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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.





Spirit, not blaming JR there, the entire team was looking for the 3. The turnover was the result of a poor strategy. If there must be blame, blame the coaches I guess. That’s just a situation where every armchair coach in America knows you don’t yet need a 3. The game could have been extended.

Comment by Iron Duke 03.14.13 @ 7:50 pm

@upittbaseball, that’s funny, most people give me crap because I say “I don’t wear blue and gold glasses” all the time.

Most would consider me the furthest thing from a kool-aid drinker.

I always try to be a realist.

With that being said, your comment above about Adaams………..

You do know he’s only played a couple years of organized basketball, only, I believe, 1 year of American basketball against American kids, and the fact that he is a freshman, right??

So, me giving him a pass as a freshman, is drinking the kool-aid?? Yep, guess I’m drinking it.

Same with Coach Chryst. I’ve always said a coach gets 2 or 3 years to see what he can do, in any sport, anywhere.

He stinks because of some decisions he made during his first year??? Ya, give me another glass I guess.

And, God love ya, you may be the best Pitt fan in the world, but, honestly, for the life of me, I’ve never seen you have one good thing to say about the football or basketball program.

In fact, when I see your handle, I know it’s gonna be some kind of slam towards Pitt football or hoops.

I try to catch the Blather most days, but, certainly I could have easily missed a lot of your positive posts, I admit that.

So, I apologize for the troll comment.

Comment by Dan 03.14.13 @ 7:58 pm

Give it to Pitt for fighting back but in today’s college game Pitt can only go so far.
In my opinion basketball has been ruined by the 3 point line. It has skewed the game completely to a guards game, making big men obsolete. It has happened in the pro’s.
Chamberlin, Russell in the pro’s would be bite players. David Robinson and Bob Lanier would of been role players in college.
Also I am tired of the Adams critics saying he needs to take it up stronger. My guess each of these bloggers never played a gane of organized basketball.
Taking it up smart, because in the big east under the basket the arm is part of the ball. The closeups should Adams and Zanna getting hacked by at least 2 defenders. Because Pitt has no 3 point shooters 5 men collapse inside when the ball is thrown in or shot. Rather than straight up head fakes today are more effective. Adams needs experience and confidence not talent to be the best center in college (that will not get Pitt to the finals with the 3 point line).
He needs to get familiar with feeling where the defender is on his back and if and when he ever gets a quick entry pass away from the defender chest high or above (not a bounce pass at his ankles from our guards (excluding Robinson) who are marginal players (Woodall/no rotation on his shot, cannot penetrate and cannot guard anyone at this level) then to quickly turn to the hoop.
Also Dixon needs to sit Adams down and tell him when he gets the ball within 20 ft do not hesitate take the shot. Adams is obiously afraid to take that shot or perhaps he wants to fit in more than he wants the team to win. When he was forced to take the shot it was obvious from his stroke he did not want to therefore not following through on his release -although he is one of the better jump shooters on the team.

Adams already has all the tools now to dominate offensively as he does on defense (Christmas 0 pts. 5 fouls).
He is a man among boys everytime he steps onto the court. His problem in my opinion is experience that his innate talent can overcome. More importantly confidence in his offensive game that he showed in the Addidas camp and in Prep school against players as good or better than he is up against now. However that was before the press uniformed evaluations that probably influenced someone like Adams who is sensitive and not use to criticism of the American press. Also his coaches game plan that was not designed for him to be a major part of the offense rather a complimentary player.
So now Adams is giving us what he has been told he is great defensively but a weak offensive players whose skills are just developing and need time. Pitt cannot count on him to be an offensive threat at this time so they do not use him and when he has no choice he has no confidence like he showed in his game before beginning college.
Dixon needs to sit down with Woodall and Adams and tell them both Steve this is your team you honestly do not believe we are going anywhere with Tray being the leader.
Tray you are to compliment the team not try to be the team.
Pitt’s problem is simple their best players by far are freshman Adams and Robinson. Every other player on the team has hit their ceiling. No more “talk” about in and out basketball-Dixon talks about it has never been part of his offense regardless of who played center (Blair, Gray). It has always been a perimeter team with no go to guard or forward (except Young who did not get the ball enough from Fields).
Adams is one of the best if not the best defensive center in the country. It is time to challenge him and say we should of told you to work on your offensive game during the season but that was our mistake. You need to take over on the offensive end of the court. Like another 20 ft shot he did not want to take and missed but went to boards got the rebound put make with left hand over 2 men, and was fouled. Or the time he drove to the hoop took the hacks put it in with the left had and got the foul. He needs to do that every time he touches the ball and has space. He will need to forced by the coaching staff and told do not worry if you miss that is part of the game. You doing this will help everyone else.
Get the guards a step or two further out to avoid double team quick solid high entry passes to Adams.
Even when Adams gets the confidence to be the best center in the country Pitt can only go so far because of the nature of the game.

Comment by pittisit 03.14.13 @ 8:00 pm

here’s a good example, above, mikmet or someone,

“Pitt, Jamie and March just don’t mix.”

What does that mean??

They didn’t mix when they won 2 BE championships, or they didn’t mix when they went to the Sweet 16 several times and to the Elite Eight???

As for the Elite Eight, shoulda, woulda, coulda, I know, but they were one layup away from the Fianl Four. I know, they didn’t get there. I understand that. Being reasonable though, anyone would say that was much closer than being blown out by 20 in an Elite Eight game.

I think those are the type of comments that piss gc off!!! LOL

Comment by Dan 03.14.13 @ 8:06 pm

@gc, lmao, ha ha!! Actually, there are a several Dan’s on here.

I would think you’re referring to me, however, and I understand your comment. I was actually arguing several arguments at one time, and at times, taking both sides!!!

I get it!!! LOL

Comment by Dan 03.14.13 @ 8:09 pm

Cuse seems to own BE tourney at MSG. Officials give them the benefit but Pitt knew that going in. Cuse just seems to hit those 3s and probably will win the tourney.

Pitt must play like they did today to win in the NCAAs. The team must not get down on itself.

Comment by Frank MD 03.14.13 @ 8:16 pm

dan…..i think alot of pitt fans have been spoiled (including me)….and anything less then a final four is not good enough…Jim behiom didn’t win a national champ until a few years ago with melo….but times have changed..and it’s a what have u done for me right now kind of world!..my fear is pitt will drop from where we currently are as a program…god i hope we don’t..i can’t go back to the 90’s!!

Comment by Keith 03.14.13 @ 8:16 pm

Keith and Upittbaseball, I was really encouraged to read that you both root for Pitt to win. In all honesty, that is the first positive thing that I have heard from you and was not sure that was the case.

They were ranked 17th today Syracuse 19th. Next week they will probably be in the low 20’s if that matters. Based on that they are a borderline sweet sixteen team. Either way they don’t stink.

We all want them to win, it just seems to me that some guys want them to lose so that they can say I told you so. Some set the bar so high that they may never be satisfied.

I have said several times that this team will only go as far as Woodall and Patterson take them. At this point maybe Robinson can be added. He played the best today.

Woodall was awful, 4-10 although he was 3-4 for 3’s. He needs to play better. Patterson was worse, 5-12 and 1-5 for 3’s. Zanna stunk 4-9 from short range and 2-5 from the line. Moore had 2 points and Taylor 0.

Syracuse defense had a lot to do with it, but they need to do better.

It is amazing that they still could have won this game.

Maybe because I was around for Dave Hart and Carl DePasqua, and before Buzz Ridl, I know what it is to be a real loser. Believe me getting a double bye and just going to the Big Dance is something to celebrate. Try going 1-11. After last year, we should all raise a toast.

Comment by gc 03.14.13 @ 8:21 pm

gc….I am a huge pessamist…and realist…and to be real…i do not think this pitt team is good enough to score enough to win in the tourny..wen we were flying a few years ago, i knew we were good….I just fear that we won’t ever get back to that..

Comment by Keith 03.14.13 @ 8:38 pm

Keith, A smart man once told me, Look on the bright side of life, it might have been Monty Python.

You can accomplish a great deal with a Positive Mental Attitude. I hope it is just Pitt sports that is making you a pessimist. That is very understandable.

We were only great offensively when we had DeJuan and Sam, other than that we do it with D and luck.

I agree though, we do need a hot hand or three.

Comment by gc 03.14.13 @ 8:47 pm

I missed the game. How did Malcolm Gilbert do?

Yeah, here come the excuses and the rationalization. Taylor mugged . . . amazing Pitt could get this far . . . amazing Pitt got the game this close . . . Pitt was such a loser in the 60s we should be grateful for what we have . . . if only Zanna had made his foul shots. And on and on and on. Same old, same old. Don’t get me wrong, if I could come up with an excuse I could buy into, I would say it too. Mostly because, unless Dixon begins to realize this act is wearing thin, and does bolt for USC regardless of salary, Petersen is going to give him an f’ng raise to stay (a la Dave Wannstedt), and we will be stuck with this sh*t for at least 5 more years. I swear, you could run Bird, Johnson, Jordan, Malone and Stockton in here and we would still blow the first round of the Big East, and lose to Butler in the round of sixteen.

This has become laughable. It is so predictable. Some coaches clearly can coach a team up for a big game. Like Chuck Noll. Some coaches are tighter than a drum. Like Bill Cowher. We should know by now which category Dixon resides in. Anyone who thinks otherwise is denying history. At least the team can party in NYC now. Man, I just cannot wait to experience this feeling in the ACC tournament. What will the team do in Greensboro on Thursday night?

So who is the frontrunner on the underdog that rips Pitt a new one this year in the tournament? Bucknell? Davidson? Did Pacific make the tourney?

Some people obviously mistake vitriol for frustration. Frustration for those of us that started in the Dave Hart years, and despite our devotions and donations, feel they have absolutely no say in the athletic affairs of this university. And watch its programs year after year bungle so regularly.

Comment by PO'd Panther 03.14.13 @ 8:50 pm

PO’d, your act really is getting old. Chuck Noll should have won two more championships with the players he had. Syracuse would have beaten anyone today.

There have surely been bungles (Mike Haywood) but today we just got beat. It happens.

Comment by gc 03.14.13 @ 8:59 pm

Well the day wasn’t lost. Villimanilli got absolutely hammered.

And the child molesters up at Creepy Valley ended their pitiful season.
Added to a string of abysmal seasons, they have to rank as the worst major conf. basketball program of the major conf’s.

Oh and we can’t forget the Hoopies losing to a pathetic Texas TEch last nite, who lost by 40 today. Way to go Thuggie Bear. lol

Comment by EMel 03.14.13 @ 8:59 pm

Funny enough DAve Hart won 3 games in 3 years but it didn’t deter his career. He spent his entire life in a well paid AD and now his son is doing the same thing at Tennessee.

Nice to be born into an easy lifestyle.
Sort of like being a Baron or Duke in Europe.

haha

Comment by EMel 03.14.13 @ 9:02 pm

College BB today is a crap shoot. One hot player today, a dud tomorrow. I said earlier that Southerland did not play the first Pitt game and it seemed that Pitt just plain forgot about him.

I cannot believe the coaches did not warn the team about him but maybe the players did not remember he hit 6 of 9 the night before.

Much better preparation and execution early must be made against the NCAA teams.

Comment by Frank MD 03.14.13 @ 9:17 pm

It is late Thursday evening and like a lot of you I am still pissed and frustrated over today’s loss. And I am only a fan and alum. Think of what it is like to be Coach Dixon tonight?

Has any other school taken the gut ripping losses that Pitt has? From Vandy to Pacific to Nova to the Butler fiasco….just hope crushing gut wrenching losses!

It got me thinking about coaching, especially basketball coaching.

I was watching Ferehety interview Jack Nicklaus the other night and Nicklaus said he could not remember a single shot in any of his golf losses but could remember all his shots in every win…I found that amazing.

Basketball coaches are just the opposite. I have met Bobby Knight, Ben Howland and many great coaches at the HS level here in MD. They are all the same. They can remember every play of every loss vividly…not so much the wins. I remember losing the championship game as my first team I coached in the 7th grade. I failed to double team the leading scorer on an inbound play. I can remember getting T;eed up late in a game for being on the floor and costing my HS team a game.

So…as pissed as I am and wondering when Pitt will ever have the ball roll “our way” in a big game, I cannot imagine the heartfelt pain in Coach Dixon tonight, or how he ever survived Nova and Butler. I suspect an almost sleepless night for the whole staff.

Small solice to us fans…but very true

Comment by Dan 72 03.14.13 @ 9:28 pm

Today’s game is different. If we had Birch, Adams, and Blair inside we could not make it too the final four.
Somewhere we would hit a guard or small forward having the game of their lives and hitting 14 3’s that is an additional 14 points minus Pitt’s average 4 extra poinst on 3’s equals 10 points.
Ten nothing when the ball is tapped. It will not happen.

Comment by pittisit 03.14.13 @ 9:36 pm

Upittbaseball, you are the most negative poster on this site. At least 85% of your posts are negative. Just go away. Please.

Comment by TMG Panther 03.14.13 @ 9:37 pm

We beat Syracuse 8 out of the last 10, and lost to them today: not exactly same old same old. If that had been ND on the other side today, maybe that comment would at least have relevance. How happy do you think Syracuse fans are to have beaten Pitt for a change?

Lets remember that every year every team except one eventually loses. Good teams lose to other good teams and sometimes lesser teams. Every teams fan base has plenty of woe is me moments. Thats just part of being a fan.

Comment by Iron Duke 03.14.13 @ 9:41 pm

Watching todays game how out of control the game was even as we fought back /Southerland was in the zone and got 3 for every shot no matter how much you were in his face made me realize the comments I posted above about the 3pt rule. I agree with Larry Bird “I’m glad they did not have the 3 pt. line when I was playing in high school I would not been half the player I became. It is a bad rule for basketball.”
As Dixon said players are not as sound mechanically as they use to be.
Now I understand why Boehiem and especially Dixon do not want to go to the ACC. The ACC even the bottom feeders have a least one player on any given night that can score 30 points against any defense if he gets hot outside the 3 point line.
Pitt is not made for the ACC we will be like a Manatee being attacked by paranahs.
Remember one of our best Pitt teams, Blair and Young had to win on a last second feild goal against an uncharacteristically a weak Duke team.

Comment by pittisit 03.14.13 @ 9:50 pm

Pitt/Cuse was a 4/5 seed game decided by 3 pts. Could have gone our way if we do a little better in the first half, if we made some FTs down the stretch, if some calls got made that weren’t, if Southerland misses one 3 pt shot, if that 3 at the end of the first half doesn’t fall. But that’s CBB. If any of those things go our way, Cuse fans are bitching and moaning on their board.

On to the next tournament and, at least this year, it’s the Big Dance.

HTP!

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.14.13 @ 9:51 pm

Notwithstanding that we lost, anyone else think Pitt/Cuse was the best game of the tournament so far?

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.14.13 @ 10:01 pm

I’m 85% negative because 85% of the time Pitt gives me material to be negative about. Dan – thanks and have a good weekend bud.

Comment by Upittbaseball 03.14.13 @ 10:06 pm

Pitt Dad your right we are going to the big dance.
If anyone still thinks that Adams was not the MVP for Pitt this year and perhaps the Big East look at the the difference between Pitt’s success this year and last year. Granted Robinson playing point rather than Woodall saved perhaps 8 to 10 points a game on turnovers but the primary reason for the complete turnaround was the menacing presence of the best defensive center in basketball.
Did anyone see him pinch out and stop the guards shooting yet have the quickness to get back and stop any passes inside for easy baskets ( Christmas 0 points and 5 fouls/not bad). Most of you are paying to much attention to the box score rather than what is happening on the court. Adams was all over the court. He is quicker than any big man in college basketball.
Next year Mike Young has a big body unlike Zanna who is no help to Adams. Adams boxes out one or two men that’s why Zanna gets rebounds he is terrible on the boards just as he was last year.
Does anyone really believe Zanna got better or do they understand he did not improve only that he has Adams taking all the pressure giving him easy shots he often misses and rebounds he sometimes gets.
Young has a big body like Biggs did. Biggs helped Blair alot by sheilding men away from the boards while Blair cleaned up.
Adams and Young should help each other next year. Hopefully Young can keep the forwards off Adams that Zanna never does. Then you can add 10 borads a game for Adams not counting 10 additional points even if he spends the summer sitting on the beach.

Comment by pittisit 03.14.13 @ 10:17 pm

gc – you are truly the first person I have ever heard to call Chuck Noll an underachiever. I am really curious as to what 2 years you are referring to. He won 4 championships, and built a team from scratch, the bottom of the league. He may have been stubborn, and a lot of other things, but underachiever?

Deny and rationalize all we can. How Pitt won 8 of the last 10 against Syracuse, and how Dixon is the winningest coach in Big East history. Hot team, hot shooter, college basketball is a crap shoot, we only lost by 3. Tell me we have not heard this stuff before, and just about every year except last. He just has not won when it counts, and it is not just that. He consistently loses to underdogs, including Syracuse today, in the post season. Some are worse than others. Today, not so much. Pacific, Xavier and Bradley, pretty bad. Butler in 2011, horrible One year, two, maybe three, maybe 8, you sit back and say yes, well, he deserves a chance, based on his regular season success. But 10 f’ng years? Come on.

It is the same old, same old. And this time next year, if Dixon is back, it will be again.

Comment by PO'd Panther 03.14.13 @ 10:23 pm

@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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