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October 17, 2013

Pitt was picked to finish sixth in the ACC this year. Seems about the right range. Upper-half, NCAA bid. Safely within two spots of where they might finish come the end of the season.

1. Duke (50)        805
2. Syracuse (3)   753
3. North Carolina (1)       668
4. Virginia            612
5. Notre Dame  608
6. Pitt    477
7. Maryland        473
8. Boston College             457
9. Florida State  334
10. NC State       332
11. Georgia Tech              311
12. Miami            224
13. Wake Forest               220
14. Clemson       141
15. Virginia Tech               65

Something that will take getting used to is that the ACC’s preseason All-ACC team is limited to just five players. No 6th man. No 2d and 3d and honorable mention. Just the projected best five players. No surprise that Pitt had no player on the list.

Now in case you think it will be an adjustment simply to the styles (and officiating) in the ACC, there is the added component of new rules changes/slash emphasis across the NCAA this year.

A video was sent out to all Division I coaches last week with all the rules changes. Art Hyland, the secretary rules editor of the NCAA men’s basketball rules committee, highlighted the proper enforcement of hand-checking rules, which has been moved from a guideline into the official rule book.

“It requires fouls to be called when such action occurs against the player with the ball,” Hyland said.

These rules include:

• Keeping hand or forearm on an opponent.

• Putting two hands on an opponent.

• Continually jabbing an opponent by extending an arm or placing a hand or forearm on the opponent.

• Using an arm bar to impede the progress of a dribbler.

NCAA director of officials John Adams told ESPN.com that it will take time for coaches, players and officials to adjust. The changes could well result in an increase of fouls early in the season and also could force star players to the bench with foul trouble.

Not to mention a lot of yelling and complaining by coaches — even the ones who are supporting this — about the calls when they go against their players. The hand-checking will be the biggest deal. A lot of teams, especially those that like to press have players constantly reaching out and extending hands to try and slow or direct the opposing player.

There’s also yet more tweaking to the block/charge rule. One that favors the block over the charge and hopefully addresses flopping more.

Another rule that should clearly benefit the offense and is likely to increase scoring is the block-charge call, which now states that a defensive player is not permitted to move into the path of an offensive player once he has begun his upward motion with the ball to attempt a field goal or a pass. Previously, the player had to be in legal guarding position when the offensive player lifted off the floor.

“There will be no more flopping,” [Kentucky Coach John] Calipari said.

Adams said that the referees get more than 90 percent of all calls correct, but that number was at about 65 percent last season with regard to block-charge calls.

“It’s a tough play and it happens incredibly quickly,” Adams said. “A big reason for the change was aimed to help the officials get the call right.”

Not only will it give the referees a little more time, but it should also favor the offensive player.

We will see how well they deal with flopping in the ACC when Duke is doing it and Mike Krzyzewski is screaming on from his bench at the refs. New Pitt basketball beat writer for the P-G, Paul Zeise talked to ACC coaches about the new rules. Jamie Dixon downplayed the changes and thinks scoring won’t be that much of a jump simply because defenses are so much better.

“Teams would have to adjust, no question, but it is not going to change things a lot,” Dixon said. “The defenses are better, the players are quicker and stronger. When you are quicker and stronger and more versed in scouting and more aware of what the other team does, it is going to help the defense.

“And more teams are zoning and, if you move back the 3-point line, more teams will zone and, if you zone, there will be less possessions not more — all those things factor in. The charge is a significant change, but the rule really hasn’t changed. It is matter of getting the call right.”

There’s some truth there. There aren’t many coaches left that strictly embrace only one style of defense. Gone are most of the Bobby Knights who felt that if you played anything but man-to-man defense you had already lost. Most coaches expect to use adjust their defense during games and are willing to do so.

Most of the mid-majors that surprise in March are built on the back of playing a better defense. Not offense. It’s part of what made Florida Gulf Coast so exciting and different last year. They were shocking teams with a relentless offense. Usually you don’t see that because the players aren’t skilled enough scorers.

And Coach Dixon not only has some doubts about how the rules will be enforced, he is trying to protect his team.

“I think people saying that [rules changes will hurt Pitt] are just putting that out there and working the officials already,” Dixon said Wednesday at ACC Media Day. “They say they are going to do this every year, they talk about cleaning up in the post, cleaning up the drives, getting better on block/charge calls. When have we not heard about this?

“We will see if they are going to call it. We’ll see. You can’t tell me they are all of the sudden going to start calling it differently. If they call fouls on defense, then, yeah, it will increase scoring, but they will need to stick with it.”

How wonderfully cynical.

In other ACC Media Day hype, there is the mantra of the “Best Conference — EVER!!!!!!!!

I don’t say this often, but god bless Syracuse Coach Jim Boeheim for being the one to pump the brakes on this

…Swofford said of the expanded conference that includes former Big East powers Pitt, Notre Dame and Syracuse. “The competition within the league will be brutal. And I mean that in a very positive sense.”

The 15 ACC coaches, including Hall of Famers Jim Boeheim of Syracuse, Mike Krzyzewski of Duke and Roy Williams of North Carolina, own a combined seven national titles, appearances in 23 Final Fours and 15 national championship games.

“I’m not sure anybody understands the gravity of what’s happening,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. “This is special.”

Boeheim cautioned that conference greatness is judged not by coaching resumes but rather by star power on the court.

The Big East, Boeheim said, was built on the backs of Patrick Ewing, Pearl Washington and Chris Mullin and not John Thompson, Boeheim and Lou Carnesecca.

“We sometimes forget the key to any team and any league is players,” Boeheim said. “What are players interested in? Not what fans are interested in. That’s different. Not what coaches or commissioners are interested in. What are high school kids looking at? What do they want? That’s a recruiting tool. That’s something that does matter.”

Seriously, Boeheim won media day just with this comment.

Don’t retire anytime soon, Boeheim. We need the cranky, old uncle.





- the 3 new BE teams are in the Top 6, if Lville was eligible this year, it would be 4 of top 7

- Swofford calling the conference Best Ever is no suprise; you may remember that when Mia, VT and Bc joined, he proclaimed that the ACC would have both the best FB and BB conferences.

and immediately, Mia and FSU collapsed FB; and Md, Wake and NC St collapsed in BB.

Comment by wbb 10.17.13 @ 9:26 am

The Big East has had several seasons with a more awesome cast of teams than what this years ACC looks to field. Compared to the 11 NCAA team Big East group a few years ago this league looks soft. We have at best an average Pitt team and could challenge for the top 4. I would be surprised if we don’t win at least 10 games in conference, and Syracuse is going to have cake walk compared to what they normally deal with.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 9:34 am

What happened to Miami, I thought they were on the rise?

We lose Adams and are still 6th, what if?

If Zanna and Patterson don’t get more consistent and if Young is not as advertised, it will be 10th.

Comment by gc 10.17.13 @ 9:35 am

gc, 6th is too low, Notre Dame always beats us but finishes below us and Virginia is somebodies ACC imagination gone wild. The ACC because of the “gushers” at ESPN has always been overtouted ,and when our average Pitt team finishes near the top I won’t be at all surprised. Weren’t we picked 9th in the Big East last year?

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 9:44 am

In 09, BE had 3 of the 4 No. 1 seeds in NCAA. 5 of the Elite 8, and 2 of the Final 4. The league’s NCAA record (W-L) will most likely never be broken.

In 85, BE had 3 of the Final 4 .. and the title gae was Nova vs GTown.

Comment by wbb 10.17.13 @ 9:47 am

Still not convinced, we have no proven scorer, and Adams was a force defensively and with rebounds. The year before Adams we could not stop anyone from driving the lane.

I hope you are right, but I am going to wait until they show me.

Comment by gc 10.17.13 @ 9:52 am

gc, Dixon has been showing us for ten years now, relax we will be fine.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 9:59 am

i said last year when i read abought these changes
that it would hurt pitt becuse pitt is based on its D and i will stick to what i said.
i think pitt will be in world of hurt in the ACC games unless it changes it style of play.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 10:37 am

As I said before. If JD gets this team to more than 10 ACC wins, I will personally start the building of a statue to him outside the Pete!

Comment by Dan 72 10.17.13 @ 11:27 am

I think that Miami played last year with 4 or 5 Seniors in their rotation.

Comment by HbgFrank 10.17.13 @ 11:41 am

@Dan72

Great. But, please do not make the statue with Hokie stone.

H2P Behead the Monarchs!!

Comment by pmdH2P 10.17.13 @ 11:52 am

Dan 72, I fail to see the reason for your skepticism. Dixon has won 10,nine out of the last 10 years in the Big East. This years ACC conference looks about the same or even a little softer than what we have faced for the last decade. It isn’t like we are entering some magical basketball zone that we will struggle to be able to compete in. I think the opposite is true , they had better step it up to play us. The ACC only put 4 teams in the tourney last year and I don’t remember any of them in the Final 4. With a mediocre Pitt team last year we finished in the top 4 of the Big East while playing about even with Syracuse the consensus challenger for this years ACC title. The Big East was way tougher than the ACC last year. We won 11 there and could do that or better this year.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 11:55 am

Hey Guys….. I was live and in color last night at a Syracuse Bar that has flip night. Pay a $5 cover and flip a coin and if you guess the right call heads/tails you get a free beer. We were 1 for 4. No Vegas in my future. Saw about 5 football players getting lit up FYI. Shots, Drinks, etc. No big deal we all did it but my thoughts were just a few days away from a game I’d prefer not to be lit up and hung over. Anyway they were big boys and they did some serious drinking. I’m in my mid 30′s and after the bar getting ridiculously Peter’s Pub type crowded we went to another bar a little better suited for a mid 30′s person. LOL

Comment by Upittbaseball 10.17.13 @ 12:08 pm

Home wins 1Md,2WF,3Clemson,4 either Duke, Virginia or Syracuse,5 FSU,6 NCST Road wins 1GT,2Miami,3VT,4Clemson That’s 10 wins and not some extreme optimistic projection by any means. There are 2 or 3 more possible wins.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 12:25 pm

Wow, I just posted on an earlier thread that I thought the new rules would be a good blog post, great minds think alike!! LOL
I fear JD is whistling past the graveyard on the rules changes. I also think he’s making a huge mistake challenging the officials, suggesting that they ultimately won’t call games in accordance with the new rules. Maybe he’s right, but I don’t think so this time.
Scoring last year across the nation was at historic lows and TV can’t possibly be happy with that trend. TV runs college and professional sports and (with deference to Rev. George) “their will be done”.
JD better have a Plan B if he thinks Pitt doesn’t have to adjust his style.
This could be a great opportunity for a slasher like Newkirk and scorers like Johnson. What they lack in defense can be more than made up for by taking advantage of the new rules. Robinson’s defense was primarily based on being physical on the outside using his body and hand checks. He may be in foul trouble in the first 10 mins of the game if he doesn’t adjust and more importantly, what does he offer if his defensive talents are limited by the rules.
I see these changes as extremely important and potentially detrimental to Pitt. Does Pitt have a team capable of scoring in the 70′s and 80′s? I don’t think so and I’m in agreement with Frankcan.

Comment by Taxing Matters 10.17.13 @ 12:42 pm

I digress: Saw “Adams” above and couldn’t resist checking out how Steven is doing.

Here are some video clips:

link to newsok.com

Seems he’s coming along and may make the team.

Comment by steve1 10.17.13 @ 1:07 pm

Taxing and Frankcan, Forgive me if I am not surprised that you two suggest Pitt will struggle because they don’t embrace an NBA style of play. Do you think coach K, a Bobby Knight disciple, doesn’t face every bit as much of a challenge with the rule changes as Dixon. To hear you guys tell it , it’s as if they changed the rules to stop Dixon. All decent defensive guards use their hands to hold off penetration and so what. These rules aren’t being instituted to enhance scoring as you suggest either. The rules are to make officiating easier and hopefully more accurate. I bet we hardly even notice a difference in officiating in the ACC and if there is any adjust to it in about 10 minutes. You guys come up with more reasons why Dixon should change his style than most of us could dream of and you never acknowledge that he continues to do great without changing much at all. If you actually think James Robinson is going to be fouling out early if we don’t start scoring 80+ a game you are delusional.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 1:07 pm

spiritofsection22
you may be right abought pitt wining in the Acc and
i might be wrong we will see.
BUT you are wrong abought the rule change it was made to enhance scoring becuse pople were bored with the games TV wants more scoring.
read the story from last year it was all abought the lack of scoring which was at a all time low.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 1:31 pm

SOS, please be fair, I specifically mentioned how much I respect JD for his history of conference wins and no where in my post did I suggest, even remotely, that this was exclusively an anti-Pitt or anti-JD rule. Please don’t put words in my post.
If you watched the ACC Media day telecast, your opinion above was contradicted by 93% of the ACC coaches (JD being the exception) who were interviewed about the rules changes. I think they have the inside knowledge since the NCAA sent officials to each team to explain the intent of the rules and how they will be implemented.
Please don’t misinterpret, I don’t think the season is already over and Pitt will lose every game or anything remotely close to this.
However, if you think this season will be business as usual and that these new rules will have no impact whatsoever on how NCAA basketball is played then I suggest you sir are delusional.
Facts are facts, scoring is at historically low levels and TV is not happy about the lack of offense. They pay too much to the NCAA to not have a say in how the game evolves. Football and hockey rule changes are the most recent examples of how TV will insist at all costs on an increase in scoring and you and I’m afraid JD are ignoring these rule changes are the peril of the Pitt program.

Comment by Taxing Matters 10.17.13 @ 1:31 pm

Sorry, my credit to JD for his commendable history of winning BE games was in my earlier post not the one above, my mistake.
Also, I think these rules are as much to address the success Wichita St had as it is directed at teams like Pitt. I offer this just as an example of why I don’t think its an anti-Pitt conspiracy.

Comment by Taxing Matters 10.17.13 @ 1:42 pm

Evidently the media doesn’t think that the Big East’s physical style of play is going to have a deleterious affect on the new teams joining the league picking all three in the top six…I think that Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame (and Louisville next year) will have more of an affect on how the ACC plays rather than the league affecting how they play…

Comment by Leaseman 10.17.13 @ 1:46 pm

I have less concern about style of play than quality of players.

Comment by gc 10.17.13 @ 1:55 pm

Taxing, There is no peril other than the one you guys are dreaming of. I might have overstated your position, but I thought you suggested specifically James Robinson fouling out in 10 minutes and us not scoring 80 points being a concern. I find both assertions to be absurd. I don’t care what the ACC coaches have to say because other than Coach K and Virginia’s coach I don’t think most of them are worth a shxx. Chances are our underpenetrating guards will benefit as much as anyone from the proposed changes, unless they have figured out away to apply the rules to us but not for us. By lumping you in with my response to Frankcan I might have overstated your criticism level for Dixon but if you have followed our running jabfest both he and Emel think we should turn into UNLV east. Anything resembling defense and controlled offense (Dixon’s style) should be irradicated from the game and we should embrace a style that attracts the elite All American types rather than the plodding over achievers who can’t win the national championship, but might actually be decent people. I get way to emotional about Pitt hoops and mean no disrespect. Dixon takes way too much heat here and I usually always over defend him. I enjoy your input and we don’t have to ever agree.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 2:02 pm

Leaseman you seam to make a good point except i cant see the rest of the ACC changeing there style of play for the 4 new teams or the ref calling games to suit the new teams.
i think the new teams will have to get in step with the way things are done in the ACC.
and they wont let the rough ways of the big east be the norm and the rule changes will be put in place to stop rough D which is are bread and butter.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 2:08 pm

Leaseman, I think there is merit in your suggestion. I don’t think officiating is based on some cast iron guideposts, I see it more as an evolving art being swayed by fan reaction and coaching/ player personalities within a standard set of rules. I am sure we will see some games when we feel the refs take from us and I bet we see a few where we catch some breaks. What else is new. The ACC doesn’t have any venue tougher than us at WVU or for that matter a Saturday night at Marquette. We can imagine some square headed red necked ACC decision maker laying down the law against the evil Big East newcomers at the officiating meeting but is that reality or just the fear of something new. The ACC is now a melting pot and there will be give and take.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 2:25 pm

gc, great point

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 2:27 pm

spiritofsection22 yes unlv east would be nice you speak the truth that is what i would like.
it would be a lot of fun will we get it no but i can dream .
but as i said may be you are right but i do think we will have to change to the ACC way and the new rules to think we wont is not real thinking we may still win i have said you might be right but we will still have to change some of are ways the ACC wont change for us why should they.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 2:34 pm

Frankcan, UNLV is counting on Birch to carry them this year and they have a Mcdonalds All American recruit too but two key starters transferred and there best player left for the NBA. They are in worse shape than us but they don’t have to worry about any defensive rule changes. I would give up French fries for a month to see them play us.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 2:44 pm

spirtofsection 22 i was thinking of the unlv of years ago as i thought you were a stye of play not the team that is there now i dont even know how they play now.
a style of play not the team run and gun might be better up and down the court fast paced.
fun basketball the kind that has you on your feet screaming for more not unlv of now.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 2:54 pm

Not in the pre-season top 25 but are mentioned in other teams receiving votes: link to espn.go.com

not bad for a team with a lotttt of new faces

Comment by MikePITT 10.17.13 @ 3:02 pm

Frankcan, They actually play a similar style now. They are like a low rent North Carolina. Being named the Runnin Rebels kind of forces them into that style. Tark the Shark lives on today. I grew up in Mercer County, Sharon Pa , and we had a legendary high school coach named Ed McCluskey win about 7 state championships at tiny Farrell High school in old section 3. His teams played defense, rebounded , and rarely lost. That is where I developed my love of hoops and I prefer that style. It isn’t as pretty but it allows the team with the greatest desire and heart to play above there level of talent. Phi Slamma Jamma Houston vs. NC State so to speak. I am sorry but I think my taste is more evolved than you and Emel and the other run and gun advocates. I guess in my own backward way I am a snob. There is no accounting for taste and I forgive you both for your lack of it.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 3:14 pm

@Comment by MikePITT 10.17.13 @ 3:02 pm

How high will Pitt be ranked when they roll into Syracuse 16-0 on January 18th?

Not that this is a great team, there just isn’t much on the schedule to keep that from happening. Games against Texas Tech and Cincy @ the Garden? A road game @ NC State?

Comment by BostonsCommon 10.17.13 @ 3:23 pm

@Boston Common, Not as high as we will be after we dispose of the Orange in the dome.

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 3:25 pm

Since when has Jamie Dixon known squat about basketball?
Just kidding.
BUT.
JD is posturing in front of a new crowd of coaches.
IMO, how well or poorly Pitt does in years 1 & 2 will determine if he continues to coach bug time basketball.
I dont see Dixon leaving for another big time job, but I do see him leaving coaching and not “dying in the gym” so to speak.

Comment by Sfpitt 10.17.13 @ 3:41 pm

spiritofsection22 or perhaps you have none and we do
but to each there own but are game would more exciting .

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 3:43 pm

Spirit. My reasons as follows:
Speed
Zanna
Quickness
Zanna
Ball handling against fast pace game and ACC guards
Zanna
ACC tenacious full court press
Zanna

We’ll check back at mid season!

Comment by Dan 72 10.17.13 @ 3:48 pm

BB sucks and shouldn’t be talked about until after we win the Orange Bowl.

Repeat after me – PITT is a football (and women’s volleyball) school and not a basketball school! Damn, every year I have to tell you guys this.

Unless of course Tyler Boyd plays point guard, then it’s a different story.

Comment by Reed 10.17.13 @ 3:55 pm

Frankcan, If your style produces more exciting games than NC State or Hoosiers I’m all for it. Meanwhile who starts this year ,who plays ,and who sits?

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 3:56 pm

Dan 72, I’m not sure I understand your post. Am I right to assume that you are concerned about the speed of the guards in the ACC ? Am I correct to assume you think Zanna can’t cut it in the middle or is too slow?

Comment by spiritofsection 22 10.17.13 @ 4:04 pm

spiritofsecction22 i dont know who starts or who plays i dont know if we have good players or not i will have to see the new kids play a few games first
i dont think much of what is left from last year
except the point guard .
it all depends on how the young kids turn out we still have no SG the centers are unproven in fact till i see the youg kids play i would say we dont have much of a team at all to many maybes

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 4:38 pm

Reed do you think Boyd could be hurt worse then he is saying.
do you think the hits have been worse on him then he expected is it welcome to D1 ball.
or was it just savage haveing a bad game

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 4:50 pm

@Reed, I was just over looking at the football side and noticed someone posting that the ODU Monarchs are a worthy opponent and to be respected. On that basis I think it likely that there is time to checkin on the hoop side occasionally and still not miss out on the Orange Bowl reservations.

Comment by spiritofsection22 10.17.13 @ 5:12 pm

The Blue Gold scrimmage is at 7 at the Pete tomorrow night and it will be televised on the Pitt channel.

Comment by spiritofsection22 10.17.13 @ 5:17 pm

Wow, don’t think I’ll be happy with this.

I’m the guy that gets ticked when there is a hand check called way out between the top of the key and the half court line.

Don’t like it called on either team, not a homer, slows the game down for no reason what so ever.

A small hand check from 40′ away from the hoop.

Come on.

Comment by Dan 10.17.13 @ 5:38 pm

@spirit, good point, they may be a better than average FBS program.

Upsets occaisionally, but these are the types of teams, good or bad, that BCS conferences dispose of without quarter 90% of the time.

We have had our hands full with them over the years.

They may have a good QB and another athlete or two, but overall, they are much smaller, and not nearly as fast.

(I’m not disrespecting DII players, they are some fantastic athletes, I say that sincerely, they were usually the top guy at their high school. Only comparing to Div 1 guys.)

Faster players, bigger players all the way around, if not blown out, these games must be one comfortably to say we are improving and progressing.

I’m pretty positive, but if we have a 21-20 with two minutes to go barn burner against Old Dominion, that will not be a good sign.

The players, the coaches not being good enough to prepare the team, the trainers not having them in shape etc. etc.

We should win handily. If not, well, I’m sure we’ll see some S.O.P.’s on here, and I certainly won’t be one to call them out.

Pitt 42 ODU 17 H2P!!

Comment by Dan 10.17.13 @ 5:47 pm

Big Game involving future Coastal opponents tonite:

#9 Miami vs North Carolina.

3 ACC teams in the Top 10 this week.

Could make a case for the ACC being the 2nd best conf. in football this year.

Quite a jump and just in time……cause we joined
:-(

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 6:30 pm

@Emel, I’m thinking that the hoops side looks softer than anticipated and was curious what you think.

Comment by spiritofsection22 10.17.13 @ 6:37 pm

I’d love to see Boyd line up in the backfield in this ODU game.

Not so much to run out of that formation.

No, it’s all the things you could do with him and try to confuse enemy defenses.

You could have him lined up as a Halfback and then put him in motion to either side of the field, what a potential nightmare that could be for enemy defenses.

You could also use him for swing passes, which amount to long handoffs. A Very safe play for a QB who has trouble with short passes.

If he’s coming out of the backfield on a pass route, he’d more than likely be covered by an enemy LB. Can you say mismatch.

Football these days is exploiting and making mismatches, which is what the Spread offense is all about. Even in a pro-set we could use Boyd more in making and exploiting mismatches, rather than just using him as a WR.

We need to get him the ball more. These are some ways how. Rather than having maybe a couple completions when Savage isn’t being chased around and/or sacked waiting for the WR’s to finish running their routes.

I can’t really get into to thinking about hoops much at this point. Sheesh it’s mid October !

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 6:38 pm

@ sos22

Well now that you asked. Soft?

You mean the schedule or the team ? lol

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 6:40 pm

@ emel,I was thinking the ACC looks soft compared to what I had anticipated.

Comment by spiritofsection22 10.17.13 @ 6:45 pm

I should be excited about tonight’s ACC matchup, right?

But to me it’s like Rutgers vs. UConn.

I think hoops will more likely light my fire.

Comment by steve1 10.17.13 @ 6:49 pm

@ steve1

yep you need to get excited. 2 future opponents, who are way ahead of those 2 scrubs when it comes to National Name Recognition.

Nobody anywhere in the country other than Piscataway & Storrs gives a hoot about them, nor does anyone watch them.

Uconn was only on Thurs nites when they faced us.
Since we were the big TV draw. Same thing with Butgers ! PITT is it baby !

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 6:58 pm

Steve 1, I haven’t been able get very interested in football at all this year. I normally go to a half dozen high school games a year and I haven’t seen any. The Steelers put me to sleep and I work Saturday afternoons and miss the Pitt games. Something is missing.

Comment by spiritofsection22 10.17.13 @ 7:00 pm

@ sos22

Just got done reading all the above posts, well pretty much all.

I never suggested we become UNLV east, I just mentioned that UNLV was having a lot of success recruiting pretty good players from the East.

If we were to emulate a team out West, I’d want us to emulate Arizona. Naturally. :-)

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 7:00 pm

Whatever. Gotta love the Tar Heel unis in either case.

Comment by steve1 10.17.13 @ 7:06 pm

As far as the schedule, yes I agree.

I as posted several times last year and the year before, the ACC hasn’t been that good the last several seasons. I believe Chas or Reed wrote a blog or two on this subject relating to their limited NCAA bids the last several seasons. I think only 4 last year and 3 the year before.

What is different about the ACC is the perception of the teams/schools than some BigEast teams/schools. On a national level for example, Virginia and Maryland are looked upon in higher esteem than say, Rutgers and USF. As both of those teams(Uva & MD) have had some great success in hoops in years past. Maryland won the NC in ’02 or ’01 and Virginia had Ralph Sampson, Jeff Lamp, Gus Gerard, players like that and are making a resurgence lately with Coach Bennett who by the way plays a plodding offense, defense type game similar to PITT. Whereas Rutgers hasn’t been a hoop power since the mid ’70′s and USF never.

So even ACC teams that haven’t been great recently (like Wake Forest & GT) have been great at some point in the recent past.

So that perception of those schools, even though they’re down presently, isn’t totally tainted like those of some of the BigEast lower tier teams.

I don’t think anything should stop PITT from starting off where we left off in the BigEast.

The last 10 years the BigEast has been by far the better conference than the ACC and we were “one of the BIG DOGS”, in a Big Dog conf.

And btw the ACC doesn’t play as uptempo as they use to. All college scoring is down and that includes the ACC.

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 7:15 pm

Emel, In the same post you suggested “we run run run” , so we could attract talent like UNLV. Forgive me if I thought you were suggesting we copy them if that isn’t what you meant. They folded cheap last year too and will be hard pressed to accomplish much this year. Kehm Birch is now their go too guy. I would love to get a crack at them come tourney time.

Comment by spiritofsection22 10.17.13 @ 7:17 pm

lol only if we could only get Tim Grgurich to come back and install the Amoeba that Tark ran with Gurg’s in 1990 and 1991.

Those UNLV teams were great to watch !

GrandMaMa Larry Johnson. Stacey Augman, Greg Anthony, Anderson Hunt. etc.

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 7:28 pm

EMel, do you know why Grgurich blew Pitt off?

They offered him $25K to coach the next year.

Comment by steve1 10.17.13 @ 7:39 pm

EMel i like Tim Grgurich the Amoeba was something
great .
wish i could turn back the clock to the good old days.
what fun times iron city beer chicks fast cars good music chicks bottles of JD .
bar fights chicks it is hell to get old
now its milk cookies cakes pies stakes and the easy chair,

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 7:52 pm

lol Frankie,

Yep yep. Back in the day I would have been at The Wooden Keg on Thursday nite for all you could drink beer and all you could pick up girls. haha

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 9:20 pm

Big upset brewing in Chapel Hill.

3 picks of the Miami QB, place is as loud I can remember Keenan Stadium being.

Listening to it on the Tarheel Radio network. lol

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 9:21 pm

@steve1

wow only $25 K, didn’t know that. Thought for sure they fired Gurgs.

We were eyeing the Bigeast about then and they had to start recruiting NYC and other parts of the country. Up and till then we had been recruiting mostly local kids and a few from Ohio like Larry Harris.

Chipman came in with Calipara and Greenberg, etc to launch us into the BigEast.

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 9:24 pm

I wish Pitt were more like a football school like back in the 80′s but it seems we are a basketball school right now. Every game a sell out, the zoo, and multiple winning seasons and tournament trips. And oh yeah, trophies! That’s what it takes! Yes, we want more from Dixon and I do believe he will get us our final four and possible championship. But the football team isn’t even comparable right now. I love them but we just aren’t there. I mean, how many Pitt fans are scared of losing to ODU this week? I am! After Bowling Green and YSU you tend to think that way. Sorry so negative but the truth hurts! Currently we are a hoops school!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 10.17.13 @ 9:26 pm

if the tarheel win it will be first acc win of the year for them they are 1 and 4 right.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 9:27 pm

Anybody remember the blond chick bartender with the big boobs in the cellar bar at the Keg in the late 70′s, early 80′s ?

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 9:29 pm

right FRankie, they are winless in the ACC.

This is a tough conference, there aren’t many weeks off (if any). As Miami is finding out tonite.

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 9:30 pm

Sweet Caroline so true.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 9:32 pm

@ Sweet C

Well they have to invest more money in the football program, just as they made that decision in the early 2000′s with the basketball program.

Money, money, money.

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 9:32 pm

We get a few more Tyler Boyds, that would help bigtime.

What’s everyone’s opinion on my suggestion of putting him in the backfield, not to run with, but to move him around the field from side to side, like a chess piece in creating huge matchup problems for the enemy defense.

Got to get him the ball more and if you can’t protect the QB good enough, put Boyd in the backfield for swing passes, screen passes, which are basically long handoffs. Safe plays as well.

He needs more touches per game !

Thoughts ??????

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 9:38 pm

QB Adam Bertke broke his hand out for the season
pitt 247 says dravon henry might go to WVU
And shi mckenzie to V Tec.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 9:56 pm

let boyd play RB this game and throw in some wild cat plays would you like that EMel.

Comment by FRANKCAN 10.17.13 @ 9:59 pm

idk (i don’t know) about that(as far as the wildcat). He’s only 175 or 180 and 6’2″. I’m sure he could do it, but you want to get him in one on one situations, which is why I think you can place in the backfield pre-snap and then you can have in motion, either to the right or the left which really keeps the enemy defense off balance.

You can then throw to him swing passes while he’s on the move. Or throw him a screen pass.

There’s just a whole lot of options you can do with him to get him in open field situations.
More touches !

Rather than just relying on pass protection, holding up and Savage making an accurate throw on Deep bombs and the occasional ‘jet’ sweep.

I was under the impression PC is an offensive creative guru. Let’s see some creativity !!!

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 10:11 pm

This pre-snap set of Boyd in the backfield also allows you to just put him in motion to a WR slot position and use him like he’s being used currently.

Games like this one coming up and the Navy game should be games they work on some of this.

You HAVE the give the enemy defense something more to worry about than just long bombs to Boyd or Street. The once a game jet sweep and 10-20 off tackle plays.

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 10:20 pm

Any WPA player that goes to WVU is an idiot for so many reasons listing them all here would take up too much space.

I can’t believe and top WPA goes to WVU… and if they do… seriously, they have a thought process such that we would not have wanted them anyway.

Comment by Pittscript 10.17.13 @ 10:30 pm

wow Miami had over 540 yards of offense tonite.

Game would been a rout without the 4 UNC picks.

UNC’s TE was very good, Ebron or something.

Is PITT ever going to get any of these TE’s we have more involved in the game ?

Again it give’s the enemy defense just more to worry about.

This offense could be so much more, imo.

Look at what little old Ball State’s offense did to UVA’s defense.

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 10:39 pm

As far as this pre-season media poll for ACC hoops.

Just some more disrespect for the Panthers.

Seriously, Virginia and ND are picked higher than us.

Based on what. Neither school over the last 10 years can hold a candle to PITT basketball.

Sheesh we’ve been a number 1 seed in the Big Dance twice in the last 4=5 years.

If I’m JD I’m using this media disrespect BIGTIME

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 10:43 pm

Some of you guys think we’re a basketball school.

Apparently that thought hasn’t yet landed on the National Media.

We have come here (the ACC) to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And we’re all OUT of bubblegum !

Comment by EMel 10.17.13 @ 10:53 pm

With those new hand checking rule changes I would foul out of a pick-up game in 5 defensive possessions.

Comment by tacocat 10.18.13 @ 1:28 am

EMel – I wrote about the possibility of moving Boyd to RB in his SO or JR years after he has a few years in the PITT weight room. However, that was back during summer camp when we thought he’d take some time to acclimate to WR. Obviously he hit the ground running as a receiver and he’ll most probably stay there.

As to Paul Chryst being an offensive guru – it was never based on complex plays or multiple positions for his players at Wisconsin. It was based on the fact that he could take ‘average’ (according to recruiting rankings) players and get them to play well within his systems. Maximizing their talents in other words and as he did that his offenses scored a lot of points.

He’s using that same template at PITT so far also. I really think that PC inherited a rather mediocre football team when he got here. He did a great job designing an offense the really fit the strengths and weaknesses of his players, especially Sunseri at QB. But other than Sunseri and an injured Ray Graham the offense didn’t have a lot of play makers or much of an established OL.

Street has been a solid contributor and Boyd showed up well but really these offensive players are just regular talents for the most part and have been playing that way. That isn’t to say the other players are bad or anything, just that as a whole the QB play hasn’t allowed other players to be that involved in the offense – TEs for an good example.

Comment by Reed 10.18.13 @ 2:18 am

Emel, We need Boyd for at least two more years, let’s not get him killed this year. He took two nasty hits last week, we need him to make it through the season. We only have 3 decent options at Wide Receiver. Other reason not to do what you suggest is we don’t want him in pass protection and the recent weak play of the O-line.

What we need is a healthy Conner and some rollout throws to the tight ends. Also some better footwork on the O-line.

Dixon needs to work his magic this year. How does he stop Zanna and Patterson’s offensive disappearing act? Who can he rely on for a 3 point shot? Does anyone play defense? How do the new guys fit? Will a freshman power forward be enough?

I think we are getting the respect we deserve an maybe then some.

Comment by gc 10.18.13 @ 8:47 am

Spirit – I am not concerned about the guards and speed in the ACC. I am concerned about Pitt’s lack of both. I live in ACC Land and have followed it closely for 30 years or so. Robinson simply does not match up with any PG’s in the ACC and there is no way for JD to hide it.

Zanna is a plague on offense. He has no natural offensive moves and cannot creat a shot. He gets out of position on rebounds and generally gums up the works for Pitt’s offense. While other players have been playing BBall since they were 5, Zanna never had that opportunity an thus what he does is not natural for him. He has to “think” on every offensive set and when you “think” rather than react in BBall you are dead.

EMel – Boyd would get killed playing RB behind this offensive line!

I do not consider N Caroline a “win” after last night’s game. A shame they could not hold on and beat Miami.

Great week of football starting Sunday in B’more.
Wearing my Pitt shirt next week all week and my Steeler’s shirt (and drawing many bad looks and sneers) for the weekend.

Comment by Dan 72 10.18.13 @ 8:48 am

North Carolina deserved to lose on their uniforms alone!

Carolina blue and white. Brand recognition all to yourselves, everyone knows you.

Looked like any other team trying to be trendy and trying to sell 500 jerseys.

Comment by Dan 10.18.13 @ 9:08 am

As much as I don’t care for Smug Smilin’ Steve and the loss of Pitt script, at least he hasn’t gone to some new garbage uni’s.

He could get rid of the white pants if I had my way, but at least we still look like a college football team, and not some futuristic transformer!!!

Comment by Dan 10.18.13 @ 9:10 am

“QB Adam Bertke broke his hand out for the season
pitt 247 says dravon henry might go to WVU
And shi mckenzie to V Tec.”

Bertke will be redshirted either way with Freebeck coming in and Voytik returning (I wouldn’t be surprised if Freebeck starts)so it’s not too concerning. Henry going to WVU doesn’t make sense, do they even send a defense on to the field? Doesn’t look like it most games…

Losing shai would be a big loss, but there are other RBs at his level that have Pitt on their short list. C.J. Leggett, Chris James, etc.

Unfortunately, I think this is a bit of an understatement. There are so many gaps in our recruting classes and in our talent level compared to the ACC teams we’re going up against.

“I really think that PC inherited a rather mediocre football team when he got here.”

Comment by PittHW 10.18.13 @ 10:40 am

I’m still going to miss the Garden’s. Semifinals on Friday night and Finals on Saturday night.

Got to get this ACC basketball tourney out of Mayberry ASAP! (If not Boeheim will start resembling Andy Griffin)

Comment by Pitt Fan In Atlanta 10.18.13 @ 1:50 pm

It will be at MSG very soon, you can see it coming. And coach K wants it to so it will happen! I agree! Nothing like watching a hoops tourney at that place! I really think we will surprise some people, Dixon will have a great coaching year and this whole acc thing will land us more and more recruits! Hail to Pitt! Hopefully we get it done this weekend and hopefully early! You can’t let these teams hang around. And on a personal note I teach wit about four odu grads so I better be able to show my face to work on Monday!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 10.18.13 @ 6:13 pm

Dan 72, Is it possible that your geographic situation has clouded your view as from my perspective both Zanna and Robinson should excel in the new ACC. I actually think it is likely we seriously threaten the top 4 in the conference with this group which admittedly isn’t one of Dixon’s most talented. Maybe you think a lot more of the ACC than I do because I haven’t been impressed by them for a few years now and look forward to playing their overated underbelly and am quite confident we can hang with their elite as well. I would just as soon be playing Virginia,Duke,and North Carolina as Georgetown, Marquette and Louisville. I would rather play BC,Vtech and Gtech than Cincinatti,UConn,and Villanova. Our kids will do just fine, and the overhyped ACC will have a harder time adjusting to us than we will to them.

Comment by spiritofsection22 10.21.13 @ 3:33 pm

Kenpom has Pitt as #20 in his preseason poll.

Comment by xfmrman 10.27.13 @ 4:43 pm

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