April 25, 2013

A Little More Severe

Filed under: Basketball,Recruiting — Chas @ 1:10 pm

The Severe post yesterday came from my phone, because I was in the midst of work. Just wanted to get the news out so I didn’t have time to get into it.

As I wrote back in March, late in the game recruiting, is a bit of a strange things. Kids like Severe who are borderline recruits between high mid-major to fringe-major get elevated as coaches have open scholarships to fill and limited choices.

That was the situation with Severe. A good, but undersized shooting guard at 6-2 (officially). He doesn’t play great defense. And he went from most of his offers being from the lower-half of the A-10 to getting offers from Pitt, K-State, Wake Forest and WVU. Yes, he was named Mr. Basketball for New York, but the runner-ups were not exactly 4-star recruits. His game didn’t get that much better from November, just the supply of available players went down.

It is the same thing we are seeing with the pursuit of transfers — 5th year and other wise. Coaches have the open scholarships. The same way that nature abhors a vacuum, coaches hate to leave those scholarships sitting on the table. So they try to fill them, and you see them willing to reach on kids.

Remember Jai Lucas? Son of John Lucas. A 5-10 point guard who was somehow considered a 4-star player. He was even a McDonald’s All-American (don’t tell me that politics don’t come into play with the selections) who finally chose the Gators and then transferred to Texas for more playing time and to run point after one year. Even at Texas he never averaged more than 12 minutes a game.

Yet, the longer Lucas waited to decide, the better and more offers he got so that in 2007 the best programs in the country were coming at him and it took on a weird intensity. That’s the sort of thing Severe was getting, and the reaction from Pitt fans (and Wake and WVU) over this kid deciding to stay local is outsized to the likelihood of how important a recruit he was.

I would have liked Pitt to get Severe, but it hardly seemed like a big loss if he went elsewhere. The odds of him actually helping immediately at Pitt (or any of the other major schools recruiting him) were slim. Yes, Jamie Dixon went hard after him (and is now working hard on Eli Carter, the Rutgers transfer who I fully expect to go to transfer to Florida). Big surprise. There aren’t many kids to go after at this point, and he’s got three extra scholarships. It’s why he (and others) are going so hard after Josh Davis. And Joseph Uchebo. There aren’t many other options and some help (especially if they can play immediately) is better than none.

Players like Josh Davis and Tarik Black are especially valuable. Not just because of the position they play. But because they are low risks. These are 5th year graduate transfers. The scholarship is not tied up for more than that one season. If the player doesn’t pan out or only provides spot minutes, it’s not like a coach has to force him out after one season. The kid is done regardless.

Just because a coach is hotly pursuing a player in April does not mean he will make or break the team (Trey Zeigler, anyone?). It just means they are getting a lot more attention because there aren’t any other players to pursue.

You don’t need forwards and centers 6’10” and over in college. Plenty of teams are successful without big men.

Comment by notrocketscience 04.26.13 @ 9:10 am

Here are the last three seasons under Dixon:
1. A one seed with one of the worst losses ever, the 2010-2011 team wasn’t just a nice team that won bad non-conference games hoping to win a couple games, that team was one of the best teams in the nation.
By the way say what you will about the weak non-conference schedule, Pitt wins tons and tons of conference games with Dixon. Just look at where Pitt has finished in conference every year in the best conference in the Nation.
2. Bad season mainly due to the fact that Woodall was hurt all year.
3. Bounce back year where team finishes 4th in the conference and could have beaten any team in the nation.

Really where is the backslide trend? We have being one of the best, fall off, then improvement.

Comment by Wardapalooza 04.26.13 @ 9:15 am

wpalooza, good post

Comment by spiritofsection 22 04.26.13 @ 9:22 am

pitt72 he decommited from a&m close to 10 days ago
dont know why but he said he needs a coach he can trust becuse basketball wont last for ever.
dont know what he meant but that was what he said.

Comment by FRANKCAN 04.26.13 @ 9:30 am

No, nothing to do with skunks. Middle of the pack in the ACC and win at least one game in the NCAA would be a slight improvement. We finished fourth in a sixteen team conference, a better finish than middle of the pack. But, overall, where are we? The pinnacle of Dixon’s career is the 2008-09 season. Are we going to be close to that season next year? Isn’t the goal to reach the Final Four at least one time? First, bloggers were saying he needed five years to do it, then 10, so where’s the bar now, 15? I understand where you’re coming from, but it looks like we’re merely trying maintaining the plateau Dixon reached a few years ago, with little hope of surmounting it.

As long as Dixon keeps feasting on TastyKakes for non-con games, the chances of repeating the other
distinction of 2008-09, being ranked #1 in the wire service polls, will remain elusive. So on rankings, we have are backsliding as well.

Comment by TonyinHouston 04.26.13 @ 9:48 am

Where’s the backslide?… How about the roster?

And sorry, “ONE-AND-DONE” in both the Big East Tournament and NCAAs does not exactly spell stability.

Love the devotion. But those blinders must be dark.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.26.13 @ 9:50 am


a one seed that went nowhere, your right, finish high just about every year in the conference and flame out in the tournament. this was a “bounce back” year, and you say the couldn’t have beaten any team in the nation, except one, witchita state. multiple players transferring. maybe there are not falling off, but i sure don’t see an upswing either.

Comment by goalie44 04.26.13 @ 9:53 am

Speaking of football…

Stories in both the Post Gazette and Trib Review today about Pitt’s runningback situation. Clearly gives the impression that Chryst is uneasy with Bennett and Crockett as his 1 and 2 backs.

Bennett is an absolute class act. Crockett also gives the impression of being a solid team player. Unfortunately, neither has shown the kind of ability that makes you think the running game won’t be a problem.

At times Bennett looks good, but lacks the ability to cut without losing speed. That is a problem.

Crockett looks like a decent slasher, but lacking in the speed and vision necessary for making big plays.

Both papers report Chryst specifically mentioning James Conner. Looking pretty obvious that the 230 lb freshman is being counted upon to come in and make an impact.

Despite all the talk of receiver, also believe Tyler Boyd is going be be called upon to inject some big play ability into the backfield.

Comment by PittofDreams 04.26.13 @ 9:54 am

rankings, we are backsliding…

Yes, PittofDreams, one-and-done reeks of instability.

Comment by TonyinHouston 04.26.13 @ 9:55 am

Major disagreement about Woodall coming back after injury. Woodall was completely ineffective after the injury maybe because of the injury but I would argue based on this year and his sophmore season because he was a poor ballhandler, a turnover machinge against the press (fewer turnovers this year because of Robinson), a terrible defender Adams saved him this year as he was, if you watched, continually beaten by his man off the dribble. Pitt played more zone this year because of him.
A terrible assist guard never getting the ball into Adams. Terrible penatrator who when he got close and feed Adams would bounce pass it to a 7′ man at his ankles. (everyone said Adams has bad hands – you do not know basketball if you believe that).
Forced more shots up from outside causing several long rebounds limiting Pitts only strength last year offensive rebounding as the ball bounced beyond the foul line. Who takes 16 shots in a game when they are obviously cold and are not a pure shooter, no rotation on his shot and have only made one.
What coach plays a player over 30 minutes regardless that he’s a senior who makes one shot in the first half gives the other team the ball (not stolen)5 times and never attempts to get the ball inside to a 7′ player dominating his undersized 6’9″ defender who is one of the teams better offensive players that you would like to foul out.
What coach does not demand his players to go to Adams every time down court under such circumstances.
Like the color commentator said of Adams in this game I cannot understand Pitt’s offense Adams is a monster he is a man playing with boy’s but they continue to ignore him.
This is why I question Dixon as a coach and think Adams did the right thing.
Every year, be honest, Dixon annoits a senior guard recruited from Philly or N.Y. as the heart and soul and leader of the team. This player has an ego that does not need this and does not have the skills to carry the team. To the contrary especially last year and the year of Young and Blair by dominating the ball eliminated any chance for either of these teams to improve between November and March.
Krauser, Fields (do not be fooled by assist/turnover ratio [high assists because playing with 2 all-americans low turnovers because opponent coaches wanted the ball in his hands], Gibbs, and the worst Woodall.
Woodall only made all-conference 3rd team because Pitt had to be represented by some player

Comment by pittisit 04.26.13 @ 9:56 am

like it or not, SG Woodall was a better assist man than the PG Robinson as evidenced by 5.1 apg compared to 3.1 apg. Robinson should improve but I thought his biggest weaknesses were (1) lack of penetration that would open up opportunties for the biggies, and (2) lack of feeding the ball into the low post.

Comment by wbb 04.26.13 @ 11:12 am

pittsit you make great points. in retrospect i may have loved woodall because i perceived him to be the opposite of gibbs – a team man. him not knowing how to get the ball to adams certainly became increasingly apparent as the season progressed (often driving at him & perhaps laying on him a late dish or hard & low bounce pass in traffic that the softest & experienced of hands may have struggled with). Robinson, however will not have this problem as he has played with legit big men for the last 5 years at the High School, USA & D1 level & should continue to evolve (pray he has a big man or 2 in his tenure). Recruiting is a issue & boy do we miss slice (although remember he filled the cup with the previously described NYC/Philly soldier style baller – Ive been & remain a sucker for those story lines). He seemed to connect with kids in a Al McGuire, et al kind of way. Which I contend is a problem many have with HCJD – some contend that they dont see that demonstrative passion for the kids. Bottom line is no one knows if the glass is half full or empty – its all the liquid we got. I say run TZ at the 5, JJ at the 4, LP at the 3, DJ at the 2 (I’m hoping to see him walk around oakland dribbling 2 balls this summer, I know hes a high risk in the backcourt but his potential as a match up problem at the 2 could out way his liabilities (ball handling & on the ball D) with the General at the 1 (he could be one of the finest starting sophmore PG’s in the country?). You come off the bench with MY (hows that for an acronym? who I pray to every higher power anyone believes in will be the beast we (& he) believes he can be), CW, CJ (who could also be a matchup problem) & JN. Thats who we are throwing down with no? Yes there is no backup 5 & 1(shoot there isn’t really a starting 5!). Yes these are the ripple effects of losing a solid recruiting assistant, being stung by transfers (Dating back before KB – heck we could have maybe used zigs to backup JR?) & early NBA entry (dating back to blair?). And no matter where you go, there you are. Throw DJ at the 2 (we can all agree that WE NEED BUCKETS, right?). Thats the 9 ballplayers I see.

Comment by ptbreezeb 04.26.13 @ 11:18 am

ummm, “out weigh” instead of “way”…

Comment by ptbreezeb 04.26.13 @ 11:21 am

Eric Williams, Andrew Carswell and Khanyin Moslesy-Smith arrested last night on drug charges.

link to

Comment by Kenny Powers 04.26.13 @ 11:26 am

this is not good … Williams and Mosley-Smith were supposed to have had good springs and were to be counted on this coming fall

Comment by wbb 04.26.13 @ 11:42 am

Wow..Someone commented on a post a little while back that they knew several Pitt players that regularly smoked pot (Disclaimer: I am not shocked by a story about college students smoking pot). What I am shocked by is the fact that these players apparently have no fear of being caught through whatever testing process is currently in place at Pitt. If these players went to that house to score some weed and wound up in the wrong place at the wrong time, they need to be disciplined accordingly. However, if it turns out that these players were regulars at this house and hanging out while Heroin deals went down, these players need to go. As always, we need all of the facts, but this does not look good. The Pitt Administration needs to institute a structured, year – round, testing regime for all scholarship athletes. And no, they don’t need to do the same for academic scholarships.

Comment by HbgFrank 04.26.13 @ 11:55 am


Comment by HbgFrank 04.26.13 @ 11:58 am

this is the kind of thing that got Dave fired

Comment by FRANKCAN 04.26.13 @ 12:05 pm

back to basketball EMel lennard freeman is
traveling home to day so i guess he did not sign.

Comment by FRANKCAN 04.26.13 @ 12:13 pm

The 2011-2012 team won when Woodall was healthy. When Woodall wasn’t healthy they weren’t good.

Fields was arguably the best PG in college basketball his senior year. And Krauser had nothing around him and scored, rebounded and distributed the ball.

Comment by Wardapalooza 04.26.13 @ 12:44 pm

NCAA tournament results have nothing to do with if the team this year was better or not. They were better than the year before. Finishing 4th in the Big East proves that. And roster wise, there are two pretty good recruits coming in for next year. Dixon has won with much less talent. They will be fine in the ACC.

Comment by Wardapalooza 04.26.13 @ 12:47 pm

@FRANKCAN–Traveling home may have nothing to do with whether Freeman “signs” or doesn’t. The spring LOI signing period goes until May 15. Coaches cannot say anything publicly until they have a signed LOI in-hand. Often guys verbally commit either during or just after a visit with a signed LOI done later.

Comment by pitt1972 04.26.13 @ 2:12 pm

@FRANKCAN–RE: Chad Frazier. Your quote by Frazier makes sense. He committed to TA&M and then was recruited over when TA&M signed a more highly regarded (and 6-8 vs Frazier’s 6-4) JUCO 2G on April 18. Guess he believes TA&M weren’t honest with him.

On Freeman again–is he old enough (e.g. 21) to sign his own LOI or does he need a parent or guardian co-signer? I sure don’t know that answer. He may need a co-signer who wasn’t with him on his visit, or he may just want time to think things over as he doe shave other offers.

Comment by pitt1972 04.26.13 @ 2:18 pm

pitt1972 did not say he would not sign later.
just said he is leaveing and has not signed.

but dixon has lost one more eli carter said he is down to maryland or florida.
and a few days ago dixon paid him a in home vist.

he needs to get some one soon before they are all gone.

Comment by FRANKCAN 04.26.13 @ 2:19 pm

Scratch off another one 🙁

“Rutgers transfer Eli Carter is down to Florida & Maryland, with a visit to Florida setup for Sunday. “

Comment by EMel 04.26.13 @ 2:22 pm

Did Lennard Freeman get out of town without
committing ?

If so, he’s going somewhere else as well I would imagine.

Comment by EMel 04.26.13 @ 2:24 pm

Joseph Uchebo averaged 12.3 ppg and 12.3 rpg in his only season in JUCO.

Yes, that’s right he scored the same amount of points as he grabbed rebounds. Exactly.

If nothing else we need a backup center as let’s pretend Zanna’s light is finally going to come on and he doesn’t disappear when the conf. games start(which would be a first). He can’t play all 40 minutes and he will be in foul trouble ocasionnally.

Most of the experts are saying if you’re PITT, you take the chance on Uchebo, as ALL of these kids are chances. If we haven’t learned this by now with Sleepy, Diggs, Birch, Johnson, etc. when will you. Oy Vey !

Comment by EMel 04.26.13 @ 2:38 pm

Did DW have any players get arrested for drugs ?

Comment by EMel 04.26.13 @ 2:41 pm

EMel good points at this point i would even like to have had the one duquesne got .
you know the old saying a bird in hand is better
then 2 in the bush.
and yrs freeman has left with out signing.

Comment by FRANKCAN 04.26.13 @ 3:11 pm

Uchebo wasn’t playing in the JC tourney games at the end of the season, does anyone know why? I don’t think he has completed a season anywhere since he came to this country. I think it is sad that we are this desperate for some size inside. I remember Villanova doing pretty well with 4 guards.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 04.26.13 @ 4:20 pm

he played his first year had 13 points and 13 rebounds per game which is very good.
last year he was hurt and was healing a bad knee
they say he is better now.

Comment by FRANKCAN 04.26.13 @ 4:32 pm

when he came out of high school he was rated the in
top 100 ball players was rated 83rd best player i think could have went to ncs or kentucky.
but did not have the grades
this is what i remmber to lazy to go back and look it up.

Comment by FRANKCAN 04.26.13 @ 4:40 pm

Powered by WordPress ©

Site Meter