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November 17, 2013

Sort of a grudge match for Howard since Pitt pasted them last year, 70-46. (Anyone buying it? No? Moving on.)

The Bison are at .500 at the moment. They may have been thrashed by Old Dominion and Harvard but they dominated other opponents.

A revamped men’s basketball team is off to a 2-1 start after starting the season last weekend in Burr Gymnasium. The Bison defeated Washington College 69-52 last Friday and routed Gwynedd Mercy University 83-66 on the following Sunday afternoon.

Howard has not won the first two games of the season in over a decade, and with 10 new precocious freshman, more wins hope to follow over the next four years.

Optimism about Howard basketball. It’s the end of times.

What else?

More about Howard. The Bison are in a complete roster overhaul, as indicated with 10 — count ‘emm 10 — freshmen.

[Howard Head Coach Kevin] Nickelberry applied a similar strategy to this year’s team.

“It’s easier long term to rebuild with freshmen than junior college transfers,” said Nickelberry, who was 23-69 in his first three seasons at Howard. “I knew the first few years it would be a little rocky, but we have to upgrade the talent.

“Even though they are talented, there’s going to be some days and nights and practices when it’s just not working.”

Howard is 0-2 on this road trip after blowout losses at Old Dominion (77-55) and Harvard (76-44). Sunday’s game against Pitt will be followed by another road game Thursday at Houston, followed by an even longer trip to Brookings, S.D., for two more games in the Legends Classic. Howard also visits USC in December.

“I picked the teams myself, who we wanted to play against, the type of teams we wanted to play,” Nickelberry said.

Howard is still a MEAC team, forced to help balance their entire athletic department budget as a rent-a-patsy team.

Derrick Randall was expected to provide some rebounding and someone to spell Mike Young and Talib Zanna in the frontcourt. He’s actually scoring a bit, which is a bonus. Yes, the opponents are not the strongest, but let’s try to stay positive.

The game is part of the Legends Classic. The game time is 5pm at the Pete. The only visual broadcast outlet is on ESPN3.com.





Need a good thrashing tonight after yesterday.

Comment by MikePITT 11.17.13 @ 3:38 pm

Savannah State was a MEAC team as well.

Pitt will be eating Bison for dinner. Goes good with mash potatoes and a nice Chianti. Maybe some
fatha beans. haha

Pitt wins by 30+ .

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 3:42 pm

Pitt won’t win by more than 28

Comment by wbb 11.17.13 @ 4:01 pm

Ballast Point Brewing Company Sculpin IPA. Hellz yeah.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 11.17.13 @ 4:49 pm

Can I just say, I HATE seeing the Pete 90% empty. I don’t care that it’s Sunday and that we’re playing Howard. You wanted to be a basketball school? Fine, you got your wish. But open up the goddamn arena and let the students in for free if it’s obvious that it’s gonna be an empty game. Jesus.

Comment by MikePITT 11.17.13 @ 5:03 pm

Does anyone know why Tim Nevertt (of the Pirates) is calling a Pitt game on WatchESPN

Comment by Lou G 11.17.13 @ 5:16 pm

Glad to hear Sculpin made it all the way to NYC, SilverPanther! There was a time when it was tough to even find it here in San Diego.

Comment by Pitt2Cali 11.17.13 @ 5:17 pm

Yummy….this Bison tastes good. Pass the Chianti please…! lol

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 5:48 pm

12 assists on 17 made baskets. 81% from the floor. 75% from behind the arc. Too many fouls and turnovers but otherwise a satisfying half. 11 players in the game so far and 8 of them have scored.

Comment by Pitt Dad 11.17.13 @ 5:49 pm

Nevrett has been doing bball games for a couple years now. He also used to do mountain west football & bball while he was in Colorado.

Comment by Nick 11.17.13 @ 5:50 pm

I’ve had it a few times on draft at bars, but this was a bottle I picked up at a bodega. Snagged it as soon as I saw it.

Well, Pitt just broke school record for FG% in a half. Howard REALLY stinks…Coach Dix toying with our versatility. Cam Wright played some very right-hand dominant point guard, Michael Young saw a couple minutes at center, I think Patterson played three positions…Most of the half we played man versus a tiny Howard team. A little sloppy now on the closeout to the shooter, but otherwise kicking some serious ass.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 11.17.13 @ 5:50 pm

81% shooting in the 1st half…I hope they come out with some intensity in the 2nd half. Easy for them to fall asleep here.

Belmont is beating N. Carolina. ND lost to Indiana St. Mich. St. is even with Iowa St. at the half. A lot more parity in hoops right now….

Comment by Jackagain 11.17.13 @ 5:50 pm

Pitt up 48-24 at mid-course.

Tarholes losing to Belmont mid 2nd half.

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 5:52 pm

Aaron Nwankwo even got in in the first half. Coach Dixon really looking at this game to see how deep the bench is.

Comment by Pitt Dad 11.17.13 @ 5:53 pm

8 ACC teams already have a loss.

BC who was picked above us,..is 0-3

All of which would lead one to believe, the 3 new BigEast teams are going to come in and possibly feast on some Southern Fried teams.

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 5:57 pm

@Emel…I see we don’t play N. Carolina until Feb. 15th. I wish we were playing them earlier.

Comment by Jackagain 11.17.13 @ 6:03 pm

And top it off with some Boston Cream Pie.

The next seating for Bison Braised in Dark Ale, begins shortly.

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 6:03 pm

Like to see Lamar score 30 points today, need to build up his confidence. We need a ‘go to’ guy this year. He’s got 18

Y with the trey !

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 6:09 pm

This kid Daniels has a nice shot.

Comment by Pitt Dad 11.17.13 @ 6:16 pm

That one guy for Howard has 17 of their 31 pts.
Somebody needs to guard him

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 6:18 pm

mass substitution by PITT….they must want Howard to come back next year…as a rent-a-win.

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 6:20 pm

Belmont beats the Holes after falling behind by 8 points with 2 minutes to go.

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 6:23 pm

Pitt wins by 30+ (as predicted) ;-)

Pitt 84
Howard the Bison 52

A good time and an excellent meal, had by all !

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 6:54 pm

It was a pleasure to watch the first half this afternoon! Pitt hitting, jumpers, three’ and FT’s. Outcome was obvious, but Howard is not a dog and they are going to win some games! After JR’s nice layup around 6:40 of the 2nd half would have liked for Talib to have gone to the floor on that loose ball. DJ’s drive in the 2nd half for the layup was sweet! He has such athleticism, long arms, strength, OMG he can do way more than 3′s. Work on your game son! Cam is doing his Dad proud, God bless him! Geeze Belmont beats UNC and ND looses. Everyone has to be pleased with all the newcomers. Hail to Pitt, win the LEGENDS! UPone

Comment by UPone 11.17.13 @ 7:06 pm

Easy MikePitt you don’t think the Black and Gold playing impacts Pete’s attendance? UPone

Comment by UPone 11.17.13 @ 7:11 pm

@Upone: No, I don’t. Students, on average, aren’t the ones attending the Steelers game, it’s regular folks with income that can afford to be there.
If you’re gonna have empty seats to an out-of-conference game, open it up to students. Charge them $5 but let them fill out the arena. It’s stupid to restrict student seating to the Zoo on nights when the administration knows that there will be 80+% empties.

Comment by MikePITT 11.17.13 @ 7:32 pm

Why does pitt. Basketball play bottom of the earth non conf garbage while teams in the top 25 play top 25 teams and challenge themselves. I cant tell you how many good tough games have helped theae top teams while we are playing gannon and IUP. Its embarrassing. Pad those wins Jamie.

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.17.13 @ 7:49 pm

Gannon would be an upgrade!

Comment by dinosaur 71 11.17.13 @ 8:18 pm

Cant see how opening the arena to students would help attendance when the designated zoo sections are not even full. Fact is it was a rainy sunday afternoon and the steelers were playing. Oh yeah, and we were playing Howard.

Comment by dinosaur 71 11.17.13 @ 8:23 pm

Newkirk wasn’t ready for prime time today. The Panthers looked better when Wright moved to the point when Robinson was out.

Comment by Howard 11.17.13 @ 8:27 pm

We have weak support. All teams play patsy games.
And I mean ALL. You’re supposed to be going to these home games to watch PITT play. As other Top 20 programs do.

Not who the f*ck we’re playing.

I use to go the games at Fitzgerald when I was a small kid, when we played CMU and other lightweights. I could care less about who they were playing…I went to see PITT play.

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 8:29 pm

Some of these supposed fans should just do us all a favor and just give up their tickets.

We don’t need them to show up against the UNC’s, Cuse’s, Duke’s, etc.

We need them for ALL the games !!!

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 8:31 pm

MikePITT the Pete is a perennial sellout! um, the point is some of the fine regular folks with the dough that in addition to owning Steeler tickets also own season Panther tickets. You cant resell sold seats for 5 bucks to students my friend.
Spitball you absolute piece of … what are you on about Gannon/ IUP. Pitt drew Howard as part of the LEGENDS championship. They also play noncon- Lehigh, Texas Tech, Stanford/ Houston, Cinncy, the City Game (familiar with tradition??) and Pedo State. Stick with commenting about ACC baseball stadiums, something you claim to know something about, NOT! Hail to Pitt, to he11 with any pukes. UPone

Comment by UPone 11.17.13 @ 8:32 pm

PPG did an interview with Dixon and story on the OOC schedule recently. It’s not schedule padding. Committee doesn’t look at overall wins. They look at RPI and probably straight SOS…One of the things that hurt us this year is that we got stuck with Penn St. as our ACC-Big 10 opponent…Anyway, as usual Pitt will have to make its’ bones in conference play.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 11.17.13 @ 8:33 pm

Lehigh on Wednesday, Texas Tech on Sunday, Stanford or Houston on Monday. No patsies this week.

Comment by Howard 11.17.13 @ 8:35 pm

You would think with all the new players PITT has the trendies would want to see them play. Yes/NO

Or do they only want to be ‘seen’ at the big games.

What jokes !

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 8:36 pm

Hopefully it’s Stanford Howard…lol

Comment by EMel 11.17.13 @ 8:38 pm

Actually it’s Texas Tech on Monday and Stanford or Houston on Tuesday.

Comment by Howard 11.17.13 @ 8:53 pm

Upone, you know zero about zero. Get a clue before you utter nonsense about your lack of sports acumen. You act like Lehigh, Texas Tech or Houston is any good? Last I checked the top programs played better competition to make them better. You know so we could actually win in March when it matters.

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.17.13 @ 9:48 pm

Attendance and the game day atmosphere would be so much better if we had an on campus arena. Oh wait…

Seriously though, the truth is 75% of college students couldn’t care less about athletics of any kind. We only have 14,000 undergrads. That means about 3,000 total possible students fans. Even if every single one of them was available/interested The Pete would still be 2/3 empty.

Pittsburgh (pro and college) fans are fickle and fair weathered. Always have been, always will be. Let’s not rewrite history.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 11.17.13 @ 10:02 pm

Upitt,

While I agree that I would like for Jamie Dixon to schedule a more aggressive non-con, you picked the wrong day to debate it since a ranked ND just lost to Indiana State at home and a ranked NC just lost to Belmont (who Pitt had at home a few years ago) at home. You also ought to take note that Pitt has recently only played the likes of IUP and Slippery Rock as exhibition games.

Next year Pitt plays in the Maui Classic. That’s upping the ante a bit.

If you’re going to call people out….

P.S. I have attended every game this year and this team really looks good. I am just a little concerned if Pitt plays a team with a serious low post player that boards.

Comment by Barvo 11.17.13 @ 10:41 pm

Barvo but didn’t ISU Sycamores have Larry Bird suited up? My point was just that to improve our chances in March and playing away from home, I.e. Salt Lake City, etc out west it would help going outside of Pitt and playing tougher competition. I see your point. I saw Duke play good competition and MSU beat KY. Have a good one.

Comment by Upittbaseball 11.17.13 @ 10:48 pm

I’m sure if espn asked Pitt to be a part of the Champions Classic vs Kentucky or Kansas, they would not turn them down. Or to go to Maui or the Bahamas tournaments more often. It’s a two-way street. Teams/tourneys have to want Pitt. I would love to see a few more challenging opponents, both at the Pete or on the road/neutral sites. But it’s not as easy as clicking fingers to get it done.
And playing in Salt Lake City has little to nothing to do with non-con scheduling. Teams are shipped all over the place in the NCAAs with little regard for regions. Ask UConn, who came through the west coach each time it won its title.

Comment by JW 11.18.13 @ 7:48 am

@Howard–this year’s edition of Lehigh appears to be far below last season’s version. Google their athletic site to see what I mean.

If they pose a serious challenge this year we have a big problem.

Comment by pitt1972 11.18.13 @ 9:03 am

I attended last nights game and it was by no means 90% empty. The crowd showed at the last minute and I would estimate 6 or 7 thousand. Since we were playing a nobody on a rainy Sunday night during a Steeler game I thought it was a decent turn out. Our starting 5 look pretty good as best I can judge against a patsy. Artis and Randall both looked like they were ready to get minutes in real games as well. Durand still was throwing up some questionable shots and Newkirk is very much a freshman, however he showed a couple glimpses of being about the quickest guard I ever remember seeing in a Pitt uniform. If Dixon can grow this kid he might really have something. He has a long way to go however because he was mystified on D. I don’t know if he will be much help this year. I see this team being 7 or 8 deep with Newkirk on the fringe of getting ACC minutes.

Comment by spiritofsection22 11.18.13 @ 9:34 am

Agree on Newkirk — think he will be potentially impactful but not yet ready to be a primary contributor. In fact, noticed last night they had Cam Wright serving as a bit of PG to spell Robinson. (Not sure I’m crazy about that idea, but hopefully it won’t be an issue.)

Comment by JW 11.18.13 @ 10:00 am

@pitt1972-You’re right. But they could give Pitt problems. They’re not Howard or Savannah State!

Comment by Howard 11.18.13 @ 10:02 am

@ Howard, The Patriot Conference teams can sometimes surprise and they will be better than Howard which isn’t exactly a compliment. They deserved to lose by 30 and we could have played our non scholarship players for 40 minutes and probably won last night.

Comment by spiritofsection22 11.18.13 @ 12:38 pm

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