June 18, 2013

It was somewhat surprising to see James Robinson not make the final cut for the USA Basketball U19 squad. After all, Robinson was a member of the gold-medal winning U18 squad from last year. The U19 coaching staff was the same from the U18 squad. Yet Robinson was essentially beaten out for a roster spot by Elfrid Payton of Lousiana-Lafayette.

The U19 squad is only bringing four true guards. Marcus Smart of Oklahoma State was a lock. Nearly as much of a lock, Rasheed Sulaimon from Duke and Michael Frazier. Frazier just happens to be on Billy Donovan’s –the U19 head coach — Florida squad.

Robinson made it past the initial cut-down from 26 to 16. Guards like Rodney Purvis (NC State), Kris Dunn (Providence) and Javan Felix (Texas) were among the first to go. But on the final cut, the U19 coaches opted for guards that not only played defense, but were also scorers. Hence Ryan Arcidiacono of Villanova didn’t make the final cut either.

Robinson’s shooting — especially from outside — likely played a significant role in not making this squad. Except for Payton, all of the guards making the squad shot 3s at 40% or better. And while Payton’s 32.0% 3-point shooting isn’t far from Robinson’s 31.3%; Payton shot 47.5% overall compared to only 36.8% by Robinson.

It’s not all bad that Robinson will be on campus all summer. The Kentucky players all turned down even going to tryouts in the name of getting more time together in Lexington.

I think playing on the U19 squad would be beneficial, but with all the changes to the roster from this past year it really can’t hurt for Pitt’s starting point guard to get all the time possible with the new teammates. On and off-the-court.

Rivals is listing RB Dennis Briggs as a commit also.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 06.18.13 @ 7:33 pm

I’m as big of a Pitt homer as there is. That being said, if James Robinson is one of the top 12 under 19 players out there, then USA basketball is in trouble.

I like him as a player, but Pitt can’t win more than a game or two in a tourney with James as your #2 player. Heck, I was more impressed with Levance as a freshman. James is a nice player, but he is the definition of complimentary. He is a 4 year role player. The delusions of grandeur with him need to stop now.

Comment by Omar 06.18.13 @ 7:52 pm

i am looking at the pitt site and only at players
who have offers the site lists things like med intrest.
but that site does not say if they have a offer
the site i like lists if they have a offer not if they are intrested
i think it is panthet degest or panther lair i think it says front page

Comment by FRANKCAN 06.18.13 @ 8:05 pm

marcus panther lair were you are looking says schools in the running but it does not say if pitt has offered which is what is important panther digest on the outher hand tell you who pitt has made a offer to. you can have 10 schools in the running but if pitt has not offered it means nothing

Comment by FRANKCAN 06.18.13 @ 8:13 pm

Frank, I went to the Rivals site – also checked Scout, you get who the school is looking at, but if you click on the individual players name, it brings up his list and which schools on the list have offered. Both sites list more than 6 offers for DE’s. I didn’t pull up all the DT’s, but seems to be similar.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 06.18.13 @ 8:21 pm

“Dixon doesn’t strike me as the type to change, in fact I see him as extreme in his rigidity and very unlikely to change. I also think he would have little likelihood of success outside of what he already does.”

Well-stated. If what you write proves true again, we are in for a long season coming up.

Comment by TonyinHouston 06.18.13 @ 8:23 pm

I don’t know what to think of Dixon overall. I definitely think he is a good coach. When you say he’s not the type to change, I initially agreed with this, but when you think about it, maybe he’s just slow to change. I recall that when Howland/Dixon first came, their initial plan was to recruit shooters – which they did the first 2 years, but then became convinced that due to the physicality of the BE that they needed to change that. Throw in the zone that became fairly common last year, and it’s hard to say he won’t change. I think the troubles of the last 2 years is directly related to the lack of talent at the PG position, something you can certainly hold Dixon accountable for. But the last 2 years has definitely been the least talented PG play.

Comment by marcus of schaumburg 06.18.13 @ 8:31 pm

here is a good article on the Bertke kid…

link to

Comment by Pittscript 06.18.13 @ 9:00 pm

marcus i just went to panther digest and clicked on DE there were 5 pitt offers 3 had allready commited to outher schools so we only have 2 offers out for DE now i dont know what you are looking at.

Comment by FRANKCAN 06.18.13 @ 10:36 pm

Grimm is in.

Comment by sfpitt 06.19.13 @ 2:37 pm

I’m on Lane Avenue now and will be near the stadium around 2 pm on Thursday.
Pitt landed a bunch of recruits today and if we offered guys not looked at by other schools all I can say in return is DION!
he worked out very well indeed.

Comment by sfpitt 06.19.13 @ 2:40 pm

Dan83, You state Pitt should finish in the sweet 16 every year and final 4 occasionally based on the money invested in the program and facilities. You have already pointed out how little I know about basketball however , I know enough to realize that Pitt’s investment certainly wouldn’t qualify us for a Final 4 or even a sweet 16. Dixon as an example won’t be among the top 4 paid coaches in the ACC let alone the nation. The Pete is a great facility but it’s a 12,500 seat gym that only gets filled up for conference games if then. Dozens of programs spend more and provide more. Pitt simply doesn’t spend the kind of money you suggest they do. Spending money isn’t certain to produce a winner anyway, and your statement that we should expect top results based on our investment doesn’t hold water, or for that matter indicate that you should be commenting about other contributors basketball knowledge.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 06.20.13 @ 1:49 pm

On the subject of investment and revenue, I find Ed Obannon’s lawsuit against the NCAA very interesting. He is seeking reimbursement as a player based on moneys paid the NCAA for video game rights. These payments are hundreds of millions of dollars each year. Obannon maintains that the players should be due a portion of these moneys since their likenesses are depicted in these video games. The suit could become a class action and change the entire face of major college athletics. If they take away the revenue from the schools and give it to the players it will be like a damn break , and if you take the financial profit away from the schools the whole mess will come tumbling down. It might even be possible that one day we could see a return to legitimate amateur athletics.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 06.20.13 @ 3:42 pm

[…] final player cut to get the USA U19 roster down to 12 players. James Robinson, in a mild surprise, was not one of the final 12 players selected. But when Jerami Grant — sophomore Syracuse forward and Robinson’s former DeMatha High […]

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