December 31, 2013

Open Thread: Albany-Pitt

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 9:00 am

Final Pitt game of 2013. Final non-con game.

1 pm start time. No real TV, just the internet feed.

It’s been ten days since Pitt last played.

They are going up against the Albany Marmadukes. Albany is not particularly good. A 6-6 record which includes beating the New Jersey Institute of Technology (twice?). They have lost to Duquesne. Their best win would be taking out… Brown.

The head coach at Albany met Jamie Dixon back when he was coaching a JUCO program and Dixon was still a Pitt assistant.

Albany has size.

Jamie Dixon did a double take when four Albany players 6-foot-8 or taller passed him while walking through Petersen Events Center.

The Pitt coach knew that the Great Danes have an international flavor, with four players from Australia, one from Denmark and one from the Republic of Georgia.

What Dixon didn’t expect was for Albany’s players to appear as tall in person as they are on the roster.

“I’m surprised by their size,” Dixon said. “I saw some of them walking through, and sometimes you see guys listed at 6-8 and they’re not really 6-8, but this team looks like it.”

That’s a cause for concern for Dixon, who has spent the 10 days between games and past five days of practice drilling it into the Panthers’ heads that they must improve their rebounding.

But that size doesn’t translate to defense or rebounding. Albany is simply not a good rebounding team.

The layoff for Pitt is one of the few things that didn’t worry Coach Dixon.

That meant he could give the players four days to go home for Christmas and spend some time at home. It also meant he could have five good days of practice before their final non-conference game of the season.

Dixon said the time gave the players a chance to get rested and spend some time with their families. The long stretch of practices enabled the players to get a lot of work on the areas they need to shore up.

“The thing that was different for us was these five days of practice at this time of the season, I don’t remember ever having that before,” Dixon said. “I don’t think we really have had it before so we kind of looked at it as a mini-training camp or a boot camp where we could get after some things.

“We did a lot of live stuff and we were able to get after it. I don’t know that we did enough live stuff going into this year, but we really wanted to and it was good. It was good for us on things we need to improve on defense and rebounding, specifically blocking out.

“We went hard, we had so many games in that stretch [in December] so we didn’t have a lot of good long practice days, but we were able to do that here in the last four days.”

About the only concern for the Pitt coaches is keeping the team focused on this game. It would be very easy to start looking ahead to next week and the start of the ACC slate.

Chas we start conference play this Saturday.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.31.13 @ 9:27 am

I use to have a small cartoon book that featured,
Marmaduke the dog.

A large mischievous canine. Funny stuff !

Comment by Emel 12.31.13 @ 9:38 am

I take it that Marmaduke has to be their mascot.

JD better be aware, he might get licked to death.

Comment by Emel 12.31.13 @ 9:40 am

Guess their players are big and slow, and have big tongues

Comment by wbb 12.31.13 @ 9:45 am

Didn’t we just recruit a 7′ great dane?

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.31.13 @ 9:57 am

No…. but we had a 7 foot Kiwi last year.

Comment by Emel 12.31.13 @ 10:02 am

Shaquille Doorson 6’11 from the Neterlands. Just a jump shot away from Denmark.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.31.13 @ 10:52 am

No word on Mostella yet, guess that means we need to cross our fingers for fall.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.31.13 @ 11:13 am

Any chance Uchebo sees the floor today?? H2P.

Comment by DC33 12.31.13 @ 12:25 pm

Uchebo had a walking boot on his right foot during the last game. I doubt he plays.

Comment by Nick 12.31.13 @ 12:41 pm

@DC33, He has been warming up and riding the pine. I doubt he sees any action.

Comment by spiritofsection22 12.31.13 @ 12:44 pm

Thank goodness this is Dixon’s last rent-a-win…

The season starts Saturday.

Comment by Jackagain 12.31.13 @ 1:01 pm

Thank goodness this is Dixon’s last rent-a-win…

The season starts Saturday.

Comment by Jackagain 12.31.13 @ 1:01 pm

Let’s win first before we start categorizing this as a rent-a-win

Comment by Pitt Dad 12.31.13 @ 1:08 pm

What is up with Albany’s shorts? Purple in the front & gold in the back?

Comment by Nick 12.31.13 @ 1:10 pm

Wow – I turned the game on with Pitt down by 2 (16-18). They had a great run to close out the first half for a 10+ point lead. What was up with the FTs? I think they missed their first 7 or so. The long lay-off really showed. Hope they wake up before NC St on Saturday.

Btw, I live in the DC area and with Roku & Verizon Fios I can watch ESPN3 games on TV. Worth checking into if anyone else has Roku.

Comment by CalvinHobbes 12.31.13 @ 3:48 pm

1-10 on threes, 56% from the stripe. Looks like our offensively challenged team from days of Auld Lang Syne has returned. Durand Durand another O-fer from the arc. He is in an extended shooting slump, hasn’t hit a three since the 1st grad picnic.

Listened to some of the game on the radio, Pitt seemed flat. Could be the lay off, could be they are looking to Saturday, but there are signs this team has lost a bit of mojo. Good news is, starting Saturday, we no longer have to speculate how good they really are.

Comment by Iron Duke 12.31.13 @ 4:39 pm

56% from the free throw line.

Comment by alcofan 12.31.13 @ 4:42 pm

hoping that Pitt
1) was flat after a long layoff
2) was looking ahead to Saturday
3) was distracted by their shorts

Comment by wbb 12.31.13 @ 4:46 pm

Definitely the shorts.

Happy New Years everyone. Be safe and smart.

Comment by TX Panther 12.31.13 @ 5:15 pm


Non-conference games are over….at last!
Get ready for Saturday and NCState. Can’t
help to be concerned regarding the following:

Pitt is offensively challenged (as usual)
Zanna does not have a suitable backup
Team is very inexperienced

Comment by JR 12.31.13 @ 5:17 pm

Rusty!! At least I hope that is all that was. Soft on penetration until we went zone. DJ shooting like 20% in the past 7 games. Freshmen look like freshmen more then ever. Liking what Cam is bringing though!

Comment by DD 12.31.13 @ 5:31 pm

If it makes us feel any better, Ped St. up 11 late first half on Mich St. #5 team in the country can’t handle Nitters guards…

Comment by Iron Duke 12.31.13 @ 5:51 pm

I don’t think ped st winning anything makes me feel better.

Comment by panther94 12.31.13 @ 7:00 pm

Michigan st 79,Molest u 63.

Comment by alcofan 12.31.13 @ 10:04 pm

As far as TV goes, if you don’t have an ACC Network affiliate in your area (and I don”t), these options are available: Apple TV and Smart TV both allow you to “stream” the games directly to your TV through a “Watch ESPN” app. I don’t know about Smart TV, but Apple TV costs $100 + a HTMI cable. They hook into the back of your TV if you have an HTMI input (most flat screen, Hi Res TV’s do). It takes minutes to set up. All Pitt games that are not on one of the regular ESPN channels, can be seen this way.

Comment by RogerH 01.01.14 @ 7:30 am


Thanks for info. My internet provider has espn3. I use HDMI connection from laptop to TV. The only problem is that the audio on older 5+ year hi-def comes from laptop. My smaller newer hdtv uses tv audio.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 01.01.14 @ 9:29 am

The poor shooting and the apparent ease with which Albany was scoring in the paint early in the game — based on what I was hearing on the radio — are significant concerns. Not sure how a team that was shooting so well early in the season can suddenly not night the side of a barn from behind the arc. I can see one player struggling, but an entire team that has gone south is disturbing.

Looking forward to, but quite nervous, about Saturday.

Comment by Carmen 01.01.14 @ 10:30 am

I think This game & Cincy game is a precursor to ACC season! just a total lack of scoring! Constantly settling for jumpers, of which this team struggles with. Certainly FT shooting is back to where we Pitt fans are used to. 1-9 first half?? 6th grade girls shoot them better.
Long season!

Comment by Punxy Panther 01.01.14 @ 12:31 pm

link to

Ken Pom thinks Pitt deserves more love.

Lets see them prove it starting Saturday.

Comment by TVax 01.01.14 @ 9:16 pm

I just got a call that Pitt has landed a top guard prospect class of 16 Mustafa Herron.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.02.14 @ 1:29 pm

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