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December 18, 2013

What Happened at MSG?

Filed under: Basketball — Chas @ 1:49 pm

If I had to lay odds, I would have had Ron Cook as the prohibitive favorite among Pittsburgh newspaper columnists penning the “Pitt’s weak schedule is the reason for the loss” column this morning. But, no. Dejan Kovacevic grabs the superficial brass ring. Oh, he’s not coming and saying it’s the reason. He’s just saying the question is still out there.

You’d better believe the topic came up again, as it’ll continue to do for as long as it goes unaddressed. In this context, the question was whether or not Pitt might have been better prepared for Cincinnati with an out-of-conference schedule ranked better than 167th in the country.

You may remember Kovacevic’s previous “question” of whether this Pitt team is better without Steven Adams.

Time for a personal aside. I hate. HATE the “I’m just asking questions” pieces. Regardless of the medium. At the end of the day, it is nothing but pot-stirring crap that someone doesn’t have the actual courage to stand behind. They aren’t saying they believe it (wink, wink). They are just acknowledging the question is out there and opening it up to others to discuss. That way they don’t have to back up what they are saying. They don’t have to take one side.

They can just toss it out there. Repeat it. Let others pick it up, and see what happens. Skew the debate without having to get your hands dirty.

Skip Bayless may be a gasbag troll best ignored, but at least you know what side he is taking on something (usually the side that gets the most controversy and attention). When a media person can’t even reach that level, it should be a concern.

/end rant

Any positives from the game?

“We’re disappointed, to put it mildly, and did not deserve to win,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “We didn’t play well the whole game. Give them credit.”

I’ll take that as a no.

As for the game itself. Let’s hit the standards.

But an unusual thing happened in this battle of toughness, heart and will — Pitt lost in all three categories and, as a result, lost the game, 44-43, in the Jimmy V Classic.

“We didn’t handle their physicality well at all, and that is disappointing for us,” said Pitt coach Jamie Dixon. “They were more physical than we were, they were more aggressive than we were and they were physical at the same time.”

Pitt senior forward Lamar Patterson added, “they were more physical today, and we knew that’s how they would play but we didn’t throw punches back like we are supposed to. Numbers don’t lie.”

The biggest issue for Pitt was the number of offensive rebounds it surrendered. Including the game winning putback. Cinci  grabbed 16 offensive rebounds while Pitt only got 8 second chances on offense.

The ESPN crew noted it during the game, and it was strange. Pitt was getting out of position for offensive rebounds because several players would all go for blocks on drives or shots inside. They didn’t have position, became off-balanced and left themselves exposed to Cinci players getting to the ball first.

Then there were the freethrows. Up until the final couple minutes of the game, they were the thing that had Pitt in a position to at least escape with the win. Zanna went 2-4 from the line and then the brutal misses by Lamar Patterson with 22 seconds left.

Patterson, who was 6 for 7 from the foul line before his two key misses, said that, as the team leader, he should have knocked down the two free throws in order to give the Panthers a wider margin.

“I feel like I lost the game for us,” Patterson said. “Not only missing one, but both, I need to make them, I’ll take that one on the chin for the team, it is on me.”

Wright quickly stepped in and said, “it wasn’t Lamar’s fault. You don’t lose the game on two free throws. There are a lot of possessions. It was a team loss, and you have to give a lot of credit to Cincinnati.”

Well, sort of. This was such a slow, grinding game. Pitt only had 47 possessions. I don’t know, maybe scoring is really up because the old Big East is no more and that style of play is now more diffused. I suppose not.

The Cinci side rejoiced at simply stopping their two-game slide.

“Our guys were so upset about what happened Saturday night we had guys that couldn’t eat,” said UC coach Mick Cronin. “I was more of a psychologist than a coach the last couple of days.”

The players were feeling a lot better Tuesday night after they reclaimed their reputation for toughness against an unbeaten Pittsburgh team that also takes pride in standing its ground on the basketball court.

So what else stands out from this game that could be part of a broader theme? Well, the 3-point shooting has become a struggle. Over the course of the last five games, Pitt is shooting a touch over 20% from outside (13-64). That’s going to make things crowded inside as teams focus on preventing penetration and cut off passing lanes.

Perhaps not so coincidentally, Durand Johnson is 3-18 (16.7%) on 3s in that stretch. It’s hard to miss J.J. Moore when Johnson has so seamlessly replaced him as the sixth man with ridiculous athletic talent who should be attacking the basket rather than launching so many 3s. Johnson is 9-14 from anywhere inside the arc in that same stretch.

It isn’t just Johnson struggling to shoot. Michael Young is a great young player. I will really enjoy watching him continue to get better. But right now he shows his inexperience on offense. Bringing and gathering the ball before going up for shots to get challenged most of the time. In the last five games, only one game had him score more points from the field than the free throw line. It is rightly noted that his free throw shooting is excellent. While an occasional game  where all the offense comes from the free throw line is a good offset, it shouldn’t be the norm. Especially for a front court player.

The only players who have continually hit double figures in scoring for this five game stretch are Talib Zanna and Lamar Patterson. Cam Wright had his run snapped last night.

James Robinson does so much right on the court. And it should be noted that he is shooting better from inside the arc to this point in the season versus last year. But, his 3-point shooting is actually down from last year, and that is worrisome. We saw it last year in Big East play. Teams didn’t fear him shooting the ball. They played off him. Covering the passing lanes and staying back to prevent drives. Daring him to shoot.





Looking at the box score, Patterson needed to take more shots. All year, Robinson has not been able to finish his drives, but was getting fouled. Yesterday, he didn’t finish or get fouled.

I think he would be best served at practicing the three point shot.

Poor shooting hurt the most. 2-13 for three point shots won’t win many games.

Comment by gc 12.18.13 @ 2:04 pm

Ugly game last night. Cincy knows Pitt and took the ND burn route to beat the team last night. Pitt almost pulled out a win, but Patterson couldn’t finish the job and Pitt was unable to rebound one more Cincy miss. Not much to learn from that slug-fest, other than Mick Cronin knows how to make Jamie Dixon uncomfortable.

Comment by Omar 12.18.13 @ 2:09 pm

Look it, when one of your best foul shooters misses both free throws in the last few critical seconds, then you let the winning points come from an offensive rebound put back up and in by your opponent and finally coming off a timeout, you’re unable to have a play worked out to get one final GOOD SHOT to save the win in the last 5 seconds of the game, you should lose.

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.18.13 @ 2:18 pm

We were beat at our own game. How many games have we won against more talented teams over the last ten years using the same formula?

Ferocious physical defense, strong rebounding, run the clock down on every possession.

Terribly ugly to watch, heart wrenching to lose.

Good for Young and Artis to see what Big East Basketball used to feel like.

Comment by gc 12.18.13 @ 2:19 pm

this is just a thought i am not saying i am right but in the first 10 games we were a runing team in this game we were like a old big east team.
did dixon over coach did he go back in time did he change what he did for the first 10 games

Comment by Frankcan 12.18.13 @ 2:22 pm

Right again Dr. Tom, you can’t win when your go to guy throws up to clunkers.

Comment by gc 12.18.13 @ 2:23 pm

Cinncy beat Pitt at Pitt’s old Big East game last night.
So many people complain that Dixon builds teams to win games ugly slug fest games like last night but it doesn’t work when March rolls around…well maybe this team is better suited for March and thus not going to do as well in these types of games.

It would probably take at least a couple of wins in ACC before Pitt would e ranked in top 25 but if Patterson makes the two free throws Pitt probably wins and then would be ranked next week…Can’t tell me 2 missed free throws means that much.

Comment by milobloom 12.18.13 @ 2:34 pm

Frankcan:

There is very little one can do to speed up the other team. Pitt could have put on a full-court press. That’s about it. Pitt was trapping everything in the corners in the half-court all game long and got several turnovers out of it, but Cincy hustled back on defense and prevented easy baskets from those turnovers. Mick Cronin had Cincy take the air out of the ball. Dixon hasn’t been able to solve this riddle for 3 seasons now.

Comment by Omar 12.18.13 @ 2:39 pm

16 offensive rebounds is an incredible amount against a JD coached team.

Our weakside rebounding was almost non-existent. And that included the last UC offensive rebound and short shot for the win.

Rebounds last nite:
Young (a true freshman) 7
Patterson 4
Zanna 4
Wright (6’4″) 1
JR 2
Artis, Randall, Durand Durand, all 1 each

If Uchebo is ready to ‘rock & roll’, the next 2 games against these ‘rent-a-win’ teams would be the time to see what he can do !

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 2:44 pm

Also against Cal-Poly & Albany, JD should let Newkirk play at least 20 minutes.

Kid will only get better by playing and when he’s in, you can clearly see a different speed and style PITT plays.

If a PG can penetrate and beat his man, it then opens up the court for everyone. As opposing players have to rotate, etc.

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 2:48 pm

it was bad i know that much .
in the past when football went bad i could allways
find pride and happy times in basketball.
now starting last year dixon has lost his touch and basketball is in the shiter i have no peace of mind any more.

Comment by Frankcan 12.18.13 @ 3:14 pm

Holiday Depression for FRANKCAN…need to keep him away from sharp objects and high places…..

Emel…Agree on both Uchebo and Newkirk…Newkirk is probably the quickest guard Dixon has ever had…even if this this year is a little rocky (which it could be), I am really looking forward to watching the Freshman and guys coming in next year play the next few years.

Comment by milobloom 12.18.13 @ 3:22 pm

Practice this week better be excruciating. And I mean excruciating. Everyone should be held accountable for that terrible loss, and no excuses should be made. We need to beat our next few opponents by 20+ and then handle our business against NC State. If we play the way we played last night against Syracuse, UNC, Duke, etc. we will lose by 40 and be the laughingstock of college basketball, if we aren’t already so far.

Comment by MikePITT 12.18.13 @ 3:24 pm

The two teams who would play slow down against us in the ACC are ND and UVA. UVA plays this way normally.

Luckily we only play each of them, once.

UVA at The Pete, Feb. 2nd is going be a replay of last nite, more than likely. And then ND in South Bend on March 1rst. Just in time to give us a ‘punch in the nose’ before the ACC/Big Dance starts.

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 3:28 pm

Guys — it’s 1 loss. Yes, it sucked. Yes, we should have won convincingly. But, not time to panic yet…although that time could come later.

ACC games cannot get here soon enough.

Comment by WWADD? 12.18.13 @ 3:35 pm

I think those that are assuming that the 10-0 start was built on weak competition and that last nights mess was a true indication of this years team are getting a little carried away. First off last night we shot poorly at the foul line. I can live with that one of every 11 games. I can assure everyone that Cincinnati’s foul line defense is no better than anyone else on the schedule. The Bearcat’s defense was stout but how many shots were stopped by blatant fouls that would have resulted in baskets. More than any game I have seen in years, maybe ever. So even though we had a nightmare night shooting and rebounding we still should have won this game by half a dozen points. Pitt’s “D” was exceptional and the only thing I thought was really exposed was our bench. Newkirk looked like a freshman and cost us 5 points in the few minutes he was in there. Johnson hurt us on “D” (the elbow play they went on and on about) and other than one drive to the hoop might as well have stayed home. Everyone shot bad but that would have corrected itself except they didn’t let us shoot. When all else failed they fouled. With all of that we still only lost by a point and for that I fault Jamie. That last 4 seconds was ridiculous and there was no excuse for not getting some kind of forecourt attempt. In fact being the V Foudation game I really thought Jamie blew an opportunity to steal this game. When Patterson missed the two foul shots it was followed by 2 timeouts. This was the perfect opportunity for the Jimmy V strategy. Cincinatti isn’t a good foul shooting team, but they are a great get 2 at the buzzer team. We should have fouled them on the inbound twice with 22 seconds left. I bet my nuggets they would have missed at least one leaving us time to win in regulation. If not I like our chances of at least getting the line to tie or win. We would have fouled them out in overtime if we tied. Jimmy V would never have given the Bearcats a chance to win the way they did. His ballsy unorthodox strategy would have worked and Dixon would have been the media darling. You guys on here old enough to remember know what I’m talking about. He blew a golden opportunity, and it would have worked.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 3:45 pm

MikePitt, Don’t worry about the Syracuse, Duke , and North Carolina games. None of those teams can play the grind like Cincinnati. Syracuse had a better team last year and we split with them in 2 meetings, beating them by more than we beat them by. Duke doesn’t have a clue on “D” and I fondly remember being told they would beat us by 20 last time we played them. We won that one in overtime. Which brings us to the Tarheels. If you can accurately predict what they will do you should seek employment in Nevada. They lost to UAB but beat Michigan St. on their home court. They are the most Bipolar team in the history of the sport. We could lose at Chapel Hill by 40 and beat them in the ACC tournament. I could live with that.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 4:03 pm

@Frankcan, Other than the last minute of the game I don’t think Dixon could have done much to change it. We tried to run the same offense we have run all year. The Bearcats played great D but that didn’t stop us from getting open looks. We just missed them. Then when push came to shove they fouled and we missed from the line too. We sucked last night and if we had played at that level the first 10 games we would have 3 or 4 losses not 1. Cincinnati didn’t miss all those fouls down the stretch we did. The rebounding was bad all night and the bench was pathetic. If that continues it could get ugly , but Jamie will fix both, that’s what they pay him to do.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 4:15 pm

Dejan is a POS beat writer. It ends there.

Comment by NOPE 12.18.13 @ 4:19 pm

@Spirit ..in hindsite fouling right away and make them make a 1 and 1 might of produced a win.

But considering both teams were shooting in the 30%, letting them take the last shot and playing defense was the better percentage move. If Cincy make the free throws Pitt (30% on the night) has to make a shot which wasn’t likely,,,refs most likely wouldn’t call anything……
Cincy actually did miss the shot…the rebound is what lost it.

Comment by milobloom 12.18.13 @ 4:20 pm

Milo, For me it wasn’t hindsite. If I were coaching that is exactly what we would have done. Keep in mind it was the Jimmie V Classic. They should have never gotten the chance to win the way they did.. It was a comedy of errors that put them in the position in the first place and the strategy would have worked. If not Dixon takes the blame and blames it on Jimmy V. The media would have gone crazy with the story. The worst that can happen is they make both shots and we fail to score in 20 seconds, then we lose by 1 and it is the coaches fault. Not only would it have worked IMO, even if it didn’t it would have been better than what happened. Sometimes I know better than Jamie but unfortunately he doesn’t ask me what to do. It would have worked wouldn’t it?

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 4:37 pm

say what you want and my be you know better then me but i think the team and the coach should wear brown paper hats on there head all week for the way they played and lost it was like 1940 style basketball i hope i never see a game like that agein

Comment by Frankcan 12.18.13 @ 4:39 pm

As for Dejan, I have no problem with Mr Mustard taking us to task if he is consistent and seems to know what he is talking about. What I do have a problem with is some nobody sports reporter pounding on us with both feet at our lowest moment. When was the last time the Trib had 2 full forward pages devoted to Pitt hoops. All of a sudden this morning we are BIG NEWS and Dejan lays it on thick with a double helping of abuse. It might be a little easier to take if I had ever noticed him pointing out something good about us. Is this a local paper? Since you are such a soothe Dejan maybe you can help us with some news items. Rather than the standard pap and drivel you normally provide at the Trib. What is up with Mostella? What has Pitt got in the pipeline for next seasons non/con schedule? When Pitt has a bad game rebounding what type of methods do the coaches use to try to correct it? Dejan since you have taken the liberty to bash us and call it news how about actually reporting some worth reading.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 4:57 pm

Spirit..you don’t coach different just because of a guy’s name on the court, that’s crazy. any good coach wouldn’t be thinking about Jimmy V at time of the game…(we at home were since every commercial break that was all we saw).

.and you can’t say your strategy would of worked.
…it may have worked
…and if you use percentages your way was actually riskier than the route he took.

Comment by milobloom 12.18.13 @ 4:57 pm

Frankcan Do you think the Jiimmy V strategy would have worked and did you think of it during the timeouts?

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 4:58 pm

Wow. That game was a serious kick in the fucking balls. Even my wife came away pissed off from that one. We sat a few rows from the court. Here are my bullet points:

-We got shoved around big time- especially in the first half. We showed some fire later, but not enough.

-I like Mike Young. He’s got great court vision and he hustles. But he doesn’t move well on offense without the ball. Seems to still be learning the offense at this level. And as Chas noted, he’s a bit indecisive at times- although he did have a couple of really nice passes. Have to say though that he seemed to have a bit of deer in headlights look coming back to the bench a few times. Especially early in the game when Cincy came out physical.

-Durand Johnson might be my favorite player, but he looked bad. Really just rushing his shots. His feet are flying everywhere. The combination of poor form and poor shot selection is not a good combination. He’s also in the habit of keeping and eye on the scorer’s table to see when he subs out. He had two free throws late and after knocking down the first one, eyeballed Cam Wright ready to check in for him and then promptly missed the second. I’m not accusing him a missing on purpose to stay in the game and the last thing you want is a guy who doesn’t want to be out there. But still, seemed a little desperate…Leads me to my next point-

-There are a lot of guys calling for the ball on this team. Everyone seems to fancy themselves a scorer- except Mr. Robinson. I know they had some high assist games against creampuff opponents. But Durand Johnson- he wants to shoot. Mike Young- he wants his shots. Even Artis when he is in, is looking for shots. Their body language gives it away. Not just blatantly calling for the ball, but the way they watch the game and move without the ball. If you play a lot of basketball, you will know what I mean. Having these guys, plus the upper classmen looking for a piece of the action just didn’t seem to work last night. There’s something to be said for working your way up through the organization doing dirty work that perhaps these guys might need.?.?.?.

-All things considered, none of the subs looked good last night. They all looked like rookies. Josh Newkirk will be exciting as he matures, but he’s got to work on his throttle more. Some really sloppy play on both ends in the limited minutes he played. Starters all played 30+.

-Ah Lamar! Dang. Played well and then that happened.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 12.18.13 @ 4:59 pm

Should add: I thought Cincy played well. They played like a well-coached team.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 12.18.13 @ 5:02 pm

Milo Of course no one can be sure, but your percentage argument doesn’t hold water. If they make (both) shots, and that is at best 50/50 we have 20 seconds to score and since they can’t foul you can throw the 30% out the window. That changes the whole dynamic. When they inbounded the ball at 22 seconds I knew in my gut they were going to score. Assuming that the Jimmy V was the way to go. Do you think it would have worked last night ? I do.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 5:08 pm

@Silverpanther, Enjoyed your courtside viewpoint. I agree with your coaching comments as well. I found it amusing that yesterday before the game I was reading comments on the Bearcat website and they wanted to fire the coach. I assume they decided to keep him today.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 5:14 pm

@silverpanther I agree about Johnson he seems peeved about not getting enough PT. Relax DJ! You will get two years of significant PT…next year. For now, if you play your role, you help this team a lot.

It is clear this team really plays well fast. I hope Dixon lets them do it…and even encourages it. All year long. Pitt wins by getting assists. These Pitt players are more adept at getting open to score from the assist in movement, not as much in the halfcourt (though still pretty good there too…until last night).

Lots of people upset from last night that we don’t have players that create their own shots. I am more concerned over the lack of assists because the assists are the reason by why have beat bad teams by 20, not 8.

Comment by DD 12.18.13 @ 5:23 pm

Siverpanther, Did the Jimmy V occur to you? Do you think it would have worked?

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 5:24 pm

DD, The bench really sucked which is more bothersome than the loss. I tip my hat to the Bearcats because they earned the boards, the foul shooting can happen on a tough night, but the bench looked like they need a few more soft ones. I hope Duran doesn’t turn out to be another JJ.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 5:34 pm

Spirit…agreed, not their best night. Well, OK…nobody’s best night! You can’t really say “well, at least so-and-so had a good game”!

Comment by DD 12.18.13 @ 5:43 pm

Spirit… you make some good points.

But, did I read correctly that you actually said Jamie could be at “fault?”

Here I thought all of your bad coaching comments were reserved for Paul.

Seriously, your analysis is interesting. But I really think the BIG FAILURE last night is pretty simple.

Something called REBOUNDING or lack thereof.

Games like last night happen where a team goes ICE COLD when it comes to shooting.

On the other hand, REBOUNDING is much more controllable. Anyone who’s played a pick up game knows that when there’s not a major differential in size or athletic ability, it comes down to position and desire or hustle.

QUESTION… Why did Pitt get OUT-REBOUNDED last night against like I said a “comparable but still inferior” team?

Comment by PittofDreams 12.18.13 @ 5:57 pm

Emel where have you been, an extended Hanakkuh vacation? We haven’t heard from you since the Miami game, I was ready to give you up for dead!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.18.13 @ 5:57 pm

Pittofdreams, Can’t argue with your logic,in fact I have to concur. I thought the last half minute called for the coach to grab control though. I felt certain The Bearcats would score because we chose to try to stop them without fouling. I figured Kirkpatrick would score though. What I would have done is totally unorthodox and I can’t fault JD for not attempting it. What I had a problem with was the last 4.2 seconds as many teams could have gotten a reasonable attempt with that much time on the clock. Why didn’t we? By the way Dreams did you think of the Jimmy V in that situation and do you think it would have worked? I was a little surprised none of the announcers thought of it but they were probably bored to death by then.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 6:29 pm

@ Doc

How do you know I don’t celebrate Kwanzaa ?

I was kinda busy on the Chinese Rocket to the moon.
Although they failed to mention me as part of the payload in the Times article.

link to nytimes.com

Big secret, ya know ! :-)

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 6:34 pm

do we need to put frankcan on suicide watch if Nicholson and McKenzie go elsewhere?

Comment by wbb 12.18.13 @ 6:39 pm

Emel, I was sorry to hear about you losing your Uncle Nelson and we all wanted to send along our regards. We missed you during your absence and hope that while paying your respects on the African continent you took time inquire as to any 5 star recruits running around the Sarengetti and what have you. Welcome home.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 6:46 pm

There was definitely goal tending on Cincy basket, ball was on the rim. One correct call there and who knows. But still, LP missing freebies….

Comment by Old School Panther 12.18.13 @ 6:49 pm

We scored a grand total of 11 FG’s last nite.

2nd lowest EVER in PITT basketball history. (that includes all those Doc Carlson teams from 1922 to 1953)

Check it out though:

Pitt hired “Doc” Carlson as its new basketball coach. Simultaneously he practiced as a physician for the Carnegie Steel Company.

Carlson was famous for his Figure 8 offense, an innovation that many coaches copied. In 1928 Pittsburgh went a perfect 21–0 and the national championship. His Panthers won another national title in 1930. (Both were selected as national champions, prior to the advent of NCAA Tournament, by the Helms Athletic Foundation.)

link to en.wikipedia.org

Back to last night.

I guess if you’re going to be bad….it’s better to be really really putrid bad. Get it out of you system. Like getting a good drunk on.

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 6:54 pm

Wbb yes you do

Comment by Frankcan 12.18.13 @ 7:01 pm

@ sos22 thank you

yep I was also seated behind Obama, the Danish Prime Minister and Gordon Brown when they were doing their ‘selfies’.

How’d you know I was in Johannesburg, which is a hotbed of 5 star talent. Was on a secret recruiting mission for JD.

Heard JD is also going to FULLY implement Doc Carlson’s famous…. Figure 8 offense… which is only a slight adjustment to current offense.

JR is supposed to be a wiz in running the Figure 8

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 7:05 pm

EMel i thought some WVU red necks took you to a pig farm at WVU and might be holding you for ransom.
our a UFO took you some were.but glad you are back bud.
it is the same above as below.

Comment by Frankcan 12.18.13 @ 7:06 pm

lol …rednecks, pig farms and UFO’s

Yep I know I’m home now ! :-)

Thx Frankie

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 7:14 pm

After the smoke clears two things remain after last nights mess. 1) Even with the ACC schedule ahead of us we only have 4 remaining scheduled games against top 20 teams, and 2 of them are on the road. That will leave us with very little chance at a significant ranking. 2) If our bench is as weak as it looked last night we will have to play our starters too many minutes.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 7:14 pm

@Frankcan, Yea the Bud Light alien UFO grabbed Emel in hopes of propagating the species. That hot little nymph brunette alien in the black leather spacesuit grabbed him up and had her way with him. He had to have her bring him back though because he missed the Blather too much. That’s the ticket!

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 7:22 pm

spiritofsection22 would you please help dixon out with his coaching i know you can if you want to.
becuse i cant take another game like that one i am to near the edge as it is.
and if we lose nicholson on thursday it is a 2 week drunk for me.

Comment by Frankcan 12.18.13 @ 7:23 pm

Franky, I wanted him to go Jimmy V so bad last night I could taste it. I could be like the recovering drunken coach on the bench in Hoosiers. I know I could have brought the boys home last night.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 7:32 pm

@spirit: You’re right: at the time of this writing, UNC trails by 10 at home against unranked Texas. God that team is schizophrenic. Hopefully they’re ‘bad UNC’ when we make the trip down to tobacco road. That team is a elite when it’s playing well, but well below average when it’s not.

Sounds familiar…

Comment by MikePITT 12.18.13 @ 7:41 pm

Mike pitt, Correction they are not schizo they are bipolar. I know more about that than hoops, or haven’t you noticed.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 7:51 pm

Only reason Dejan was at this game and Pitt got such a big write up in Tribune was because Penguins are at the Garden tonight..Dejan wouldn’t travel just to see Pitt this early in the season..Dejan may know hockey,,(not sure since don’t follow it much) but he clearly doesn’t know college basketball and quit trying to pretend he does.

Spirit..obviously depends on who he shooting them but even the worst free throws are better than 50%. Regardless mute point since Dixon would never go that route.

I do agree with you that this game may hurt us more than this year than years past come tourney time..they are not going to be just slide by in the weaker ACC they’ll need at least 10 wins and one or two better be against Syracuse, Duke or NC.

Comment by milobloom 12.18.13 @ 7:55 pm

spirit, on the last play, you could have had Lamar execute the picket fence play and we would have lived great ever after.

Comment by wbb 12.18.13 @ 7:55 pm

@ sos22

yep that was why it was so imperative we got into the rankings BEFORE the conf. schedule started.

Now it seems (even though we’re #20 in RPI and #12 & 15 on Kenpom & Sagarin) we will only get ranked in the polls if we don’t lose again till we play Cuse and beat them. And then beat either Duke or UNC, if we lose to both they’ll probably give us the boot as will be in the bottom half of the Top 20.

Had we been pre-season ranked at say #15, then been 10-0 and had climbed into the Top 10. Losing to Cincy only knocks us down to about #15 again.

We’re in a tough position now, gotta beat Syracuse and we’ve done that plenty in the regular season and of course beat everyone in between now and Syracuse.

Frankly I think JD gave up on the bench too quick last night. That was the first game the starters played so many minutes and they looked unenergetic at times. Maybe too many minutes ???

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 8:02 pm

…and fellas don’t get caught watchin’ the paint dry

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 8:03 pm

Texas Tech(LSU) and Stanford(Uconn) both playing tonite. Need a couple W’s from them to help ease the pain from our trip to the Garden.

Next time it better be a ‘Garden Party’.

link to youtube.com

Blast from the past !

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 8:30 pm

Milo, Get the math straight. Let’s assume the freethrow shooter is a 75% shooter. That means he makes 3 out of four. Which means he is almost exactly 50/50 to make 2 in a row. Furthermore the Bearcats do not shoot 75% and because they would not suspect this strategy we could easily force the inbound pass to a poor foul shooter and foul immediately. The odds would have been in our favor that they wouldn’t make both. If he missed the first we would likely have the ball and the lead. If he missed the 2nd we would have the ball tied so they couldn’t foul. If we don’t score we go to overtime with them in foul trouble. If we score we win. If he made both we would have the same opportunity we gave them. It would have worked and I was certain they would score late and they did. Jimmy V won the National Championship because he knew when to roll the dice and last night was a perfect storm opportunity that got away. That doesn’t change the fact that we stunk last night because we did. You might be right about Dixon never considering such a strategy but your math doesn’t add up. For me the key was I felt certain the Bearcats would score. I knew , I can’t tell you how, but I knew.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 8:31 pm

We are what our record is. How’s that for a Yogism.

Comment by TX Panther 12.18.13 @ 8:38 pm

Sorry to proffer an unpopular opinion, but I think Dejan’s question is entirely reasonable.

Comment by BATR 12.18.13 @ 8:42 pm

Emel, Did pulling a Jimmy V cross your mind last night? What did you think of Silver Panther’s comments concerning the bench? Do you think they have merit?

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 8:42 pm

sos22…no I thought since they were almost having as tough time scoring as we were, no sense putting them on the Charity Stripe.

And we did get the missed shot…..but we didn’t get the weakside rebound. (which was a problem all nite) Can’t remember who was playing the 4 at that time. Can you ?

Let me go back & reread Silver’s comments.

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 8:49 pm

Pitt fans are a bit sensitive these days. Yes the question was fair but yes it was asked to stir some reaction. And tis is just a loss. Pitt will get over it and be better as a result. Fans need to get over it as well. One bad loss doesn’t create a pattern. Tomorrow if we miss on Montae, that would start a pattern.

Comment by TX Panther 12.18.13 @ 8:50 pm

Emel it was Patterson that missed the box out as Zanna helped prevent the score. I was sure Kirkpatrick would score and I was wrong but unfortunately the same result..

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 8:57 pm

Emel, The key was not being able to foul, it changes the whole dynamic at crunch time. The “V” would have worked and the storyline would have been great.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 9:01 pm

Without having the play in front of me, I think on that endgame play the “4″ was Young, but he actually guarded Kilpatrick well forcing the tough shot after the switch with Robinson. Cam Wright went up for the block, leaving three guys on the drive side. Patterson had collapsed into the lane but was basically jumped over by Cincy’s Jackson (no.5) who knocked it to Rubles, who got the rebound and putback over Zanna. More than anything, it was just one final example of Cincy’s aggression in attacking the boards and Pitt’s inability to match it.

Comment by JW 12.18.13 @ 9:02 pm

I didn’t think we could be sure we would stop them if we had to be careful and not foul. If we could have ran an offensive set with them not being able to foul us I felt we would have scored. That is when the V strategy though unorthodox is superior. That’s why I think it would have worked. It being the Classic would have made it special.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.18.13 @ 9:07 pm

We got a lousy shot off with having over 4 seconds to work with at the end of the game. A runner from half court.

Surely we’ve worked on a play for that situation, ball on the baseline, have to go full length of the court, in less than 5 seconds.

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 9:27 pm

Emel, they even called timeout too. Seemed like a complete panic breakdown heave.

Comment by JW 12.18.13 @ 9:30 pm

@Spirit – 56.25% chance for a 75% shooter to make both. Hope I am right as I helped daughter with probablilty in math last year.

Don’t know whether that changes things enough.

Comment by TVax 12.18.13 @ 9:38 pm

sos22 (concerning SilverPanther’s comments, concerning the bench)

“There are a lot of guys calling for the ball on this team. Everyone seems to fancy themselves a scorer- except Mr. Robinson. I know they had some high assist games against creampuff opponents. But Durand Johnson- he wants to shoot. Mike Young- he wants his shots. Even Artis when he is in, is looking for shots. Their body language gives it away. Not just blatantly calling for the ball, but the way they watch the game and move without the ball. If you play a lot of basketball, you will know what I mean. Having these guys, plus the upper classmen looking for a piece of the action just didn’t seem to work last night. There’s something to be said for working your way up through the organization doing dirty work that perhaps these guys might need.?.?.?.”

This comment is spot on, it seemed like all the players off the bench were ready to ‘jack it up’ as soon as they hit the court.

Never seen PITT try to play ‘one on one’ like they did last nite.

All of Silver’s other comments were on ‘the mark’.

Sad he had to pay a premium to see that lame game.

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 9:52 pm

@ JW

You are correct sir !

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 9:54 pm

Pitt just received a verbal commitment from 4 star offensive tackle Alex Bookser from Mount Lebanon High School.

Comment by Mailman 12.18.13 @ 10:17 pm

11 min left and Stanford/UConn tied at 43.

Comment by TVax 12.18.13 @ 10:35 pm

awesome news to get bookser, so far out of the big fish left (james, bookser, henry, Nicholson, McKenzie, and kamara) we got 2/3. Lets get at least one more and ill feel ok.

good stuff. HTP

Comment by rhyno527 12.18.13 @ 10:36 pm

mailman not so i just looked everyware no one has that not pitt247 not any recruting site not the trib so unless you are siting with chryst or in the room with bookser,
it is not true

Comment by Frankcan 12.18.13 @ 10:37 pm

rhyno527 that info is no were to be found so what can i say .

Comment by Frankcan 12.18.13 @ 10:39 pm

It’s a done deal, Frankcan.

Panther247 ?@Panther_247 50m
Just confirmed it. Alex Bookser has given his verbal commitment to #Pitt. Here’s the 4* OT’s profile: link to 247sports.com

Comment by Mailman 12.18.13 @ 10:40 pm

Mike White @mwhiteburgh

Mt. Lebanon OL Alex Bookser has committed to Pitt. Confirmed by Alex himself. #pitt Pitt also might get Gateway’s Montae Nicholson tomorrow

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 10:43 pm

yep, dokish and peak have said it, he’s also listed as a PITT commit on rivals already

Comment by rhyno527 12.18.13 @ 10:44 pm

Sean Fitz @seanfitz247

RT @Panther_247: Just confirmed it. Alex Bookser has given his verbal commitment to #Pitt. Here’s the 4* OT’s profile: link to t.co

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 10:44 pm

Great Get ! H2P !

Alex Bookser
Alex Bookser Mt. Lebanon (Pittsburgh, PA) OT 6-6/295
4 0.9275
4 94
Uncommitted

Interests
School Interest Offer Recruited By Visit Date
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh Warm true

Chris Haering
Jim Hueber

Jan 17
Ohio State Ohio State Warm true

Luke Fickell
Ed Warinner

Dec 13
Penn State Penn State Warm true

Charles London
Mac McWhorter

Dec 6
Tennessee Tennessee Warm true

Don Mahoney

Nov 22
Michigan State Michigan State Warm true

Mark Staten
Jim Bollman

-
Virginia Virginia Warm true

Bill Lazor
Scott Wachenheim

-
Alabama Alabama None true

Lance Thompson
Mario Cristobal

-
Florida State Florida State None true

-
Kentucky Kentucky None true

-
Maryland Maryland None true

-
Northwestern Northwestern None true

-
Rutgers Rutgers None true

-
Toledo Toledo None true

Jason Candle

-
USC USC None true

Mike Ekeler

-
West Virginia West Virginia None true

Tony Gibson

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 10:46 pm

mailman that is a PREDICTION FROM 5 30 13 GO BACK AND READ IT.
IT IS OLD HE HAS NOT COMMITED TO ANY ONE YET
IN OUTHER WORDS IT IS JUST A GUESS AND A OLD GUESS AT THAT.

Comment by Frankcan 12.18.13 @ 10:46 pm

Those are all of Booksers offers

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 10:47 pm

Here we go again for Frankcan..

link to triblive.com

Here’s an article from the Tribune Review’s Jerry Dipaola. You’ll notice that the date is for TODAY.

Comment by Mailman 12.18.13 @ 10:49 pm

Frankie, this is from the PG’s Mike White

link to twitter.com

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 10:51 pm

yeah frankcan..

check any of the local guys’ twitters. its done. enjoy it

Comment by rhyno527 12.18.13 @ 10:52 pm

Now next is Montae Nicholson tomorrow according to White. Great pick me up after last nite.

Comment by Emel 12.18.13 @ 10:54 pm

MAILMAN I AM SORRY YOU ARE RIGHT WHEN I WENT TO SITES THEY DID NOT HAve it now they do.
i beg forgive ness so sorry to doubt you.
but what wonderful news thank you for posting it

Comment by Frankcan 12.18.13 @ 10:55 pm

It’s all good, Frankcan. It’s all good.

Twitter is a great way to get information.

Possibly more good news next couple days with Nicholson committing tomorrow and McKenzie comitting on Friday.

If McKenzie goes elsewhere, I understand that Pitt is still in play for the RB in Georgia (CJ Leggett). Skimming through on Twitter recently, it seems that Leggett played pretty well during the GA playoffs. I think his team may have made the state title game.

Comment by Mailman 12.18.13 @ 10:58 pm

Stanford beats UConn at Storrs.

Comment by TVax 12.18.13 @ 11:10 pm

Yeah TVax….what could have been…

Comment by Jackagain 12.18.13 @ 11:10 pm

Actually I think the game was at the XL Center in Hartford

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.18.13 @ 11:12 pm

Still a home loss by a top 10 team to an unranked opponent

An opponent we beat. By 21 points. In a game where we scored 88 points.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.18.13 @ 11:13 pm

PittDad – XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut

Corrected and as you wrote, “Still…

…and UConn scores 13 in the second half.

Comment by TVax 12.18.13 @ 11:18 pm

Wait I was just about to go on an explitive-laden tirade about how the current coaching staff couldn’t recruit their way out of a paper bag and our football is doomed to be a MAC level program for years to come and we aren’t keeping local talent at home and the sky is falling and we all better just keep bitching on this website or else we’ll have nothing to live for.

But Alex Bookser just committed.

So I guess I won’t do that.

Sorry Frankcannnnnnnnnn

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.18.13 @ 11:19 pm

So, every team has at least one bad loss in them each season. And this was a stinker. But it was non-conference. Non-tournament. Maybe it’s out of their system. Let’s hope JD works it out of their system – hard – this week.

As I’ve said before, I don’t care if we’re ranked any day before April 7, 2014.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.18.13 @ 11:20 pm

And UNC’s loss was at Chapel Hill. To an unranked (but 10-1) team.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.18.13 @ 11:24 pm

4-5 and unranked Northwestern State Demons from the mighty Southland Conference has taken 12th ranked, 8-1 Baylor to OT in Waco Texas. In fact each team scored exactly 38 pts in each half. And Baylor has been to the FT line 13 more times than NW State.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.18.13 @ 11:38 pm

Pitt Dad…you’ll care if on Selection Sunday Pitt winds up with a 9 seed.

Comment by Jackagain 12.18.13 @ 11:45 pm

I think I jinxed the Demons.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.18.13 @ 11:47 pm

@Jackagain – as long as we’re the first 9 seed to win it all, I still won’t care.

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.18.13 @ 11:48 pm

Pitt Dad…you do know that Pitt has never beaten a higher seed in the NCAA’s…ever.

Comment by Jackagain 12.18.13 @ 11:53 pm

Atlanta Panther you can bitch abought the BB game it will make you fell better to do so.
bookser was good news.
you have lost your mind have you not all this koolaid drinking you have even made DR Tom wonder what is wrong with you.
but i know you will find your self and start bitching once more lets hope it is soon.

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 12:05 am

Stanford wins by 2 over previously unbeaten and #10 Uconn. Uconn was #13 in the RPI so that does nothing but make our big win over Stanford that much bigger.

Now the Pitt naysayers can kindly stop saying PITT has beaten no one of note. The twits.

Comment by Emel 12.19.13 @ 12:21 am

@Jackagain – yes, I know that. All that means is it hasn’t happened yet. I am a firm believer in the law of truly large numbers.

link to en.wikipedia.org

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.19.13 @ 12:22 am

Um, Aaron Donald guys! Also Alex Bookser! D/O line paves the way H2P

Comment by Gordo 12.19.13 @ 12:45 am

We need a coach to make Bisnowaty, Johnson, Grimm and now Bookser, meaner, tough guys. I’m thinking our O-Line is being out tuffed by most of our opponents D-Lines.

Maybe an Urban warfare, Summer Camp in Compton or some such place would do them well.

Especially kids from Fox Chapel & Mt Lebo.

Just a thought ! lol

Comment by Emel 12.19.13 @ 12:51 am

Great news on Bookser! Dealing with a family issue and totally missed it, just getting my Pitt fix now. Next 2 days loom large. Let’s hope Coach Chryst and the boys can get the trifecta. Nicholson is huge. I think we’re in for good news tomorrow. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Pap76 12.19.13 @ 2:33 am

Emel, I agree they are all soft and chubby and look Big 10 ish. I want tough, gritty, kids that could make it out of Compton with no cell, no money and a 2 hour limit. Tough and street tough. Not sure the streets of Mt. lebo and fox chapel have the same effect. Id love quick and fast guys vs big soft oline like the big 10 has. See where that got the big 10 on a national scale. Dont trll me about OSU. They suck and play no one. I will be very happy if Nicholson comes. Shai i am not concerned with at all. Not even Bookser. I want nicholson and quick footed olineman. I think Montae goes to the Ducks. Just a guess.

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.19.13 @ 7:07 am

Pitt’s offense is shaping up nicely. But we need to get bigger and faster on D. Picking up Montae is key. We’ll know soon enough today.

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 7:19 am

Mount Lebo kids are tough enough. Small town, city streets, affluent suburbs…they all make good Pitt kids. Building good chemistry.

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 7:23 am

This morning’s Post Gazette…

“You need three guys to offensive rebound, two to take the contact on and one to get the ball, and we did a great job of that all [game].”

Cincinnati Coach Mick Cronin

********

QUESTIONS…

Does Jamie knows this? Does he teach this? Does he motivate his players to the point that they’re willing to put it into action?

The first answer is obvious. The other two not so much.

Something is amiss here.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.19.13 @ 7:26 am

free throws, period

Comment by paul shannon 12.19.13 @ 7:27 am

@@@@@@@

On the BB game:

Four missed free throws 2 each by Zanna and Patterson cost
Pitt the game on a bad night
Zanna better stay out of foul trouble; Randall provides little beyond a big body
Zanna was open most of the night but rarely got the ball down low
Pitt must rebound to win; team is offensively challenged
Durand Johnson needs to be more patient on his 3 point attempts
Robinson/Newkirk are talented PGs

Welcome to Bookster!

Comment by JR 12.19.13 @ 7:33 am

Close up of JD in opening seconds showed typical Dixon game time visage: face taught, jaw muscles tight, face ashen, teeth grinding, rewetting his lips. Then clock issues and game is momentarily suspended, another close up but now he’s relaxed; smiling, conversing. Game resumes, his body language and demeanor reverts back to anxious.

When Noll emerged from locker room into Tulane stadium his face said I’ve got the best team in the NFL and we’re going to kick the Vikings ass in every phase. At the NCAA’s in Dayton I watched closely as team came onto the floor and was shocked at Dixon’s body language; he looked too uptight, all of the same facial expressions described above except they were heightened. He had one of the best if not thee best team in college ball, he should have had that look that so many championship coaches have, that pissed off yet confident look that says we’re here to kick ass. And the foe was ETSU that day and we didn’t put it away till late.

I like Dixon but I think he’s got a case of anxiety disorder that gets in the way. Anxiety stops people from being brave and bravery is what’s missing from Dixon and his teams when the moment is big. A brave shooter hits those two foul shots, or the one that GB missed vs Butler. A brave coach grasps the moment and adjusts, and there Dixon fails more than he succeeds. When J Dixon was about to get trapped on right sideline by Villanova an instinctive coach calls immediate TO. If Fields had been handling the ball there we make the final four. When GB missed that foul shot Dixon should have known to pull them off the line for two obvious reasons. In NY the other night he should have gone brave and allow Newkirk the opportunity to drive to create passing lanes to Zanna who was open underneath. A few Zanna baskets and the perimeter shooter would have gotten a little bit more time to set.

The Blair teams should have been final four team, same with Brad’s team that lost to Butler. Put a brave guy like Izzo on the bench it would have happened. I think Dixon should work with a therapist on his anxiety disorder. The irony is that Dixon failed to be brave in a tournament named for a very brave man.

Comment by Old School Panther 12.19.13 @ 7:40 am

Maybe a doctor can prescribe some drugs and sex for Coach Dixon so he can relax.

Comment by TX Panther 12.19.13 @ 7:50 am

Dixon’s angst when the heat is on… has been pretty apparent for some time.

Maybe this has played a part in some of the more critical games. Not all, but some.

Can not be conducive to having the kind of clear thinking required for making smart decisions when they’re needed most.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.19.13 @ 7:52 am

Bottom line… this team is obviously pretty good when it coes to shooting… probably one of the better ones Jamie has had.

BUT… if they don’t get the REBOUNDING thing figured out… it’s going to be ugly.

As COLD as the team went against Cincy… had Pitt put forth a better effort in the rebounding department, it wouldn’t have mattered. Pitt would have WON going away.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.19.13 @ 8:00 am

Dixon needs an enema.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.19.13 @ 8:11 am

We got Bookser, so that great news plus Stanford beat UCONN; the same Stanford team PITT beat a couple of weeks ago. If Nicholson and McKenzie commit this week, it will be a very good Christmas.

Comment by Pittastic 12.19.13 @ 8:15 am

I’ll take Nicholson +1 (Kamara, Jennings or McKenizie) would make it a good recruiting class. Nicholson + 2 would make it great.

If Palermo still has some juice our O-Line is going to be scary good in 2-3 years. Bisno, Johnson, Grimm and Bookser. W. PA Road Graders.

Start the war chant…Montae-Montae.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 12.19.13 @ 8:25 am

Great get for Pitt. Keep building a great line.

Comment by notrocketscience 12.19.13 @ 8:34 am

Kamara looks to be a lock.

McKenzie likely a “no.”

But keep in mind CJ Leggett.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.19.13 @ 8:38 am

I don’t know about you, but all I get these days is junk mail anymore, then at 10:17 last night I get a great piece of news from the Mailman! Welcome aboard Alex!

With all the attention that I pay to recruiting, I find it strange that I’m enlightened for the first time that Bookser played both ways in HS, Although he was recruited as an offensive lineman for college.

This is fantastic news! That means that we have five OL recruits in this class too, just like last year. What once was a glaring weakness in the trenches for Pitt, Chryst is methodically building to be a primary asset going forward. Can you imagine an OL in a year or two with the likes of Dorian Johnson, Alex Bookser and Mike Grimm all as starters? And who knows out of the bunch of other good recruits that we now have who turns out to be the next Grimm, May, or Fralic in that bunch. $hit, this is the same team that needed to move an untested defensive lineman over to offense just to have enough warm bodies in the starting OL lineup who could contribute and play.

Fling all the criticisim that you want to at Coach Chryst, but during the last two years he has just been gojng about his business humming the famous Sinatra tune “My Way”.

Not saying that this is going to happen, but in this class both Mike Herndon and now Bookser have HS experience on the defensive side of the ball also. It is not out of the realm of possibility that we could either of these OL recruits moved over to shore up the depth issue on that side of the ball. I especially like that option for Herndon, since he played some LB at his HS and in his Junior highlight video looked dominant in that role. Pretty frickin quick on film for a kid carrying around over 300 lbs.

Now on to Nicholson and McKenzie. Even though I think that Shai might be taking into consideration that with Briggs, Ollison and our most recent RB recruit Chris James all on board in this class, “will there be room for playing time for me”, but if in fact, he is the competitor that I hope he is, he’ll be imagining how many yards that he’s going to be gaining behind the future OL that I’ve described above when he has earned his significant playing time in a year or two. BTW, Shell who? Come on down Shai and join the party!

I’m telling you guys, if we are lucky enough to reel in both Nicholson plus either Jennings/Kamara in this class and we discover that we have a promising QB developing in the group of Voytik, Freebeck or Bertke, then my friends, we are in for some dynamic Pitt offensive fireworks in the not so distant future IMO.

In closing, I sat on Santa’s lap this week during my recent mall visit and I gave him my Christmas wishlist. Montae Nicholson was #1 on it! Old St. Nick turned around and peeked in his sack sitting next to him then turned and whispered in my ear, “it’s in the bag”. Just hope that Chris Kringle wasn’t just BSing to get me out of there!

Hoping for more good recruiting news today. Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.19.13 @ 8:43 am

@@@@@@@

Don’t understand why none of the teams in the SEC have
Have offered Leggett???

Comment by JR 12.19.13 @ 8:46 am

Make no mistake about it… Pitt is going to RUN THE FOOTBALL next year.

Can’t wait.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.19.13 @ 8:51 am

JR

Good point. Have no clue.

He does look pretty good on tape. Physical.

Comment by PittofDreams 12.19.13 @ 8:52 am

Doc – I hope you sat in Santa’s wife’s lap. LOL

Comment by Upittbaseball 12.19.13 @ 8:53 am

Back to the Dixon strung too tight issue, I think it has some merit. Maybe we should send him a couple of bottles of good scotch for the holidays.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 9:26 am

Pomeroy’s has us back up to 11th off of Stanford’s win over UConn who dropped to 29th ..ouch

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 9:33 am

Glad to see the Bookser news this morning and hope more is forthcoming.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 9:35 am

Speaking of recruits we have to be getting pretty close to hearing about the status of one Detrik Mostella. Maybe Santa will bring him.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 9:47 am

Nope, it was Santa himself, UPittbaseball, no worries, it was OK. I would have felt uncomfortable only if he had been wearing a penn state Santa cap, if you know what I mean?

Comment by Dr. Tom 12.19.13 @ 9:51 am

Dixon isn’t any more high strung or anxious than any other college basketball coach. He didn’t look or act tight at all the other night and I was pretty much right behind him. The team didn’t battle particularly hard in the first half, so maybe a little more intensity is in order.?.?.

There was a little confusion late but they had time outs to burn. It wasn’t an issue. Dixon can’t shoot free throws or get rebounds for them. Thought he coached a decent game. Made a switch to zone to get a few stops. When that didn’t work out, switched back to man. When subs started sucking, he put the starters back in and pretty much kept them in….It was just a shitty game.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 12.19.13 @ 9:52 am

Silverpanther, I enjoy your perspective and you express it well. It occurred to me this morning that the rebound numbers were a little scewed by the weird foul shot differential too. Obviously when rebounding an opponents missed foul shot you are at an advantage by position. That advantage was tilted their way a lot more than ours. It probably didn’t account for the total difference but I bet it covered half of it.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 10:04 am

WE missed 8 more fouls than them and they outrebounded us by 6. Taking away first shot 1 on 1 misses I bet it accounted for 3or 4 boards.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 10:10 am

Zeise with a second article on the loss today, talk about rubbing it in. Don’t remember seeing that before. What is up with that?

I guess they believe people would rather read about Pitt’s failures, but it sure seems like they have an agenda.

Comment by gc 12.19.13 @ 10:32 am

DR Tom herdon was recruited to play DT at 320 pounds he has the size. and the boy from conn was allso at 289 pounds they both have the size
even thou they were listed as OT and OG
on some sites they are listed as d line men.

Comment by Frankcan 12.19.13 @ 10:49 am

I am constantly in awe of the basketball knowledge by those posters on this site! What a terrific and detailed breakdown of the loss in NY.

I have said this often. Teams learn much more from a loss than from an easy win . There will be more learning to come

Comment by Dan 72 12.19.13 @ 10:56 am

gc, Why kick Pitt once when you can kick them twice. Cincinnati was more aggressive and was excellent on the offensive glass. They were coming off a game when they got humiliated on the glass by their rival Xavier. Pitt was lackluster in the 1st half and never seemed to recover from the Bearcat onslaught. Pitt had it’s worst game shooting from the field and at the line to compound the misery caused by the rebounding. Yet Pitt only lost by a point. If we had won would Mr Zeise and Dejan the mustard king be giving us all this ink? Of course not.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 11:02 am

JW, sorry but that isn’t how the final play went down. Patterson didn’t box out Rubles and left him open for the putback. Zanna was attempting to block the initial shot. Poor rebounding and overplayed defense…. the story of the night. The problem was they had last shot because if we had the ball and they couldn’t foul, I think we would have scored too. We’ll never know.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 11:13 am

Old School Panther, I had to laugh at your rant about Dixon being to tight and wishing he were more like Izzo. Izzo makes 5 million a year and his teams have underachieved ever since he got the contract. 3 years ago they were a preseason choice for the final four and they barely made the NCAA’s and lost the 1st game. When was the last time they won the BIG. He is a fine coach but at over twice the money as Dixon he has been living off past laurels. He is working on his 4th consecutive underachieving team. We all might wish that Jamie delivered more but the fact is his teams generally overachieve. I think we were picked to finish 6th in the Big East last year as an example. We aren’t going to finish 6th to 9th in the ACC this year either. 5 million dollar man Izzo is favored to win the BIG and I bet they don’t.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 11:44 am

According to College Basketball News P J Hairston will not be reinstated by the NCAA this year and probably will make himself available for the NBA.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.19.13 @ 12:30 pm

Also funny how today’s Zeise article stated that the 11 field goals were the fewest since Feb 8,1939 in a 41-22 loss to Penn State. Back when PSU was relevant in basketball LOL

Comment by gc 12.19.13 @ 12:38 pm

If Izzo or any championship coach lead the Blair teams into the floor their expressions would have said I’ve got the horses and you’re not stopping us. Izzo like so many other championship coaches is unfazed by pressure, great game time coaches. I maintain Dixon is too anxious esp away from Pete.

It’s funny Silver Panther how two guys can view the same thing and have opposite opinions. Reminds me of the story of the Aborigini who was debriefed after seeing civilization for the first time could only report see a man selling bananas. His level of consciousness was limited by his perceptions.

Comment by Old School Panther 12.19.13 @ 1:40 pm

Last year I thought the blog reached new lows when multiple dingbats spent many cyber moments here supposedly getting into the heads of 19 and 20-year-old kids and telling us how they felt, what motivated them, what they didn’t like, etc.

Pissing and moaning and speculating about the Head Coach’s facial expressions and body language seems right on up there with that. I’m sure you’re kind to puppies and children, pay taxes on time, and are a fine supporter of our athletic programs. But if this were a bar conversation, I’d laugh in your fucking grill for talking about that kind of crap. Jamie Dixon could have been wearing kabuki make-up and it still wouldn’t have stopped Reynolds from making the layup.

I’ve been at MSG for the Big East Championship win, for many other wins, for some loses, I’ve been to a bunch of away games as well. Jamie’s facial expressions are fine. If we’re going to break down late game strategy, tactics, decisions, overall composure, bring on some basketball analysis. Otherwise let’s just move on. This is so lame.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 12.19.13 @ 9:33 pm

@silverpanther, I have to agree with you completely concerning the lameness of the facial expression BS. Seems like more of a please notice I sit in the front move than anything else, however I think everyones point of view should be welcome here.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 9:06 am

I heard Dixon on his weekly talk show with Hillgrove where he generally speaks so generally as to say nothing. He sounded genuinely surprised that we played so poorly. It gave me some hope that maybe we just had a bad night and all will soon be well. I hope we come out and kick the Poly out of Cal Poly. I mean just beat the stuffing out of them. Nothing like a 40 point win to ease pain. Score as many as we can and don’t allow them any. Make a statement.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.20.13 @ 9:13 am

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