set, but that means cutting off from media from that time forward.

Unlike the last meeting James Southerland is playing. Syracuse has a game under their belt. They strarted slowly in the first half before overwhelming Seton Hall yesterday.

Hopefully everyone on the team is feeling healthier and mostly recovered from their ailments.





@Pitt Dad and Benzene, holy cow, you were right, those ND away uni’s are horrible.

Marketing geniuses?? I don’t get it.

@Keith and Upittbaseball. No problems here. Sorry, was just on a rant.

You actually both make good points with your last posts. Upittbaseball, yes, Pitt has given us a lot of heartache over the years. Keith, well put, we like where we are, want to go forward, don’t want to go back to the 90’s.

You’re both completly right. Agree totally.

Mad they got beat today, subconsciously, probably furious. Maybe they’ll suprise us with a couple wins in the tourney???

Comment by Dan 03.14.13 @ 10:28 pm

To further substantiate my argument about Adams can anyone make an argument that Moore, Taylor, Zanna, Patterson, Zeigler, or Woodall made significant gains in their game over last year.
Another comment, it is time now to stop the, in my opinion the ridiculous 10 man rotation. Johnson is out of control, Wright maaybe defensively-probably not. Zeigler a look to see if he is doing anything.
As much as it pains me Woodall must see alot of minutes Adams covers alot of his getting beat off the dribble. If Adams commitment is hurting us put Wright in for Woodall, Robinson, Zanna and Taylor, Moore, and Patterson and Adams.
Adams
Robinson
Patterson
Zanna
Taylor
Moore
Wright/Zeigler in order of preference
Adams showed today he can play over 30 minutes effectively.

Comment by pittisit 03.14.13 @ 10:32 pm

p.s. I wonder if this doesn’t affect us, I think it does me…………..

Had it been back and forth the whole game, Cuse up a couple, Pitt up a couple and so on………

instead of being down 13 for a good part of the game, I think I may have taken the loss better.

Same result in the end.

“ok, we lost, but it was back and forth the whole game between two powerhouses, move on.”

Funny how things like that affect your point of view, at least mine.

Comment by Dan 03.14.13 @ 10:33 pm

Frankly I don’t mind some of the negative stuff here…it’s just frustrated, long suffering Pitt fans letting off some steam after years of frustration.

Sometimes I learn things from reading those posts….and I don’t think that anyone here except Chas should tell someone to leave. We all have out one opinion…..if you don’t like some posters, don’t read their posts. Scout.com boards are run that way…and negativity and you’re run off. I’ve read posts there for years but I’ve never signed up because of that. Of course I even like JoeD’s posts at Panther’s Prey…LOL.

I’m 63 and have been following Pitt for decades…I still remember the first time they won the NE Tournament….I sat on the couch in my buddies apartment in utter disbelief. I was so used to Pitt blowing any and all big games that I was shocked that they finally won one.

It could be worse though….we could be Cubs fans… 😉 We do have it pretty good though, but we can’t expect too much in March. One win at the BE Tournament would have been nice for a change though.

Comment by Jackagain 03.14.13 @ 10:36 pm

BTW….#12 Marquette who also got the dreaded double bye is going down to #24 ND. I feel better already…

link to youtube.com

Comment by Jackagain 03.14.13 @ 10:45 pm

Disappointing, and it can’t help confidence level to go out of this tourney without a win. This whole team plays weak. Especially Adams and Zanna inside. Taylor plays harder but got himself neutralized with the fouls even if one was a bad call. I would rather see Dante play more minutes even with the fouls and everyone be more aggressive at the rim. This team just doesn’t have anyone strong enough or with technique to SECURE THE BALL and then take it strong to the rim. Pitt’s rebounding is way too much tapping the ball with fingertips and hands rather than body position and aggressiveness. Patterson is the only one who does it right.

They have improved but no consistency and no floor leader. As much as he is aggressive rebounding, Patterson is too tentative shooting, DJ isn’t tentative enough and JJ just disappears at times. Adams needs weight room work big time, even though that won’t help his rare 15 foot jumper.

That said, I still think we can and will do damage next week as we can beat anyone….or lose to anyone. It is a very long time between seasons, so hope we get to play into the second weekend of the Big Dance. I don’t want to be looking forward to next year too soon. HTP!!!!!!!!!

Comment by TVax 03.15.13 @ 12:19 am

This absolutely sucks. The reason it is so damn frustrating for everyone is that we watch a team that plays a great game while Pitt plays average and Pitt still loses by just 3. Then if Pitt makes a free throw it might go to overtime. We’ve seen it time and time again where Pitt plays only 20 good minutes and is still right there at the end. If this team ever put 40 minutes together consistently this year they’d be top 10, that’s why it sucks so badly. Syracuse, Rutgers, Louisville, Marquette at home, and Michigan all games that we battled back in this year when not playing great, but still losing. It gets real old and Pitt never seems to have that guy that just doesn’t let them lose. They always run into someone playing their best against them and after it continuing to happen over and over again, I’m wondering if it’s more of what Pitt doesn’t do than what other teams are doing. It was even more excruciating for me because I was getting updates from my phone the entire 2nd half as I was in a meeting that was conveniently about 8 feet from a TV that had the game on. Damn you Southerland, damn you.

Comment by Vulcan Rob 03.15.13 @ 12:33 am

I’m not an alum, but I have been watching Pitt hoops since the days of Roy Chipman and Clyde Vaughan. As a basketball program, Pitt has come a long way since the early 1980’s. While Pitt has made great strides solidifying the program as a perennial top 25 team, I understand the frustration that is felt by many of the people on this blog. I do think vitriol is always better than apathy so I love guys like UPittbaseball. No problem with setting the bar high and wanting accountability.

For me, the frustration does not stem from the loss of a single game, but it is more about the long term body of work compared to other conference peers. Envy is a terrible sin. I look at the original 9 members of the Big East and see that all but 2 (Pitt and Boston College) made it to at least one Final 4 since inception.

G-Town (’82, ’84, ’84, ’07); UCONN (’99, ’04, ’09, ’11); Syracuse (’87, ’96, ’03); Villanova (’85, ’09); St. John’s (’85); Providence (’87); Seton Hall (’89)

Looking at where the Pitt program was in 1987, it felt that Pitt was on the verge of getting to a Final 4 and possibly competing for a championship. I still think the ’88 team was the most talented and most disappointing Pitt team in the Big East era. Damn you Barry Goheen!!! It seemed like Paul Evans had the program in the right direction. However, Calipari left and the talent left with him and Pitt was back to mediocrity until Ben Howland re-established things 10 years later.

As the Big East lives its last days as we knew it, I can’t help but feel like Pitt never fully maximized the opportunities like some of the other conference members have. It sounds crazy now, but I can remember when Connecticut was an absolute joke. Calhoun took a program with NO FACILITIES and won 7 Big East tournaments and 3 national championships. Even Seton Hall and WVU reached the Final 4 as members of the Big East.

It is easy to say shoulda, woulda, coulda, but considering Pitt’s past history, Jamie Dixon has done a phenomenal job of sustaining success with a limited amount of NBA talent. However, it is the very lack of talent that makes it seem that some of his Pitt teams do not improve over the course of the season like some of the other talent-laden teams in the conference. And yes, the tournament losses to perceived “mid-majors” over the years have definitely stung considering Pitt plays high level competition in a power conference. However, my eyes tell me Pitt is more comparable to a mid major when evaluating talent objectively. I will be happy when Pitt has a guard that can simply create his own shot when the shot clock is running down.

For the record, I think reaching the Sweet 16 is the benchmark for a successful season, and that should be the realistic measure of success for the Pitt program in its current state. As much as it would be great to see a Final 4 run, this program just needs to continue to win 25 games and get through the 1st weekend of the tournament. Everything else after that is a bonus ball.

If history shows us anything, it illustrates how transformational a single coach can be for a program. With Rick Pitino and Pete Gillen, Providence reached the Final 4 and Elite 8 (’97), respectively. Look at St. John’s and Seton Hall after Carnesecca and Carlesimo exited. Anybody remember the Craig Esherick era at Georgetown or the Steve Lappas era at Villanova? Is Dixon the next Rick Pitino – no, but it could be much, much, worse. There is something to be said for the level of consistency that he has brought to the program. He might never get over the hump, but even the elite programs struggle to find their way with an average coach (i.e. UNC under Matt Doherty).

I definitely hoped the final Big East tournament would have produced a memorable run. Unfortunate to end on 5 straight sour notes, but I guess the end mirrored the performances of the early years. While I am excited about the move to the ACC, I don’t think the transition will be seamless…. At least there is a Zebra Pen CBI banner hanging somewhere, right?

Comment by dallas mike 03.15.13 @ 12:56 am

great insight dallas mike from a fan but an objective and basketball savy fan.
Your point about a “Pitt guard that can simply create his own shot” are right on and coincide with my remarks concerning the 3 pt. circle changing the game into a one position game; the guard.
Dominating centers, Walton, Robinson,olajawon, etc are dinosours. At best they can influence the game partly on defense but only partly since they can not stop a guard you describe.
. Adams may become the best center in college but he cannot take you to the final four, his game is better suited for the NBA – but again the NBA has turned into a carnival of 3 point shots.

Robinson is by far the best guard Pitt has recruited but he is not a shooter by mind set or mechanics. He is a good shooter that because he is a freshman does not have his confidence in his shot at this point.
The Philly/New York guards Pitt get are B level.
Until that guard you describe comes to Pitt and with the exception of the fluk of getting Adams Pitt has not recruited at that level and based on the offense it runs is unlikely to attract a guard you describe.

Pitt does not have a recruiting base for basketball and never will so we have to reasses our expectations and be thankful for the competitive program we have.

It is hard to swallow for me and for everyone else but you are right.

Comment by pittisit 03.15.13 @ 2:31 am

Come on did anyone really think we could win a game in the BET??? We haven’t showed up in Madison Square Garden for 5 years now… no reason to think this year would be any different. Pitt disappoints… hmmm where have I heard that tune before???? Now we prepare to squaek by our first round opponent in the dance and lose our second game and such will end another year of Pitt basketball.

But hey football is just around the corner an we all know how great things have went there… hahahaha

Comment by Coach Ditka 03.15.13 @ 6:19 am

I can see why things didn’t work out for Ziegler at Central Michigan… HE STINKS!

Comment by PittofDreams 03.15.13 @ 7:41 am

ah the self loathing of Pitt fans. Having grown up on a street where we could heat the PA announcer (clearly) at Pitt Stadium I get it. That said, these kids played their hearts out. The fact that we were in the game with :30 seconds left was unfathomable. These kids have largely beaten the pulp out of the oranage. & everyone knows playing them at MSG is brutal (insert self loathing here). One tail wind is all it takes to make up for all the horrific memories that repeat in all our heads frequently this time of year. Hopefully the Crimson & Gold won’t capitalize on this downtime – beware the offer one cant refuse.

Comment by ptbreezeb 03.15.13 @ 7:42 am

And regarding all the hoopla posted here and elsewhere regarding Steve Adams, my scouting reported posted back on January 1 continues to get reaffirmation…

“OK athletically, but not on the level of many others. Has some ability to get up and down court. Jumping ability or lack there of is something else. Appears to be heavy legged. Does not get off the ground quickly or high. A slow, low jumper who relies on his above average reach.

Biggest problem, seems out of touch with the flow of the game. Lack of feel limits his ability to assert himself offensively toward the basket. Hands and touch also looked to be a problem Monday although not a big problem according to most prior scouting reports.

Biggest asset… seems to be a bright kid with a good attitude. And of course, his 7 foot height.

Conclusion… a project who likely will start more games in the NCAA than he ever will in the NBA.”

Comment by PittofDreams 03.15.13 @ 7:45 am

This Pitt team improved dramaticly from last year. Adams and Robinson have been tremendous additions to the team. Adams on defensive side and Robinson, for taking care of the ball and reducing turnovers. Next year we will need more offencive production from both Adams and Robinson. It’s no secret that Pitt’s inside game was lacking and needs to improve. I don’t think that we should be upset with this season, because they certainly turned things around. Hopefully they can win one or two games in the NCAA tournament.

Comment by Justinian 03.15.13 @ 8:24 am

Dallas Mike, good assessment. I’m a bit apprehensive, on the basketball side, about the move to the ACC. Also looking back, wouldn’t it have been nice if DeJuan Blair stayed at Pitt for one more year.

Comment by Justinian 03.15.13 @ 8:34 am

Pittofdreams,Your conclusion is one of the most rediculous posts I have seen recently.Find me a 19 year old anywhere in the history of college hoops,who has less than 2 seasons of real basketball competition,that competes or competed at Adams level at this point.Blair and Bennett are the only 2 freshman centers for Pitt who ever were better at his age.They played lots of pro ball.He is green but to assume he will never mature isn’t smart and I conclude you don’t know squat.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.15.13 @ 8:42 am

Spirit, To go along with your comments, foreign players don’t normally grow up playing playground ball, like we do in the US. A lot of we do on the basketball court is instinctive. We don’t have think about what to do, it almost a reflex. Adams and Zanna are good players and athletes, but because they didn’t play here, they have yet to develop those instincts.

Comment by Justinian 03.15.13 @ 8:53 am

just,I agree,but to assume and conclude that Adams will never start in the NBA at this point is absurd.In fact one could argue that Adams defensive play combined with his size could merit him a strong shot at the NBA now.Zanna is so close to getting to another level I would like to reach through the tv and shake him,When he missed that foul shot I wanted to barf,it was so close.He was an inch away from taking over the game yesterday.That offensive board on the missed foul which was called a jump ball was a foul on Syracuse.Adams almost rebounded his own missed foul and got called for a tacky foul too.These guys are almost there.In a game that saw the refs swallow the whistle while our bigs got mugged I thought that call and the barely touched foul on Taylor were crap.Taylor took an elbow to the eye and they didn’t even stop play until the blood got so deep someone could have fell from it.We should have won and our big guys were close to asserting themselves to another level,so how can anyone conclude from that,that Adams won’t ever make it big?

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.15.13 @ 9:19 am

@DallasMike, excellent post and points!!

p.s. no need to mention you aren’t an alum.

We need every fan we can get, from alums, to residents of W.Pa., to the kid in Oklahoma that likes Pitt because of the nickname “Panthers”.

Comment by Dan 03.15.13 @ 9:32 am

Pitt of Dreams we must of read different analysis of Adams potential. Most scouts said he had the highest ceiling of all the big men. Kevin Garnett said he has the best foot work for a big man since he entired the league.
You must have been watching a differnt game than I was. Adams going out to pick up the guard and being able to get back to stop any inside plays.
How many shots does he alter/how do you explain going from 17 and 16 to 25 and 7, because of Woodall and the junior class improvement.
There is also no comparison between the Adams and Blair Adams is twice the player now then Blair, especially on defense, blocks and altered shots and offense. Adams problem is not as much his lack of experience, certainly not his talent, it is his confidence that I do not think Dixon or the coaching staff help. He is hesitatant to shot or drive to the basket. He has been told his role, get inside ignore your best part of your game the jump shot(that he refused to take yesterday).
The same can be said of Robinson who has the role of the team leader, Woodall is the shooter.
Woodall is not a shooter he has no rotation on his ball.
If we are going as far as Patterson and Woodall are going to take us as some have suggested we are going to the wrong tournament we should go back to the CBI were we would be without Adams.
Adams is strong and fierce. He simply needs Dixon’s approval to play. Alot of Pitt players have the same problem they have been and still are fearful to play to their strengths if it is out of the system.
Adams is a different breed of player than the self-centered ego inflated by Dixon and swallowed by medicore players like Woodall (slapping hands with the fans when he comes to the bench (the coaches let this go on).
Adams needs positive and honest reinforcement. He does not need restrictions to his comfort zone on the court he needs to use that and be helped to expand in other areas.

Comment by pittisit 03.15.13 @ 12:07 pm

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