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January 16, 2014

Nothing New With “Next Man Up”

Filed under: Basketball,Players — Chas @ 8:34 am

Primary stories on Pitt basketball focus on “character” and “resilience” of the team with Durand Johnson gone for the year.

They are nice stories. Positive stories. And nothing I really disagree with them.

At the same time, this is nothing new with Pitt under Coach Jamie Dixon.

We’ve seen the team handle the loss of Mike Cook and Levance Fields in one season. They weathered early issues when Gil Brown had to sit or Jermaine Dixon.

A good amount of that does indeed go to Coach Dixon not letting the team use it as an excuse. But as noted, it has to do with the guys who lead the team.

James Robinson is the floor leader without question. He gets the respect and attention of everyone on the team. Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna have grown into their roles as senior leaders, and showed in the GT game that they aren’t shrinking from it.

The only year it didn’t work out so well was when Travon Woodall got hurt and Khem Birch bailed. While that season had as much to do with the poor depth at the guard spots, there was a lack of players who had the presence needed to keep the team going.

I love Nasir Robinson and I think Ashton Gibbs takes entirely too much blame and grief for that season, but they were “lead by example” guys. They were expected to be leaders as the seniors, but really didn’t know what to do. They didn’t have to until then. Brad Wanamaker handled that the prior two years. Woodall was the leader that year, and they were happy with that. With him lost, no one else was there to do it.

I also think Coach Dixon learned something from that loss. That he can’t just wait to see who steps up to lead. While this team has clear leaders for this season, there is planning ahead to make sure guys are ready to lead in the future.

Dixon said he believes the challenge for Pitt will be to overcome his absence by replicating Johnson’s passion instead of his point production.

“There’s a void, but there can also be a way of inspiring or encouraging,” Dixon said. “Durand’s personality is a big part of our team, as well as his basketball attributes. I think we’ll fill that vacuum, that hole. I told our guys, ‘I want you talking. I want you playing with passion. That’s the only thing you need to do differently.’ ”

And Coach Dixon is doing his part to keep things positive with the guys who are supposed to see increased roles but clearly struggled the first time in them.

[Chris] Jones was given the first shot at replacing Johnson, but he struggled while playing only four minutes and quickly got into foul trouble.

Jones also got lost a few times on defense and did not return after his brief appearance.

“He’ll be back, don’t write him off,” Dixon said, with a smile. “He got the two fouls, and we got Josh [Newkirk] in there, but [Jones] will be back, he will be in there on Saturday and he will play good for us.”

No, no, no. The narrative is that Jones is not good enough. That Dixon will now bury him on the bench. What’s this crap about playing a freshman in a big game after a bad outing. That’s not how this works.





History tells us that (1) whoever is playing well off the bench in the first half will see playing time in the 2nd half and (2) in close games, the starters will get the bulk of the minutes.

Game conditions dictate PT .. someone with a hot hand, foul trouble, the opponents’ style of play and the closeness of the game.

On Saturday, I foresee very little subbing in the 2nd half except for short breathers.

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 8:41 am

I think who plays the best D plays, looks like that means more minutes for the starters. Foul trouble hasn’t been a problem this year but the loss of Johnson makes us vulnerable if it is. Our freshman need to grow up fast.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 9:18 am

I have been perusing some of the sites and the Syracuse fans don’t seem particularly confident. You would think undefeated and playing at home would have them talking smack but they aren’t. What happens if Pitt wins at Syracuse. Where would Pitt deserved ranking be and what would we likely be ranked? Top 5, 10, 15?

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 9:25 am

I have to admit I love the Franklin hire at Penn St. … This guy is such a pig that it makes it even easier to hate Penn St. Who the hell does he think he is to walk in and announce that they will dominate the state. They haven’t dominated squat in 20 years and this clown is no messiah. A few years of his leadership and the football team will be about as competitive as the hoop team. A couple Compass Bowls doesn’t make you Bear Bryant.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 9:34 am

I mean giving the history… Cuse hates pitt and we always give them a rough time…

Comment by Snala The Panther 01.16.14 @ 9:35 am

@Snala, I think a lot of the Orange fans have if not fear at least respect for Pitt.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 9:41 am

Re Jones, my guess is gets another shot, and if he plays well, he plays more, if he does not play well, particularly defensively, he sits. Big game or not. Jones has potential, and will only grow with experience. A lot of this depends on matchups, as always. This may be a tough game for Newkirik, given Syracuse’s length in their zone, but who knows, maybe his penetration skills will come in handy. Will be interesting.

Comment by 1618mt 01.16.14 @ 9:50 am

While the Cuse is undefeated and has a couple impressive wins, many of their games against lesser opponents have been way too close for comfort.

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 9:51 am

Ball movement and smart shot selection are keys to beating zone defense and we do both those things well usually, so we always have good games vs. Syracuse. I don’t think a win would put us in the top 5. Top 15 for sure. Maybe top 10.

There would definitely be a lot of debate about where to move us and where Syracuse might fall. But anyway, as long as we don’t get blown out, this game has only potentially neutral or positive ramifications in terms of rankings and prestige. I can’t wait. Will be the focal point of my weekend.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.16.14 @ 9:51 am

It Kenpom’s player of the year (POY) race, Lamar Patterson is (a very distant) second, to McDermott.

Comment by xfmrman 01.16.14 @ 9:55 am

In*

Comment by xfmrman 01.16.14 @ 9:57 am

Spiritofsection22 where is that Franklin quote ” we will own the state from”?

Comment by Justin 01.16.14 @ 9:58 am

Newkirk hasn’t been as fluid recently. He’s not a surprise to an opponent anymore. He is fast & quick and showed us 3 point range. Can’t wait for him to show pace, where the game slows down so he can explode with acceleration. He will be a weapon. JRs vision is the best I’ve seen in a Pitt uni since BK. He also has amazing anticipation & strength. I think we’ll see better play from Artis sooner than later, Young too. Love this team’s vibe, can’t wait to tip.

Comment by Old School Panther 01.16.14 @ 10:00 am

Normally the way to beat Cuse’s Zone is to post a big man at the foul line and work off that.
Jamie does it quite differently, working off the baseline instead and using inside passes to stymie the Orange. It has been quite effective and I think with Slice back, we will see a few more wrinkles.

BC gave Cuse fits by running their offese “above” the zone and working off ball screen isolations and ball reverses to get a lot of 3′s.

Win lose or tie, I am really looking forward to this challage.

RIP Curtis Bray….one of the guttiest players ever at Pitt.

Comment by Dan 72 01.16.14 @ 10:03 am

According to Vandy sportswriters, Franklin gave almose the exact same speech (subbing Vandy for PSU) when he started. Would love to see a copy of that speech to show what a charlatin he is.

Comment by Dan 72 01.16.14 @ 10:04 am

In that epic game at The Pete a few years ago, they used Nasir Robinson in the high post and that was quite effective. Wondering if we see Patterson in the same role then on Saturday. Whether it is from there or the baseline, we have better finishers and foul shooters than we have had in the past, so that should help as well.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.16.14 @ 10:08 am

Jamie has beaten the Cuse zone with a pass to the foul line and a foul line jump shot. Hope Cam Wright is on tonight.

Huge challenge on Saturday. Zanna and Young will have their work cut out for them. Will Wright handle Fair? Need a strong game from Patterson.

Big opportunity on ESPN mothership.

Nice article’s in the Post about Bray, Amara, and BBall today. Credit them when they get it right.

Comment by gc 01.16.14 @ 10:13 am

Young, Artis and Newkirk are freshmen. One of the definitions of freshmen is inconsistency. Patterson as a RS FR was nearly as good as he is now, same thing for Zanna and Wright. And the JR we saw the other night didn’t resemble what we saw last year.

Don’t let a bad game or two from any of the frosh cause concern. They still have much to learn

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 10:18 am

* Patterson as a RS FR was ‘NOT’ nearly as good …

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 10:19 am

I like what Dixon said about Jones. At some point, Jamie is going to need him. Jamie should let Jones know he will be playing and then play him early. Players who know they’re playing, practice harder. Players who get in the game early are better late if you need them. Even if Chris struggles a little, Jamie should try to get him some time in the second half.

Winning Saturday would go a long way towards winning the ACC regular season championship. With the favorable schedule Pitt has, a 1 game lead, with the tie breaker, would be pretty nice.

Expect Syracuse’s best shot Saturday. Coming off the beat down they gave UNC, ‘cuse had a huge let down at BC. They struggled the whole game but were able to pull away late. If ‘cuse plays like that against Pitt, they’ll lose by 10+. I am sure Jimmy B knows that, and he’ll remind his players.

SU fans, like most fans, have short term memories. They are concerned because the BC game is still fresh. I wouldn’t put much stock in that.

This team is built to beat the Syracuse zone. They pass and move the ball extremely well, especially in the paint. You beat the zone by going inside out. Robinson and Patterson have to be able to get the ball in the paint, make the zone move and find the open guy. The only question; who is going to hit the wide open three that results from all the ball movement? That dude was supposed to be Johnson.

As always, Pitt is going to need to play good d and rebound. The best way to beat the SU zone is to get easy transition buckets BEFORE IT GETS SET UP.

My guess on the line, SU -4.5, take pitt and the points.

Comment by boubacar aw 01.16.14 @ 10:19 am

Syracuse’s D struggles with stopping Pitt which is great except the same is true of us. Our D traditionally struggles with Syracuse. I think we have a good chance in this game and not much to lose. I think it is great that the lead in the ACC is between us and the Orange. Preseason coach voting acknowledged Syracuse but snubbed us. A win here and it really topples the media spin on the conference and the national picture as well. Since they just let us in the top 25 it makes them look pretty stupid when you consider #2Syracuse hasn’t played a tougher schedule, would have the same record having lost to us, and has struggled with more opponents. In short if they are #2 we should be ranked in the top 5 with a win. Something doesn’t add up here otherwise. We all know though that if we win that isn’t going to happen. So where would they put us with a win?

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 10:28 am

Sagarin has ranking reality right. The human polls do not. This is more like #11 vs #14 (Sagarin today) and not #2 vs #22.

link to usatoday.com

Comment by pitt1972 01.16.14 @ 10:53 am

How do you get Syracuse hadn’t played a tougher schedule? The beat Baylor, Cal, and Nova … all currently ranked. Pitt has played one currently ranked team and lost.

When you get into RPI, BPI and SOS, sometimes it’s a matter that Pitt schedule much better teams they should beat than other schools do, thus the inflated rankings.

Humans take into account all the real good teams that can beat you in account. I’m afraid I side with the humans on this issue.

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 11:08 am

On the other hand, humans do have vendettas .. Gorman and Seth Davis, but I still contend that playing teams in the pre-season that can beat you is a much better test especially away from home than playing a bunch of better than average lesser schools

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 11:11 am

Next Two Football Recruits to Commit?

Dipaola of the Trib reports a D-End from Philadelphia and a Linebacker from Ohio could commit during their official visits this weekend.

Hez Trahan is 6-4 250… a legit D-End size-wise. Recruited by Jim Hueber.

Jamal Davis is 6-3 215… an Athlete who doubles as a Receiver and can RUN. Reportedly showed well for himself at OSU Camps the last couple of years.

Davis would be a GREAT GET. Reminds you a bit of Todd Thomas… only BETTER. Here, judge for yourself.

link to hudl.com

These would be two welcome additions to a Recruiting Class that could put Chryst in the position of having to trim FIVE SCHOLARSHIPS to bring the team total within the 85 limit.

Comment by PittofDreams 01.16.14 @ 11:13 am

POD, if nothing else, they play defense

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 11:16 am

I’m looking forward to the Syracuse game on Saturday, but I don’t really know what to expect. I know I would LOVE to still have Durand Johnson in the lineup, but that’s not an option. My hope is that the Panthers do what they usually do against Syracuse, play well.

To Spiritofsection22, I also was offended by Franklin’s bravado and I didn’t appreciate his comments concerning Pitt and his declaration that they are going to dominate the state. I couldn’t help but admire the job Bill O’Brien did during his two years at Penn State. Unlike O’Brien I don’t like this guy. We need to pick up the gauntlet and slap him with it.

Comment by Justinian 01.16.14 @ 11:18 am

POD I’ve been checking out Davis’ film for a while now. I like the way he hits. Looks like he was originally a strong Louisville lean – and Charlie Strong was known for his defense. Would be a great get indeed. Trahan looks to be one of those under-the-radar guys with outstanding physical tools that could grow into something special. I like both of these guys and hope they commit to Pitt!

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.16.14 @ 11:21 am

The small writeup in the Trib about those 2 guys had an interesting tidbit from Trahan’s coach. Said he has more upside and talent than that of Scott Paxson who played for PSU. Trahan isn’t highly recruited but he seems to have the legit size and athleticism.

Comment by JJ 01.16.14 @ 11:29 am

The rotation of the 4 will be critical in the Cuse game on offense – this may be the opportunity for Young and Artis to show their stuff and flexibility…one of the guards will need to be able to hit the “3″ on the rotation or Boeheim will pack the zone and prevent the internal passing….should be a very good test on offense

On defense, they will need to rebound well & not slack off the 2 players that can make deep 3′s as they seem to do so often…CJ Fair is really good; I am interested to see the Robinson-Ennis match up as Ennis is getting a lot of press as an outstanding freshman – I expect the JR will hold his own and take that as a personal challenge.

Watched UNLV late last night to see what progress Khem Birch has made…added bonus of having Pitt hater Doug Gotlieb announcing. I think Birch ended with a double-double and altered the potential game tying shot on the defensive side – he is not the dominant inside presence that he envisioned, but he would have been really nice to have in the 4/5 role this year

Comment by Brandon 01.16.14 @ 11:33 am

@Justinian, I really think dickheads like Franklin will find a way to hang themselves. As I previously stated a couple of Compass Bowls doesn’t qualify you as the next Vince Lombardi. Penn State has played tough considering the handicap but that is a long way removed from dominating anything. I had to admire O’Brien for the character he and his kids showed under the shameful circumstances. I hated Paterno for being pompous but at least he had accomplished something. This guy is faking it in hopes of making it. Penn St. was desperate for a coach and Lord knows Pitt knows that feeling. I think they spent a lot of money for a recruiter. Whether that results in dominating anything is another story. What has Franklin ever dominated?

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 11:35 am

Sounds good, we need more talent defensive side of the ball. I’m sure it was mentioned at least once or twice, that Chryst will play freshmen if they have the ability. I hope they both have a nice “Offical visit” and that we see them in the fall.

Comment by Justinian 01.16.14 @ 11:36 am

@Brandon, I prefer Quim Birch stay out west. He quit and ran, that was his privilege, but it’s our privilege to resent him and I do. Since he wasn’t man enough to handle competing for a job on our team I think it is false to assume we would benefit by his presence two seasons later. I would love to play UNLV and Zanna would have Quimboy for lunch.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 11:43 am

I was doing some perusing over on ESPN football recruiting. At one time, it seemed Pitt was very interested in Rasaan Stewart – he chose Villanova?? and then Marquise Dudley-Gordon was rumored to be a strong Pitt lean – he chose Florida Atlantic??? Huh? I’d like to know the reasoning behind these. Did Pitt not want these guys or were grades or some other factor an issue? Not that they are prize recruits, but the options they picked don’t make sense.

Comment by JJ 01.16.14 @ 11:45 am

Looking at Vandy’s wins and losses for the last three seasons, I’d say that Franklin has dominated at least 5 FCS teams. He’s also consistently dominated a lot of middle-of -the-road SEC teams, and beaten Wake Forest 3 times.

He’s done it with a lot of 3-star guys and a couple of young 4-stars sprinkled in.

His recruiting classes at Vandy actually look a lot like the last three classes and Ped State, except they are larger.

Will be determined if he can parlay Penn State’s “tradition”, checkbook and lower academic standards into better recruiting classes. Probably so.

But who cares really. I agree that an arrogant SOB is just easier to hate. For every dude that is attracted to the Holgorsons and Franklin’s of the world, there is a solid player and person who sees right though it and is attracted to a Paul Chryst.

Hail to Pitt

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.16.14 @ 11:46 am

With LOI Signing Day only a few weeks away, the Gazette had a piece on one of our defensive backfield football recruits today, Patrick Amara. Apparently he has an “in” with Shady McCoy since he lives in Philly and McCoy reached out to him after his verbal commitment was made to Pitt.

That kind of recruiting help is what we need more of for this program! What I loved the most was that Amara is talking trash against penn state right away. Over two years until these programs get to knock helmets on the field once again and a Pitt recruit that hasn’t even signed on the dotted line yet already hates penn state.

Gotta love it! Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.16.14 @ 11:48 am

@Spirito – I agree with you on Birch…not sure whether he was a bad fit personality wise or if it was related to his recruiter leaving for Marshall…hard to tell with 18-year old kids. Just brought up the info as Pitt potentially had Adams, Zanna and Birch as a front line rotation for this year – would have been impressive.

On the football side, I have seen Davis play – he will be a good player in a couple of years; smart and well coached, reminds me of Bam Bradley with strong instincts

Comment by Brandon 01.16.14 @ 11:51 am

Dr. Tom you are right on the money! I really like Amara. Going to be a great player at Pitt.

And I also agree that Shady McCoy playing for the Eagles does a lot for our recruiting the Philly area. We’ve pulled some pretty good guys from there over the last couple of years.

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.16.14 @ 11:51 am

Face it. Franklin’s bravado was a grandstand play meant for all of PA’s high schoolers and PSU’s inbred fans to get all excited about. A 10th or 11th grader may be really impressed , and he will get a handful of them but in the long term, we will see if he has substance to back up his style.

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 11:53 am

@Brandon Spirito…. oh,you mean my Mexican cousin.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 11:54 am

Lunardi just bumped us from a 7 seed to a 5 and dropped his beloved Duke to a 5 from a 3.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 11:59 am

I believe it was in his press conference,

“we will dominate the state” and

“we will dominate the region”.

link to cleveland.com

The sad thing, and I wish this wasn’t true, but the truth, is the truth!!!

It really wasn’t any shot at Pitt (this is the sad thing, showing where we stand at this time)

It was a shot at Ohio State.

Hopefully HCPC can make him remember those words by recruiting any big talent in Pa., and whipping up on them when the series resumes.

Comment by Dan 01.16.14 @ 12:03 pm

@@@@@@@

We are going to miss DJ on Saturday. Lots of 3 point shots
in the 2/3 zone played by the ‘Cuse.

Can’t wait until game time!

Comment by JR 01.16.14 @ 12:10 pm

link to teespring.com

Check this tee-shirt out to get your blood boiling!!!

Friggin’ bastards!!! They haven’t changed a bit.

I’d love nothing more than to reel 4 in a row off on them.

Comment by Dan 01.16.14 @ 12:11 pm

Zanna key to Cuse game as he passes from the foul line in the zone. Need some 3′s from other players and base line play. Pitt shows that if you stay in school you will improve dramatically. XM radio BB guy is very interested in this game.

Comment by Frank MD 01.16.14 @ 12:15 pm

After perusing some articles, the good news is that a store owner in State College said, that the “Billieve” tee-shirts are over stocked and will have to be donated to a charity.

i.e. This coach is one incident or one new job away from leaving Penn St. Funny how things sometimes work out.

Someone above referenced the speech that, you could have just substituted PSU for Vandy.

Wasn’t that true with Fraud too??

I remember someone posted the speeches were almost identical, could have just substituted Arizona State for Pitt, and would have been the same.

Whatever, they’ll always be PED STATE to me.

Comment by Dan 01.16.14 @ 12:18 pm

you guys have a short memory. When have we beaten Cuse with 3s? We have been been zone busters with ball movement and a high-low post. We have gotten many layins vs their zone with ball entry in the high post (near the foul line) and immediately passing to someone working the baseline.

WE also are able to rebound pretty good against the zone because of the lack of blockouts. I’m not guaranteeing a win but will be shocked if it isn’t close.

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 12:19 pm

To get you guys back on hoops, sorry I digressed, I learned a long time ago to not let one season, let alone one game, sully my overall opinion of what a player can do.

Chris Jones could end up scoring 20 a game next year. I have no idea.

I only comment on what I see. Yes, he didn’t look to good, a little lost the other night.

Is he not a good recruit or player, I would say absolutely not. We’ll know in 4 years.

Too many others have surprised me in the past.

Comment by Dan 01.16.14 @ 12:21 pm

Latest ESPN bracketology has Pitt on the 5 line in the Midwest region opening up against N Mex St. with a potential match with Creighton in the 2nd round against one of the best players in the country…Duke is also a 5 with VA a 7 & NC a 9 and FSU an 8….only 6 ACC teams, not very strong.

Comment by Brandon 01.16.14 @ 12:22 pm

here is proof that we don’t rely on 3s to beat Cuse. Attached is box score of the last time we played them last Feb … we were 3 for 15 from 3 points but beat them by 10

link to sportsillustrated.cnn.com

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 12:26 pm

Thank you, wbb, you beat me to it. You beat the ‘Cuse zone with high/low passing in the Lett/Troutman style.

And no, Zanna (or Wright, who was mentioned earlier) is not the guy you want at the high post.
I think it should mostly be Patterson cutting in there and looking baseline for Zanna, Young, or Artis.

Patterson is the best passer I’ve seen at Pitt (and I’m talking back to Eastern Eight), but if he plays like he did in the first half against GT, they have ZERO chance in the dome.

The difference with Syracuse is that even if you’re able to able to move it high/low, you might still struggle to score over a long front line (Grant, Keita, Christmas).

You guys know I’m a Zanna skeptic (and that’s putting it mildly), but it was nice to see him score 20+. But then again, he had to score big because he was keeping both teams in the game with some matador defense.

I’m not sold yet on Ennis and Cooney, so I think Pitt will hang in there and I’m hoping for a close game.

Comment by hugh green 01.16.14 @ 12:47 pm

Stuff that makes you scratch your head. (but that’s BBall!) Texas Tech took Baylor apart last night, ending up winning by 10. The ‘Cuse beat Baylor by 7, and we put a 23 point hurt on Texas Tech.

Comment by CompLit 01.16.14 @ 12:51 pm

I watched some of Baylor last night, 2nd half. They looked to be very athletic and have at least one good outside shooters, but they also seem to be undisciplined. This is the kind of team that can be very good or very bad.

They had this other guy who was throwing up these long shots but kept clanking .. I assume he had an off night .. he didn’t even play in crunch time.

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 1:09 pm

@wbb – that’s true but two of those 3s were made in the second half – with 11:59 and 5:53 left. The first one broke a 35-35 tie. The second extended the lead to 9.

It’s not so much how many 3s but when.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.16.14 @ 1:10 pm

Doesn’t mean a hill of beans, but interesting.

Dixon vs. Syracuse

10-4 overall 5-1 in Carrier Dome.

Since 2001, Pitt overall vs Syracuse 13-5

Let’s go get another!!

Comment by Dan 01.16.14 @ 1:13 pm

@ hugh green, Patterson isn’t a better passer than Brandon Knight. So refreshing to see you still dissing Talib as in the last week his play has gathered such comments as “catlike quickness” and “now in the All Conference picture”. Funny how this Pitt team is having one of it’s best defensive seasons ever with a what you call a “matador” at center. The truth is you don’t know sXXX, and the Zman is playing great D. You should lose your skepticism and admit that you were wrong all along.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 1:20 pm

Pitt Dad, I’m impressed.

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 1:21 pm

^* meant Patterson isn’t a better passer than Knight.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 1:22 pm

some stats from last game vs Cuse – link above:

Zanna 12 reb (playing the 4) 6 on offense
Patterson 5 assists
Robinson 18 minutes, 2 pts, 1 assist

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 1:27 pm

Does anyone here think we would have lost to Villanova, Cal, or Baylor? I didn’t think so. Syracuse hasn’t done anything amazing and has struggled with several weak opponents. They are what Syracuse always is a very good slightly overated team. They are lucky Johnson got hurt or I think I would call us a favorite on their court. HTP

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 1:29 pm

@hugh green. I disagree with you that Patterson is the best passer in recent history at Pitt. He may be as good as Robinson, but he’s not better.

I’ve seen both of them thread the needle time after time this year. So far:

Patterson has 79 assists and 41 turnovers in 517 minutes

Robinson has 69 assists and 13 turnovers in 475 minutes.

The two of them together are part of what makes this team the best passing Pitt team that I’ve ever seen.

Comment by Howard 01.16.14 @ 1:31 pm

How come I am the only one defending Zanna against Hugh Green’s troll like attacks. The guy is having a great year and is a huge part of our success. How about some help discrediting this bozo.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 1:34 pm

High likelihood of having to watch the ‘Cuse game on delay. Hate doing that for big games!

And not to sound like a whiner, but mamma-bleepin’-mia am I tired of reading about that other FOOTBALL team and their new head coach. We’re in the midst of a very good hoops season, no?

Comment by Carmen 01.16.14 @ 1:36 pm

Here ya go SOS22 (with apologies to Andrew Lloyd Webber)

Ho Zanna
Hey Zanna, Zanna, Zanna, Ho Zanna
Hey Zanna, Ho Zanna
Hey J.D., J.D. won’t you please coach me?
Zanna, Ho Zanna, HEY SUPERSTAR!!!!

Comment by pghFred 01.16.14 @ 1:46 pm

@pghFred, lmao

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 1:49 pm

Many times, in between games, the comments get less and less.

I myself was answering Justin’s question, then added a couple comments. That’s all. I didn’t realize it was a problem.

Sometimes, someone might post a football comment on a hoop post. Vice-versa. Sometimes they post both football and hoop comments at the same time.

Sometimes, people post movie quotes, what bars’ they drank at while at Pitt, what the Penguin score is, etc. etc.

I just tend to scroll by comments that don’t interest me.

Comment by Dan 01.16.14 @ 1:51 pm

JD has a good record with under-developed (BB-wise) big men. Remember Aaron Greys first 2 seasons? McGee’s? How did they look as juniors and seniors?

Coming into the season, folks most definitely had reason to doubt Zanna. I know it is early in the ACC schedule, but Zanna has played like a MAN and has not shown any signs of a Houdini act against the better teams Pitt has played.

Comment by pghFred 01.16.14 @ 1:57 pm

@pghFred – up until this year you might have gone with this ditty from “Hair”:

Oh, Zanna, oh oh, Zanna, oh oh oh
Looking for my Zanna, looking for my Zanna

But, as SoS22 rightly points out, I think TZ has been found!

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.16.14 @ 2:05 pm

2pghFred

I don’t know how to guard him
What to do, how to move him
I’ve been charged, yes really charged
In these past few years
When I’ve seen Zanna
He seems like someone else

I don’t know how to guard him
He can always move by me
He’s a man
He’s just a man
And I’ve guarded so many
Men before
In very many ways
He’s just one more

Should I bring him down
Should I scream and shout
Should I speak of blocks
Let my feelings out?
I never thought I’d come to this
What’s it all about?

H2P and H2Zanna

Comment by pmdH2P 01.16.14 @ 2:07 pm

Agree with Huge on Patterson’s passing. I haven’t seen anyone at Pitt, including our great point guards, with his type of court vision. Robinson also is great, but he is more a conservative ball control type of passer in the BK mode. They are all great but the vision displayed by Patterson is special. Even in some of the passes that don’t connect, there are some tremendous looks. I play ball two or three times a week and agree with Len Elmore from the other day- would love to play on the court with Lamar. This is an opinion.

Not an opinion is that Zanna at the 5 and Wright at the 3 will probably not be run to plays to the high post (as Huge said). It will be whoever plays the 4 or might just be Patterson regardless of what position he plays. I think some folks could use some primer on what position does what in basketball and how Pitt’s offense runs…

I like Zanna. He’s having a great year. Really improved. He’s not afraid of contact (he was a string bean when he got here!), can use both his right and left, has made some nice footwork moves, and boom, knocked down a nice 15 footer at the baseline Tuesday night. Enjoy watching him play.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.16.14 @ 2:21 pm

Hugh, not Huge…

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.16.14 @ 2:22 pm

Tonight’s games that could help Pitt’s RPI/seeding:

Loyola Marymount over Portland (LMU could win a close one at home)

Cal Poly over Northridge (@Cal Poly, should win)

Comment by xfmrman 01.16.14 @ 2:22 pm

The best way to beat the SU zone is to get easy transition buckets BEFORE IT GETS SET UP.
Comment by boubacar aw 01.16.14 @ 10:19 am

Concur bigtime with this notion. This PITT unlike many in the past plays very well in transition, Z can really run for a Center, need to get that outlet pass out quicker. Or let Lamar take it 90 feet, as if there’s an opening or an opportunity he will find it.

So push push push before the Cuse zone can get setup.

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 2:37 pm

I found this oddity to be….well odd.

Pedo State’s last bowl game was against Houston.

Charlatan’s last bowl game with Vandy was against…….you got it……Houston.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 2:43 pm

It’s quite funny that Charlatan mentioned ‘Pitt’ in his big coronation speech.

Haven’t we all been told, many many times over the last 14 years, that Pedo State doesn’t care what Pitt does, we are no longer rivals, Pitt is an afterthought, etc. etc.

Well……..something don’t jive !

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 2:50 pm

@ Dan – I’m not good with some of the online editing tools but perhaps someone can change the T-shirt to read “Dominate the State…Penitentiary”

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.16.14 @ 3:03 pm

The funny thing about that Ped State t-shirt.

It’s blank on the back.

Sort of like the Charlatan’s resume. Think they hired him so they could start beating the Indiana’s and the Minnesota’s again. Those are the kind of teams Charlatan can beat like Kentucky, Tennessee & Wake Forest.

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 3:13 pm

SOS22, it doesn’t matter what you think WOULD have happened

Hell, I think if Gilbert makes his 2nd foul shot, we WOULD have made the championship game just like Butler did …. BFD!!

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 3:14 pm

Well then, I take back a little bit of my comment and link.

I did not know that Franklin mentioned Pitt during his presser.

@Emel, nice work the other day, getting down and dirty with the facts.

He never beat any of the SEC big boys???

Comment by Dan 01.16.14 @ 3:18 pm

In the halfcourt, it will be interesting how we attack their zone. Since Lamar is our best 3 point shooter by far and he’s our best passer as well(interior certainly).

He can’t be at the high post and on the 3 point line at the same time. And you have to have some 3 point threat to stretch the zone, or they’ll ‘pack it in’.

So the high post attack might not be the plan this time. They might attack it more from the baseline, since Wright operates better from there.

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 3:20 pm

PSU wants to beat Pitt as much as we want to beat them. Don’t let them kid you. Their BB coach was livid that they did not beat us. Their team played hard with their best player coming back just in time to play us.

Comment by Frank MD 01.16.14 @ 3:22 pm

@ Dan-o thx bro.

He did have one(1) Top 25 win in 3 years. They beat Georgia this year.

PC has three (3) Top 25 wins in 2 years.

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 3:24 pm

Robinson takes very few risks which certainly helps his assist to turnover ratio. Patterson is usually the go-to guy when a play needs to happen (especially when the time clock is winding down,) he is more apt to commit a TO.

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 3:26 pm

@Frank MD

Plus, he was probably just a little pissed by the Oakland Zoo’s “hit the showers” cheer. Sort of like I felt when I went to football games at Beaver Stadium and saw people wearing “Shit on Pitt” buttons.

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 01.16.14 @ 3:27 pm

I don’t mean to take anything away from Lamar Patterson and if folks want to praise him I’m all for it because he has played amazing basketball all year. He is an excellent and remarkable passer too. Those who suggest however that he is a superior passer to Brandon Knight couldn’t have seen Knight play because outside of maybe Magic Johnson or Larry Bird there is no such thing.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 3:30 pm

How about dominate the state of man/boy relations

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 3:35 pm

going back to discussion from the previous blog about a center for next year, Pantherlair has a piece about Jamie looking at this JUCO (so it is an obvious concern)

link to rivals.yahoo.com

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 3:35 pm

I was looking over that box score from last year’s game at The Zoo. I know I watched it, but I can’t seem to remember much.

10 players scored for Pitt and with Zeigler scoring 6 pts & 4 assists and Moore scoring 8 pts., we must have got more than a few transition points.

I like others am not sold on this Trevor Cooney or the hype surrounding this Tyler Ennis. They play their starters pretty much and maybe 2 bench players. Against UNC, Fair & Grant had to play 40 minutes, Ennis played 34 & Cooney played 36. They only got 3 points off the bench.

Against BC they juggled their lineup, starting bench player Keita and bringing Grant off the bench. This had to be Boeheim’s way to get some production off the bench as Grant scored 16 and the other 2 bench players only scored 2 points on 8 minutes total.

Against Miami they got zilch off the bench in 16 minutes.

Which all means this Cuse team isn’t very deep at all. All the more reason to push the tempo on them.

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 3:41 pm

Bah. Dave O’Brien and Doris Burke are doing the game on Saturday.

I was hoping for Bobby Knight. Or is he not doing games for ESPN anymore? Always enjoy his commentary, and he usually speaks highly of Pitt.

Comment by Mailman 01.16.14 @ 3:44 pm

Wow, you’d think ESPN would have one of their ‘A’ teams do this game. #2 vs #22

17-0 vs. 16-1

Doris the Finkasaurus. Oy Vey !

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 3:49 pm

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 3:54 pm

Here’s a link to Frankin’s Vandy acceptance speech. Interesting part begins about 16:45….

link to youtube.com

I must admit, it was nothing like his speech at PSU.

Comment by Tourman 01.16.14 @ 3:59 pm

Pitt is going to be outsized in this game.

Grant is 6’8″ 210
Fair is 6’8″ 215
Christmas is 6’9″ 250
Keita is 6’10″ 220

Z & Y are going to have their hands full.

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 3:59 pm

Jones, I really really want him to contribute. It may not happen this year. He needs to be more aggressive and play faster. He is not quite as good as Wright was his first year. Remember Jones is a red shirt Freshman. He has been around for a whole year plus. He can shoot. It is defense and movement where is has got to show more. He needs more confidence.

Patterson, is by far, one of the best COMPLETE players we have had in a while. He does it all.

Yes, we need a “BIG” next year. Obviously Adams would have been a help this year as well. Next year we have to have a “BIG”.

14 games left! I will miss the Garden. By the way Cuse has lots of respect for us. But they also think they can win the big games when they have to.

I would like to forget about football for about 4-5 years; until we get a new coach. Maybe then we will have some hope for a future.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 01.16.14 @ 4:04 pm

I believe Bobby Knight is just doing SEC games for ESPN this year.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.16.14 @ 4:06 pm

EMel:

Love the link. Classic.

Comment by xfmrman 01.16.14 @ 4:13 pm

I would be perfectly happy with Len Elmore for the rest of the games

Comment by wbb 01.16.14 @ 4:22 pm

@@@@@@@

To Webb: middle of the zone is open because the 2/3 zone
guards the 3 point line. 3 point shot open when passes go
in the post and back to the perimeter.

Comment by JR 01.16.14 @ 4:28 pm

There is an issue with Patterson being the closest thing Pitt has to a reliable 3 pt shooter AND Patterson being the guy you’d most like to see getting the ball in the middle of the Orange zone.

That’s the tragegy of losing Durand. No one else to kick out to. (And I don’t want to hear a bunch of malarkey about Newkirk, Robinson and Wright from the perimeter. As well as they’re doing, you still don’t want them hoisting up more than the occasional three.)

As usual, offensively, what it means is that Pitt will have to win with patience and high-percentage offense focused on getting better shots than the opposition. That’s the Dixon way. It doesn’t leave much margin for error against good competition, but we all know it wins a lot of games against less disciplined teams.

As you can probably tell, I don’t buy the we’re-going-to-run-Syracuse-out-of-the-gym strategy. Maybe in a year or two with Newkirk and some other thoroughbreds.

Comment by hugh green 01.16.14 @ 4:29 pm

That’s the thing, Jones can shoot, even the three. That’s why I would love to see the rest of his game develop.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 01.16.14 @ 4:33 pm

@@@@@@

Please minimal exposure to the pedantic Len Elmore. Boring
Boring Boring. Almost prefer the nauseating Dickie V however
Elmore is preferred to Dickie.

Hopefully we will get Bilas or Dan Bonner on Saturday.

Comment by JR 01.16.14 @ 4:40 pm

Artis is 3 for 7 from the three point line. A good percentage.

Comment by gc 01.16.14 @ 4:51 pm

Emel implied above that Doris is doing our game, if so, that’s pretty low. I mean, Holy hormones! Elmore may be monotone, but atleast he makes good, analytical comments throughout the game. Don’t care for Bilas either, he always has an agenda, which prevents good game analysis. There are a ton of good ones out there, just hope we get one.

Comment by 1618mt 01.16.14 @ 4:55 pm

ok, didn’t read far enough, O’Brien is the other, who is atleast ok.

Comment by 1618mt 01.16.14 @ 4:58 pm

Thought you guys/girls might get a kick out of this.

Apparently you need stickers to remind you when to take break, take a piss and drink a beer.

But of they do !

link to ebay.com

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 5:05 pm

But of course they do !

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 5:06 pm

Zanna is a way better rebounder than anyone on the Syracuse frontline and I don’t think we have to sink many 3′s to beat the Orange . Same formula we always use play good D and rebound. Be patient on offense and don’t turn the ball over. Our guards are more experienced and we have nothing to lose at the dome.We have won 5 out of the last 6 there, so why should this year be any different.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.16.14 @ 5:13 pm

didn’t see any stickers that said:

‘brush your tooth’. :-)

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 5:43 pm

Spirit, I wish I was that confident about the game. Each game presents a different set of circumstances. Win or lose I just want the Panthers to play well. Hail to Pitt.

Comment by Justinian 01.16.14 @ 5:46 pm

Zanna is giving Pitt PRODUCTION at the five spot the likes of which we haven’t seen at Pitt since Blair left. In four conference games, against representative ACC competition, he is averaging almost 10 Rebs and 17 points in 30 minutes. He has been ridiculously consistent. If he continues at this pace, I like Pitt’s chances.

Just for comparative purposes, in Big East play Adams was 6 Rebs and 7 points in 24 minutes. McGhee, his senior year, 8 and 8 in 25 mins. The dreaded Taylor/Zanna tag team was a combined, 10 and 11 in 37 minutes.

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 01.16.14 @ 5:59 pm

Seth Davis on 93.7 The Fan today getting on Pitt for their non-conference schedule. Message board posters: Start your engines!

Comment by WorkinOnMyPittness 01.16.14 @ 6:06 pm

Seth Davis is a know nothing DOUCHER!

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 01.16.14 @ 6:13 pm

Any news on Detrick Mostella??? An extra body would be nice about now

Comment by Carey 01.16.14 @ 6:58 pm

Mostella didn’t have the grades to enroll at Pitt for the spring semester. He is at Notre Dame Prep. He is still committed to Pitt & will not be eligible until the fall, if ever.

Comment by Nick 01.16.14 @ 7:23 pm

It’s obvious that Lamar is ideal to play high post and hopefully hit jumpers and/or get it low to Z, Young & Artis. Certainly that’s what JB and his kids are expecting. I hope JD crosses them up with a different high post at times. Z could hit from there, maybe Young. If this is a close game I can see it coming down to a call, offensive foul on Z or blocking on an Orange.

Comment by Old School Panther 01.16.14 @ 7:36 pm

So very sad to learn of the passing of Curtis Bray. OMG was a loss for his wife, family and Pitt family. RIP and God Bless you! Hail to Bray! H2P! UPone

Comment by UPone 01.16.14 @ 7:40 pm

Hey.. I want one of those day planners so I can put in what I was supposed to do last August! (July 2013-Aug 2014) and they’re new!

Comment by CompLit 01.16.14 @ 7:56 pm

The media and ESPN are punishing Pitt for their non-conference because it denies them games for TV and newspaper articles. So what. You never know how good those non teams will be.

Comment by Frank MD 01.16.14 @ 7:58 pm

@Carey: I would also like to know this. From everything I’ve ever read, it seems like the standards to get into college as a varsity athlete are relatively minimal. I don’t get how bad his academics could be to still be ineligible. We could really use another good shooter/slasher.

Comment by MikePITT 01.16.14 @ 8:05 pm

Seth Davis can kiss my ass. Jim Boeheim has been playing cupcakes for years and no one ever says anything. John Thomson did the same thing. They figured that their in conference games were tough enough. I rmemember one year when Pitt was getting flack for their pre-conference schedule and by the end of their season they had played more games against against ranked opponents than anyone.

Comment by Justinian 01.16.14 @ 8:10 pm

I don’t know the specifics on Mostella’s grades, but he most likely had some bad advice from counsolers in high school. What credits would apply, what teachers would push him through. Once you’re in prep school the standards would be higher & he would have to actually pass. Maybe he needed more credits than he could get in 1 semester or he couldn’t handle the work & didn’t pass. Purely speculation.

Comment by Nick 01.16.14 @ 8:13 pm

One more thing, I tuned in to the Big Ten Network the other day and………..they’re awful! Thank God the ACC games are on ESPN. There is no comparison.

Comment by Justinian 01.16.14 @ 8:21 pm

exactly Justinian.

Pitt’s 21 pt rout over Stanford looks pretty good now, since they beat #10 Uconn and #17 Oregon (rankings at time of game).

And Texas Tech just beat #12 Baylor last nite.
Clowns like Davis will find anything to nitpick and criticize PITT for, if that indeed… is their agenda.

And that’s the bottom line on that !

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 8:25 pm

I’m going to make a prediction: Chris Jones will have his break-out game on Saturday. What Jamie said about him, showing confidence in him, is just what he needed to hear.

He’s a good shooter. He is 12-13 from the line. He is 2-6 from three-point land. If just one of those went in he would be 3 or 6, 50%. Maybe he’s really a as 40% three-point shooter.

The other three are true freshman, he practiced with the team last year. He must know the sets. The others don’t know where they are supposed to be. He knows, but he hasn’t been showing it. I’m predicting that on Saturday things are going to click for him, and then he’ll start playing the way he can.

Comment by Howard 01.16.14 @ 8:47 pm

Here’s an article about one of our favorite subjects. The non-conference football schedule!

link to bleacherreport.com

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 9:28 pm

Interesting prediction Howard. What are you drinking/smoking tonite ? haha

Hope you are ‘on the money’.

Uconn beat #17 Memphis tonite.

Comment by Emel 01.16.14 @ 9:30 pm

Not to discount the defacto Big East BB game playoff coming on Saturday, but I thought you guys might want a quick preview of the 2014 Biletnikoff Award winner. So take a look at the link below. Of course only my humble opinion.

link to pittsburghpanthers.com

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.16.14 @ 10:30 pm

@Emel: What you the author of that article must realize is that non-conference games are contracts, simple as that. It requires both sides to WANT to play the game. Do you really think it’s worth it to top programs to schedule Pitt? No, it’s not. Their fans are absolute diehards due to the legacy factor, and so it doesn’t really matter who they play. Ohio State can schedule whomever and either team’s stadium (depending on who’s home) will sell out. And, guess what, they usually beat those cupcakes. When Pitt schedules so-called cupcakes, it’s usually a very close game, and sometimes, we even lose. By a lot. (Looking at you, Youngstown State University)

Pitt is a middle of the road program that has the ability to pull off upsets. And given that, to date, the BCS system has heavily favored undefeated teams, there’s zero incentive for top programs to schedule Pitt. Penn State being an exception due to the in-state factor, and to continue dominating recruiting. Florida? LSU? Auburn? Sorry, but that writer is on crack if he thinks that those schools’ athletic directors would consider playing Pitt even for a second. That’s simply the life of a middle of the road program: avoided by the elite ‘just in case’, and attractive to the cupcakes ‘just in case’.

As is the case with recruiting, winning solves this problem. We haven’t proven we can win consistently.

Nike took a lot of flak for this advertisement, but it’s absolutely true for most things in life.

link to i2.cdn.turner.com

Comment by MikePITT 01.16.14 @ 10:33 pm

Overrated State U lost by 10 to Minnesota. They’ve now lost to every good team they’ve played.

I asked Gorman about that and someone should ask that jerk Seth Davis why he has them ranked.

Comment by Jackagain 01.16.14 @ 11:09 pm

As a longtime critic of Zanna , I can now say I have never seen such an improved player in as long as I have watched Pitt. He has taken on taller and more physical players and gotten the best of all of them. His foul shooting while not perfect, is masively improved. He is the key as to why we will beat Cuse on Saturday Ok Spirit?

Comment by Dan 72 01.16.14 @ 11:26 pm

Dan, a great former player with whom I’ve enjoyed games, dinners and nightcaps told me Z is now as relaxed in live games as he is in practice. Oh yes, he also WANTS IT. JR is also one cool kid & Impressed with M Young’s calm in Atl. Z is JD’s greatest transformation who could pay a dividend no one is their sober mind could have seen. He’s still climbing the ladder, with integrated play from LP CW & JR he has enough of the it factor to take over games.

This is a beautiful thing to watch.

Comment by Old School Panther 01.17.14 @ 1:30 am

Mike / Emel- WVU sure does schedule better Non-Cons…. Hell LSU even traveled to Morgantown 2 years ago. Next year they open up against Alabama in ATL. They are doing it why can’t we? One word….. Pederson. Playing those great teams gets us exposure.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.17.14 @ 1:32 am

John Harris at the trib has a nice feature on Chris Jones today. I especially like what Patterson said:

“He can do everything: shoot, play defense, rebound,” senior and leading scorer Lamar Patterson said. “He has to get his confidence up, and he’ll be a good player.”

link to triblive.com

Comment by Howard 01.17.14 @ 7:00 am

Funny to see Zeise’s article in the PG today. I’ve been on the bandwagon for weeks about how bad ACC hoops is shaping up to be; glad the media is catching up.

The timing of the Pitt and Syracuse adds is really fortuitous for the league. It certainly appears they would have been facing a year of embarrassing mediocrity and the perception, if Pitt/Cuse/L-ville had joined together a year later, would have been that the Big East teams were coming in to save a declining hoops conference.

You give Swofford credit for the vision, but wow did he get lucky on the timing.

Comment by hugh green 01.17.14 @ 7:38 am

Emel, That Bleacher Report article was silly. As you know, I’m no fan of Smug Steve but, unlike the BB team, the FB team schedules better OOC than many othe BCS teams.

But the silliest sentence in that article is that Pitt should host Florida. By law, Florida has to play 9 football games each year within the state of FL (not making that up.) The SEC schools are known for rarely playing good non-con games (except for Georgia and LSU.) And further, UF already has Miami and FSU on their schedule each year — and they are to travel to Heinz??

Along with the rankings, this is just the umpteenth thousand examples of how moronic the media (and especially internet media) can be.

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 8:07 am

Guys,I can’t tell you how much I enjoy this blog. The comments and understanding of both basketball and football on Pitt Blather generally very good. We have some knowledgable people posting on this site. Now let’s hope our Panthers play well against Syracuse and gives more good stuff to post about.

Comment by Justinian 01.17.14 @ 8:13 am

Want to read some arrogant musings? Head on over to syracusefan.com and prepare to have your mind blown.

What a bunch of pricks.

Comment by ECH 01.17.14 @ 8:47 am

@ Upittbaseball, over the next couple of years the only “exposure” Pitt would get by scheduling the likes of LSU and Alabama would be the exposure our bare behinds while we are getting it beat to a red hot mess back in the woodshed by these powerhouse programs! Oh yeah, but I forgot, you get your jollies from expounding on the deficits of the Panthers program to the rest of us, so that kind of unfavorable national exposure would be right up your alley.

For the immediate future, now that we are in the ACC the presents with better opponents to begin with (especially with Louisville on the horizon too), scheduling one or two solid OOC teams like Oklahoma State, penn state or another middle of the road B1G school like them, is all we need to do to keep our schedule full of challenges for the season.

Once we’re consistantly winning 9 or 10 games a year, then sure, bring on all the SEC competition that you want, until then, small steps my friend, small steps.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.17.14 @ 8:50 am

Dr. Tom, You have all the answers I forgot. Forgive me for thinking different than the almighty Doc. National Exposure is good whether you win or lose. Playing top SEC or Big 12 or Big 10 teams is good. I don’t derive enjoyment when we lose football games. I get mad when I see little effort and terrible coaching….Oh and mustard stains on Paul’s grey sweat he just worked 12 hours in at the local steelmill.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.17.14 @ 8:58 am

*sweatshirt*

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.17.14 @ 8:58 am

Yeah, that exposure we got when David Boston and eight of his friends were running punts back against us was priceless.

Comment by ECH 01.17.14 @ 9:07 am

@dan 72, Thanks for manning up concerning Zanna. Unfless you have been watching Pitt hoops for less than a decade you are wrong again however. The most improved player has to go to Grey. He was pathetic as a freshman and way worse than Zanna ever was and turned into an NBA center. Sorry to catch you on the technicality and let’s beat the orange.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 9:22 am

I have noticed that ESPN makes no mention when promoting Saturday’s game that the conference lead is at stake. Are they that bothered that the Dukies and UNC aren’t in the picture or is it another Pitt slight? When we win this game we will deserve to be ranked in the top 10 and will be lucky to smell the top 15. Winning in Syracuse would put us in a very enviable position controlling the regular season conference title. Even with a loss I love our chances.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 9:29 am

Remember when everyone was worried whether our “style of play” would work in the athletic ACC?

Hardy Har Har Har. They ought to call it “The New and Improved ACC”

We are now the finesse team and Wake Forest are the thugs that took out Durand.

Seth Davis is a complete Hack with an agenda. Since it turns out that Stanford and Texas Tech are getting wins will we get an apology. Was it our fault that the ACC gave us PSU or The Jimmy V Classic gave us Cinci?

The only people that are owed an apology are the season ticket holders that foot the bill for the blowouts. A couple of competitive games would be more fun, and fill more seats. Attendance is horrid during the non-com. Unlike PSU football fans, we don’t relish the blowout of William and Mary.

Until ticket sales falter why change? Our one poor season made the pundits question our credibility.

Let’s make them feel their stupidity where it counts, on the court. Let’s do it tomorrow.

Comment by gc 01.17.14 @ 9:34 am

Swofford deserves credit for even considering basketball. The other conferences were only concerned with football money.

For Pitt, the real hero of this story is Gene DeFillipo, the AD at BC. The original ACC expansion plan called for adding Syracuse and UConn. But be of some lingering animosity between DeFillipo and Jim Calhoun, DeFillipo black balled UConn and Pitt was moved into that spot.

Of course, the ACC later added ND for hoops and Louisville as a full member, so Pitt may have gotten in anyway. But who knows. Can you imagine where we (Pitt fans) would be if Pitt did not make the cut? Fair to say the tone of this site would be very different.

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 01.17.14 @ 9:36 am

Fun Facts: last night vs OKC (and Steve Adams), the Houston Rockets scored 73 in the 1st half but only 19 in the 2nd.

Note sure if that outdid what the Duquesne Dukes did the night before vs St Joe’s … they ended the game on a 30 to 2 run only to lose by 9

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 9:37 am

Fact is I’m a season ticket holder who decided not to travel the 2.5 hr one-way trip to see New Mexico or Old Dominion. Nonetheless, due to the low price of tickets, I did feel I got my money’s worth for the year.

Conversely, when I was season ticker holder for the the 1st 4 years at the Pete, I paid a much higher fee but still didn’t attend a handful of pre-season games against the nobodies. I find it funny when the admin maintains that they have to have certain number of home games at the Pete each year. As a season ticketholder, I could care less if there were 15 or 17 home games .. I was only interested in the leagur games and the preseason games against the better opponents.

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 9:45 am

I played some ball last night, then spent a few hours watching college and NBA games. Just posting random thoughts here:

-Arizona is VERY good. They are very athletic, unselfish, and have a lot of scoring options. T.J. McConnell, who I was impressed with when he played us at Duquesne, is a great fit for them. They were up by 20 and he was still diving on the floor after loose balls. One ball he grabbed and from his knees threw an outlet pass for a layup at the other end…Aaron Gordon is a freak though…Happy for Sean Miller and excited to see what that team can do.

-Bryce Cotton basically single-handedly brought Providence back to beat St. John’s. Totally inconsequential game but pretty exciting.

-Lance Stephenson, pouty, swaggering bitch, went crazy on the Knicks last night. Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose said in their podcast that if it wasn’t for Larry Bird’s tutelage or whatever, Stephenson wouldn’t even be in the league. Anyway, he’s in line for a big contract and will probably leave the Pacers as free agent next year to become a main guy somewhere. So this year might be do or die in terms of c’ship for him and the team. He’s come a long way since being passed over by nearly every college program because of his shit attitude and wacky demeanor…

-James Hardin is a fucking freak. Love watching him play. He has the rep as a better baller than actual athlete and yet he does some pretty sick shit. He’s a fun guy to watch…except when he is playing in the same game as Kevin Durant, in which case, it is impossible not to just watch in awe.

-Steven Adams in the thick of it still. Plays real physical and fouled out in only 10 minutes of playing time. Had yet another small scuffle- with Dwight Howard this time. BTW, Dwight Howard is probably in reality 6’9″. He’s listed at 6’11″ and Durant is listed at 6’9″ but on court it’s pretty obvious it’s the opposite.

-Three teams ranked ahead of us lost last night: Ohio St., Memphis, and Colorado. The later two lost at home. A win Saturday for sure, but even a well-played loss will probably jump us up a few spots in rankings.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.17.14 @ 9:47 am

SilverPanther, agree about Arizona. They play unselfishly like Pitt, but have more natural talent … loaded with 4/5 stars. Getting TJ to play unselfishly is one thing (he is the PG), but getting the other (heralded) players to play like that is a great tribute to Sean.

Watching them play is not as fun as watching Pitt .. but certainly better than any of the other top dogs.

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 9:54 am

@ SofS22, as Coach Chryst is fond of saying, “just gotta control the controlables”. Coach Dixon is cognizant of this same obviuos fact. Worry not about “Pitt slights” by the pollsters, doesn’t matter. We beat Syracuse tomorrow and our rankings will take care of itself, zooming into the top ten WITHOUT A DOUBT, IMO.

@ Upittbaseball, I knew that you would come around,,, finally, so in the future, if you ever have any tough questions just ask, because yes, I do have all the answers.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.17.14 @ 10:16 am

I have recounted the origin of my distaste for Syracuse fans on here before, won’t retell the story, but suffice to say they are indeed a smug and pretentious bunch.

To them, even after our decade of head-to-head dominance, Pitt is still a “newcomer” without the original Big East pedigree of Syracuse, G’town, Nova (and without the national titles, which is legit). I don’t harbor the ill will for Syracuse that I did for UConn, mostly because of that cheater Calhoun, but I do enjoy routinely whooping their ass on their home court.

Re: the OOC football schedule, I don’t have nearly the issue with Pitt’s OOC football schedule that I do with hoops. Unlike in basketball, other than home attendance, there is zero reward for a tough OOC schedule.

Second, it is nearly impossible to have both 7 home games, and more than 2 home-and-home BCS teams on the schedule at any given time. You need at least 2 rent-a-victims every year to get to 7 home games. I would be ok with 6 home games every other year if it meant more BCS match-ups, but I don’t think Pitt wants that.

Lastly, we are talking about an established Top 20 national program in hoops vs. a Top-60ish football program. The program priorities are different, the incentives are different.

I get where UPitt is coming from re: national exposure, but I agree with Dr. Tom – going to LSU and getting smacked by 40 is not what this program needs at this stage. Re: WVU, I actually think they scheduled these SEC games a few years ago in hopes they would be invited to join the league!

Look, I don’t want to see Delaware, Akron, Florida IHOP on the home slate, but I understand why. I’m good with Penn St. every year and a rotating cast of other BCS programs. I don’t care if we ever play WVU again. It is frankly amazing to me how little local coverage their programs get now in the Big 12. I wonder if you Texas guys could comment on how WVU is viewed in Big 12 country?

Comment by Iron Duke 01.17.14 @ 10:16 am

wbb, don’t blame you for missing those games. The difference between a PSU and Pitt Fan, they pack the stadium for the blowouts. Pitt Fans want to see a fair fight.

I do wish that the fat cats that own the Pitt BBall tickets in the expensive sections would give their tickets to someone who would show-up. Too many open seats at the Maryland Game.

It was even worse at football, but some of those you could not give away.

I wonder how many tickets are bought by speculators to sell on stub-hub. I think there are also corporate seats that go unfilled at times. Too busy or lazy to give them away.

Sean Miller has a team, really glad that TJ is there instead of Duquesne, he deserved better.

Comment by gc 01.17.14 @ 10:19 am

DR Tom, The polls will not take a team from unranked to top 10 in 2 weeks.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 10:19 am

With Steven Adams turning into a first rate thug in the NBA it occurred to me that maybe Talib will get a chance to take his game to the big stage. He has some desirable NBA traits. He has always been a good rebounder, he runs the court well and he doesn’t back down inside to big people. In fact his quickness plays well against bigger players.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 10:24 am

gc – I was one of those fat cats at the Maryland game. We spent part of the time in our seats and most of the time in the club/bar. But also remember the temperature in Pittsburgh that night was -8. Walking from the Pete to my car was the coldest I’ve been in years. I don’t blame folks for staying home. There were a ton of tickets available on stubhub for cheap prices. 100% due to weather.

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 01.17.14 @ 10:30 am

Steven Adams isn’t a thug. Where are you getting that from?

I don’t think Zanna will make it in the NBA. He’s not big enough for a traditional 4 and not enough range for a stretch 4. But I hope he gets a chance to play in some of those post-season all star games etc to show his stuff…. Patterson might get a look as a free agent. He wouldn’t be a starter but a smart ball control team like San Antonio might like him off the bench…Cam Wright has the athletic ability and body to play in the NBA, can use both hands, and pretty good defense. He might be able to improve enough to get a look as well.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.17.14 @ 10:32 am

I can see it coming already. The NCAA will put Pitt in the same bracket as Arizona. It will be just like the time we had to to beat UCLA to advance.

Comment by Howard 01.17.14 @ 10:34 am

IMHO Bleacher Report has some of the worst sports journalism on the net. This article further proves it.

Apparently I’m not the only person who think this.

“Since abandoning the open-source model in 2010, B/R has been the subject of continued criticism for its exploitation of unpaid contributors, its blanket policy prohibiting writers from breaking their own news, and its high-volume production of low-quality, search-optimized slideshow content”

link to en.wikipedia.org

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.17.14 @ 10:51 am

@Boubacar, c’mon, you wouldn’t want to see the Pitt-SMU hoops match up?? LOL

@wbb, I attended all the home games, but I would certainly question ODU and NM if I had a 2 or 3 hour drive.

The only reason I would drive a distance, is if besides the game, I would be on campus and have some atmosphere and places to go to make a day out of it.

As for hoops, I easily admit, I only went to 3 of the OOC games, one being Penn St.

Now, there are a lot more home games for hoops, during the week etc. etc., but I won’t use that as my excuse.

I didn’t go, because I didn’t feel like seeing Savannah State 10 times. (I did give the tickets away, and they were used).

Hey, I’ll go see a couple Savannah States, but I’m not going to 7 or 8 of them.

Comment by Dan 01.17.14 @ 10:53 am

Boubacar, You are right about the Maryland Game, I meant the Wake game. I do notice a lot of folks watching from the bar area. Explains some but not all of the empty seats. Too bad they can’t sell bar only seats, and keep the others filled.

Howard, I agree, they will make us go out west. Even if Duke is a seven seed, they will get to stay at home.

Comment by gc 01.17.14 @ 10:54 am

SofS22, let’s take care of the business of winning tomorrow first, then we won’t have to be bothered debating the issue anymore, will we? Cause by Monday the facts will be the facts.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.17.14 @ 10:54 am

For Christ’s sake, we are opening up AT Akron in 2 years … and that bozo wants us to host Florida!

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 10:58 am

Someone mentioned above, and to go along with it,

Ohio St. has lost 3 in a row now.

Comment by Dan 01.17.14 @ 11:00 am

Howard, if we are in the same bracket as Arizona, it means that we will once again play on the West Coast (should we survive the 1st weekend .. which also may be a ‘fur piece’ from the Burgh)

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 11:02 am

@ wbb – well Florida did lose to Georgia Southern, so maybe he’s on to something! lol

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.17.14 @ 11:03 am

@Silver Panther, Adams fouled out in 10 minutes in his most recent game. Recently he has been involved in a fair amount of push and elbow incidents. It is becoming a pattern. I think they are using him as a thug type off the bench. kind of like a hockey enforcer. I wouldn’t write Zanna off his size isn’t an issue and if you can average about 10 boards a game in the ACC that means you are worth a look.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 11:07 am

Here, here on the bar only seats, sign me up!

The Wake game was a nooner, so I stayed in my seat. I didn’t notice a ton of empty seats. Maybe because I am used to seeing the Pete at half capacity for the non-con games.

I almost felt bad for UConn last night watching them play Memphis as one of their marquee league games. Doesn’t have the luster of a BE game against the likes of Pitt, Syracuse or Georgetown.

Although spending a few hours on Beale street is always a good thing.

And no, I can see nothing redeeming in a SMU v. Pitt game…..ugh.

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 01.17.14 @ 11:13 am

Former Duquesne coach, Jim Stadler, current IMG Network announcer who works Syracuse games, was just interviewed on the Fan .. and mentioned Pitt as a possible Final 4 team. Heck, even we on this site are not considering it!

He did mention that Pitt attacks the zone different from anyone else, and has had more success than anyone. He thinks Pitt certainly has chance to win but emphasized just how much talent the Cuse has.

Next hour, Blather favorite Doug Gottlieb is supposed to be on … that should be fun (Cook and Gottlieb on the air at the same time) … hide your children!

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 11:19 am

Final Four hype starting already??????

Those of us who have actually followed Pitt BB over the long haul have every right to be cautious about such hype considering that the best we’ve ever done at the Big Dance is sniff the Elite Eight only once.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.17.14 @ 11:25 am

@wbb, I always consider it.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 11:27 am

9 or 10 football recruits are visiting this weekend. Does anyone know who is coming that is not already a verbal with us?

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 01.17.14 @ 11:30 am

On CBS “Lead-Off”, Gottlieb picks Pitt over Syracuse. He says, “I like this Pitt team”.
But then adds a bunch of qualifiers.
What a jag-off?

Comment by xfmrman 01.17.14 @ 11:34 am

pmdH2P, according to Scout.com, most of the visitors are guys who already committed but have yet to make their ‘official’ vist (Bookser, Amara, Briggs, etc). The two that I know of who aren’t committed are Davis and Trahan .. listed in posts above.

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 11:41 am

Howard, wbb….CBS now projects Pitt as a #4 seed in the west in the same bracket as Arizona

link to cbssports.com

Comment by KeyboardKev 01.17.14 @ 11:44 am

FYI: Read an article today that claims HezTrahan (6’4″ 230lb DE) will commit this weekend. Hueber main recruiter/offer list very limited.

Comment by DC33 01.17.14 @ 11:52 am

The article went on to mention that the current PITT roster will be 58% PC recruits (if Davis & Trahan commit) PITT left the Pizza Bowl w/83 students on scholarship/subtract 17 seniors & add 24 new recruits & PITT is over by 5 the NCAA max allowed scholarships. H2P

Comment by DC33 01.17.14 @ 12:11 pm

The nonconference schedule in football is almost always above average. Last year’s nonconference schedule was messed up by Pitt joining the ACC. For example, Va. Tech was supposed to be a nonconference game. It’s really hard to get a good team last minute in football.

Steven Adams is a thug in terms of his play. I watch a lot of OKC and like OK. Adams is pretty chippy and pisses everyone off. You don’t piss everyone off by being a nice guy. Plus, he is learning how to play center from Kendrick Perkins who is a really dirty player too.

If you are going to be overly optimistic about Pitt football, I don’t see how you can be down on the basketball team because of what happened in March. March is flukey. Losing to substandard football opponents is a trend.

Comment by Wardapalooza 01.17.14 @ 12:13 pm

Saying Hez Trahan’s offers are very limited is an understatement. He has 2 other offers from bad FCS schools of UMass and James Madison. But yeah football recruiting isn’t a problem.

Comment by Wardapalooza 01.17.14 @ 12:18 pm

at this stage with very few prospects left, it may be worthwhile to take a shot with Trahan, who allegedly has a lot of potential (who knows?)

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 12:29 pm

Adams just plays tough and VERY physical all game long regardless of score. A thug does cheap shots. Last night was first time he fouled out all year. Look at some of the players he’s had run-ins with- ie punks like Vince Carter, Nate Robinson, barroom brawler Larry Sanders, pussy Dwight Howard.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.17.14 @ 12:31 pm

UMass is in the MAC – so it’s an FBS school, but the point about the quality of Trahan’s offers is still valid. Umass was 1-11 last season.

Comment by Pitchfork 01.17.14 @ 12:32 pm

ESPN ranks Pitt 8th (in FB within the ACC)

link to cardiachill.com

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 12:35 pm

I am interested in the ESPN Gameday stuff tomorrow morning. Get ready for Pitt non-com junk. These guys have editors that tell them what to talk about. Maybe one will slip in his real feelings.
I hope there are no bad ref calls and if so that they are called out.

Comment by Frank 01.17.14 @ 12:39 pm

Over the last four years, 26% of the players chosen in the NFL draft are not from the six big BCS divisions, 12% of the draft picks hail from non-BCS divisions altogether. Source: link to bloggingtheboys.com

If the raw talent is there, and the coaches can develop the talent, I don’t care who else offered the kid. At this point in the recruiting cycle it makes sense that we are going after potential vice “starter as a freshman” level talent.

Comment by HbgFrank 01.17.14 @ 12:43 pm

Two biggest potential disasters tomorrow:

1) early foul trouble for Zanna, Patterson or Robinson
2) Patterson having a bad first half like he did in both ACC road games and Cinci game.

The ‘Cuse too good to come back from 10+ down.

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 01.17.14 @ 12:51 pm

Frank, I would not call the criticism of our non-con “junk”. There is some validity to it. I also think the criticism is really about how Pitt plays a soft non-con year after year, not just this year. I really think the pundits are just saying “Hey Pitt, if you want our respect, and you want to be elite, start putting one or two big time programs on your non-con”. While we were busy with Stanford, TTech, and PSU, North Carolina was playing Lville, Kentucky, and Mich State. One of those schedules is elite and one is not.

Comment by HbgFrank 01.17.14 @ 12:55 pm

Boubabcar, If you saw the game in the Garden last year you know we could come back from 10.WE aren’t prone to foul trouble so don’t jinx us. The orange are as vulnerable to foul trouble as us as there bench isn’t anything special.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 1:04 pm

Hbg Frank, You are exaggerating the weaskness of our non/con just like the media. We played all four final 4 teams last year and one of them twice. It wasn’t our fault that Virginia got beat at home by Delaware and we played top 5 Michigan and a Lehigh team that returned four starters after beating Duke in the NCAA’s. This years non/con looks better every day. Cincinnati is top 20 . Stanford and Texas Tech are beating top 20 teams and we pounded them. Furthermore much of who we played was out of our control. I am sick of hearing this BS. North Carolina played a juvenile Kentucky team at home before they learned where the gym was. Louisville sucks this year and is only respected off of last season when UNC didn’t play them. UNC was assigned Michigan St as we were assigned Penn St.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 1:18 pm

Here’s another ESPN article trashing Pitt’s bball schedule:

link to espn.go.com

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.17.14 @ 1:45 pm

And some more for good luck:

What’s been the most surprising aspect of Pitt’s 16-1 start?

Katz: The Panthers are scoring. Pitt was offensively challenged at times in the recent past. But this Pitt squad is putting up points in a variety of ways, especially with Lamar Patterson leading the way. Pitt has also showed great resiliency so far, falling behind by a lot to NC State in Raleigh but winning handily, and not allowing a subpar effort against Cincinnati in New York to alter any of its momentum.

O’Neil: To me, everything. The team I saw against Cincinnati earlier this season did not even resemble an NCAA tournament team. Now the Panthers are 16-1, ranked and rolling into Syracuse. This Pittsburgh team is cut from Jamie Dixon’s typical defensive, blue-collar ugly cloth, but is also more than capable of scoring.

Brennan: That they haven’t made me look dumb? Last season, the Panthers’ potent mix of “ugly nonconference schedule” and “elite tempo-free statistics” made them a juicy underrated pick every time we looked. They never justified that advance warning in 2013-14, so most people (myself included) have cautiously stayed away. That Pittsburgh has chosen to begin this season 16-1 is obviously some sort of elaborate prank.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.17.14 @ 1:46 pm

I didn’t realize Eamonn Brennan hated us that much.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.17.14 @ 1:47 pm

No, our non-con, especially at The Pete, absolutely sucks.

How about doing only one tourney in NYC, and have two more home games at The Pete against two teams from a BCS conference.

Money schmoney, you’re gettin’ 20 M from the ACC.

Comment by Dan 01.17.14 @ 1:49 pm

O’Neil basically admitting that she only saw one Pitt game. How can she be taken seriously?

Comment by xfmrman 01.17.14 @ 1:50 pm

Savannah St.
Fresno
Howard
Lehigh
PSU
Loyola
Youngstown St.
Cal-Poly
Albany.

If you can look me in the eye and tell me that schedule, especially for the fans, doesn’t blow donkey dongs, you’re a better man than me.

I can’t believe we still debate this.

The non-con at The Pete is pitiful.

Comment by Dan 01.17.14 @ 1:53 pm

Pitt may not be the best team in the land, but it is sure much more fun being a Pitt fan this year than last year.

Comment by steve1 01.17.14 @ 1:53 pm

@ Wardapalooza, you’re correct in the realization that none of the big boys are begging on their knees for either Hez Trahan, or another guy, Jamal Davis to commit to their programs, but at least you have to admit that these two play on the side of the ball that continues to be a need more depth and support on this Pitt team, Trahan at DE and Davis at LB.

Really, for all practiacl purposes, after picking up Bookser and Jennings not so long ago, it is a pretty critical individual remains sincerely disenchanted with this current recruiting class. Once again, this 2nd 100% Chryst recruited class is all about going after the players that will plug into the positions of desparate need. Our OL was in a shambles when Fraud left us high and dry. Now, at least on paper the offensive line looks like it’s ready to bloom into a reasonable facsimile of past Wisconsin steamroller OLs with the guys that Chryst is putting on the roster.

After Shell bolted, we all wondered if we would be able to produce ANY running game. Now, when this class gets in here during the summer, there is going to be a problem in getting all the available RB talent enough carries each to really evaluate the talent that will soon reside in that stable of RBs, at least six need to get a serious look in fall camp by my count.

Even tough there is only a sprinkling of “known” superior HS talent committed in this class, a couple more higly recruited OL guys added to the bunch, a good QB here a stellar RB there and another highly touted WR in Jennings all fit the bill as players that are dearly needed to come in and compete at positions of need right away.

The glaring deficit that remains a question in this class is the interior of the defensive line, but actually I think that Chryst has this apparent issue kind of addressed already, with both Mike Herndon and Conner Dintino. Both got recruited as OL guys but I wouldn’t be the least surprised to see both of them end up on the other side of the ball eventually to fill that big, big hole left by Aaron Donald, since they both played defense in HS. Finally, if this Jamal Davis kid has the potential that some of the recruiting sites are suggesting and he comes on board as a Pitt LB, then even I would have to admit that I’m satisfied with this recruiting class, and I’ve been a consistant critic of Pitt’s recruiting efforts up to this point since Chryst got here.

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.17.14 @ 1:54 pm

Just saw where Boy Wonder Franklin lost another recruit(this one from PA)when Tory Vincent from the Phiily area decided not to attend PSU and go instead to N. Carolina State.
How’s that “DOMINATING THE STATE” thing going for you in the first 6 days buddy!!!!!!!!!
HTP

Comment by Bruce F 01.17.14 @ 1:59 pm

Easy for Franklin to talk the talk, now as Chryst says, “show me”?

Comment by Dr. Tom 01.17.14 @ 2:05 pm

@Steve 1, agreed, this group is a fun bunch to watch.

Really enjoyed seeing DJ come off the bench, but, happens to a lot of teams, in a lot of sports, nose to the grindstone and others step up!!!

Psyched for tmrw!!!!!!

Comment by Dan 01.17.14 @ 2:11 pm

SOS22, your analysis is spot on. By the end of year our strength of schedule will be fine. What I am talking about is the “perception” that Pitt ducks top teams in it’s non-con. Cinncy is a really good team, but in the non-con, and at the time the non-con is being played, that name does not generate national buzz. If we would have lost to OSU by the same one point at the same point in time, we would have been ranked much sooner (yes, I know OSU just lost its third straight game). The higher you are ranked early, the harder it is to fall from the ranks. That is better for recruiting and seeding….As a fan of the game, I could not agree more with Dan’s comments. Nevermind that standings and seedings, what about the loyal season ticket holder that is paying good money to see a never ending series of home exibition games before the conference season begins?

Comment by HbgFrank 01.17.14 @ 2:12 pm

From Athlon Sports early 2014 Season Predictions:

5. PittsburghKey Returnees: QB Chad Voytik, RB Isaac Bennett, RB James Conner, WR Tyler Boyd, TE Manasseh Garner, TE J.P. Holtz, LT Adam Bisnowaty, C Artie Rowell, RG Matt Rotheram, OT Dorian Johnson, RT T.J. Clemmings, DE Ejuan Price, DE Bryan Murphy, DE Shakir Soto, DE David Durham, DT Darryl Render, LB Anthony Gonzalez, LB Todd Thomas, LB Nicholas Grigsby, LB Matt Galambos, CB Lafayette Pitts, CB Titus Howard, FS Ray Vinopal

Key Losses: QB Tom Savage, WR Devin Street, LG Ryan Schlieper, DT Aaron Donald, NT Tyrone Ezell, LB Shane Gordon, CB K’Waun Williams, SS Jason Hendricks

Looking for an early sleeper in the Coastal Division? Keep an eye on the Panthers next year. Quarterback Tom Savage must be replaced, but coach Paul Chryst has to feel positive about Chad Voytik’s future under center. And Pittsburgh has an emerging star at receiver (Tyler Boyd), along with a potential 1,000-yard back in James Conner. The offensive line has struggled over the last two years, but most of the core returns in 2014, and the stability should pay off in terms of improvement. There’s no question defensive tackle Aaron Donald will be missed on defense. However, the schedule is favorable. Pittsburgh won’t play Florida State, Clemson and Louisville in crossover play, and Duke, Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Virginia Tech visit the Steel City.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.17.14 @ 2:28 pm

Now I know Gottlieb may not be the most credible person but when interviewed earlier today on the Fan, he said …. Pitt has the clout that if they want a preseason game vs a respectable opponent, all they have to do is call ESPN, who will arrange it. Now it might be a neutral site, or a home and home arrangement, but it can happen.

Gottlieb is an ex ESPN employee … but even more so, I have never bought into the crap that we cannot schedule a decent non-con. I didn’t buy it before, and I’m not buying it now.

Whether you like it or not … Pitt has played one team so far that is currently ranked (after 2 months) and it lost. Just because you and I think they are much better than the public perception doesn’t mean a thing.

If Pitt, even with its pending influx of talent, continues to schedule non-con as it has, then Pitt is JUSTIFIABLY subject to criticism

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 2:39 pm

One more thing … playing an easy non-con while in the BE is somewhat justifiable since the league was at the top of the BB conferences. This is certainly not the case now since the ACC is now near the bottom of all the leagues — NO exaggeration

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 2:48 pm

@wbb – so is that a tacit admission by Gottlieb (who I generally find disingenuous and not trustworthy) that ESPN and the rest of the mouse network can essentially DICTATE college basketball schedules? I’m sure the Justice Department would just love to hear that.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.17.14 @ 2:53 pm

And Pittsburgh has an emerging star at receiver (Tyler Boyd),

Me thinks Tyler has already….’emerged’. lol

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 2:54 pm

LMFAO @ Bruce F

Comment by Atlanta Panther 01.17.14 @ 3:01 pm

**Link Disclaimer
Upon posting links Emel is not condoning or refuting such information contained in such link.
Links are posted purely for entertainment purposes.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 3:01 pm

Pitt Dad, where in the heck have you been?

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 3:03 pm

@Emel – I’ve been here the whole time!

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.17.14 @ 3:14 pm

I don’t think anything Brennan said in his piece was inaccurate or unfair. However O’Neil’s “blue collar ugly” line is complete horseshit. Have we even had a player foul out this year? And watching our half-court offense these last few weeks has been pure old school joy. We share the ball well and don’t take dumb shots and crash the boards. Jeez.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.17.14 @ 3:18 pm

I’m wbb not Emel … you don’t think thet the teams playing on Big Monday all these years, an dprime time on Saturdays … and I can go on and on …. are not dictated on by ESPN??

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 3:19 pm

@wbb – whoops – sorry – I’m sure that almost all of college sports scheduling is dictated by the networks, ESPN especially. And we know that the NFL has given ultimate flexibility in scheduling to certain of the networks including its own. I just don’t think saying it outloud like Gottlieb did is necessarily a good idea.

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.17.14 @ 3:41 pm

Looks like ESPN is getting some mileage out of us – whatever sells.

Comment by Frank 01.17.14 @ 3:48 pm

I actually like the part about “Pitt certainly has enough clout”.

I believe they do to. JD has been in coaching for a long time. They’re all pals. They criss cross each others recruiting trails, see each other at conventions, at each others basketball camps.

I’m actually giving kudo’s to Pitt.

Top ten and top 20 team for the last 12 years, 11 of last 12 years.

Maybe you couldn’t get Kansas or Kentucky, Duke seems to have a yearly thing with MICH ST., but you’re telling me there is no one else, even in say the TOP 40???

C’mon.

Comment by Dan 01.17.14 @ 3:52 pm

11 of 12 in tourney.

Comment by Dan 01.17.14 @ 3:53 pm

On CBS “Lead-Off”, Gottlieb picks Pitt over Syracuse. He says, “I like this Pitt team”.
But then adds a bunch of qualifiers.
What a jag-off?
Comment by xfmrman 01.17.14 @ 11:34 am

Know what you mean xfmrman. If PITT gets compliments they are usually of the ‘backhanded’ variety.

Would love to see it end in the next millennium or two.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 4:02 pm

It has the Pittsburgh TV market which is surprisingly loyal to Pitt BB plus many of the eastern TV markets which is used to watching Pitt, and now some of the ACC market. I would think Pitt BB would have some clout with ESPN .. certainly more than the FB program

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 4:02 pm

Hey UPittbasebell?EMel, who you got on Sunday?

No line set yet on Pitt/Cuse…but I make it Cuse by 4.5.

Comment by Dan 72 01.17.14 @ 4:06 pm

The stupid ESPN is probably who stuck us with Penn St. while their ACC darlings got the real games. Lord please let us keep kicking butt so we can make these people look like the jackasses they are some are still complaining about our last year schedule. We were the only team to face all 4 final 4 teams. We got pounded once lost 3 close and won 1 by 10. I think this team is better than this one and I pray we win the ACC and shut these know it alls up.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 4:10 pm

*^better than that one

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 4:12 pm

@dan 72 ,I put the line @Pitt +3

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 4:13 pm

Just to show how ridiculous these sports writers and poll authorities are look at Wichata St. The shockers pounded 1 seed pretender Gonzaga (a media darling) on their way to a loss to National champ Louisville in the Final 4. In that game the Cards were very lucky to escape with their lives. The Shockers haven’t lost since but are only recently ranked in the top 5. Duke who doesn’t do squat meanwhile holds the top 10 until they lose 3 times. What a joke.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 4:27 pm

Pitt is #1 in the ACC in scoring per game by a wide margin.

1. Pitt 78.5 ppg
2. Maryland 71.8 ppg
3. Duke 71 ppg
11. Syracuse 61.8 ppg

It will be funny to see how ESPN announcers both studio and game, will spin this reality.
Since Pitt is always supposed to the half-court methodical team that is offensively challenged.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 4:28 pm

No odds anywhere yet Dan72.

I like Pitt to win outright !

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 4:31 pm

I might do a ‘scoring margin’ bet on this game.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 4:31 pm

Check this out:

link to espn.go.com

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 4:33 pm

Cuse will find out tomorrow,,,,’Pitt Who’. lol

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 4:36 pm

Butler plays everybody, that is why they recruit so well. Akron, UCONN Anybody.
Pitt deserves the criticism.

Comment by frankarms 01.17.14 @ 4:36 pm

@Emel, Duke is struggling with a freshman superstar and poor UNC lost a top player to legal woes….boo hoo hoo…. Coach K is adjusting to to the awesome talent of his young squad while the poor Tarheels have been up and down. You know they beat Kentucky and Louisville and Michigan St. so the 6 losses to nobodies really shouldn’t count against them. Pitt might be beating the BeJesus out of everyone but they don’t play anyone and are physical. You know these new rules have had a greater effect on coach K because he teaches such disciplined quality defense with great athletes. Syracuse is a great well coached team worthy of ACC and ESPN accolades etc etc etc…..

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 4:39 pm

Syracuse does not have 6’6″ MCW and 6’4″ Triche at the top of the zone this year. They have 6’1″ Ennis and 6’4″ Cooney (6’7″ Gbinije gets very few minutes) this year.
Getting the ball to the high post may be easier, this year, with less size and experience at guard.
But their front line is more formidable, Sutherland is replaced with Grant. Kieta, Christmas and (not Derrick) Coleman all have another year under their belts.
Syracuse does not have a deep bench.
So after you get the ball at the FT line, what do you do with it?
I would not be surprised to see Young/Artis at the high post with Patterson. Each freshman can make the shot and has the skill to pass out of it. Patterson may be the only one with the ability to pass into it.
Coach Dixon seems to be able to scout, gameplan and prepare well against this zone. I expect a competitive game.

Comment by xfmrman 01.17.14 @ 4:41 pm

Less than 24 hours ’til tip-off.

Comment by xfmrman 01.17.14 @ 4:46 pm

link to mode.github.io

tells you what county scholarship players came from pretty interesting

Comment by Scott in NEPA 01.17.14 @ 4:47 pm

Glad that Sutherland guy is gone, he was killing it that one game against us. Guy could shoot the 3.

correct xfmr. Cuse hardly has a bench at all.
Last game they started Kieta just so they could bring Grant off the bench.

Pitt needs to push the ball at every opportunity and wear down this not deep bench Cuse team.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 4:47 pm

@ sos22…..of course not taking into account, that the Dookies and the Tarholes are still loaded with 4 & 5 star recruits.

They (the media) will always find ‘excuses’ for their favorite, ‘blueblood’ teams.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 4:49 pm

Really excited about this game tomorrow and feel Pitt has a legitimate shot in this game. Although I think Durand Johnson’s ability to knock down a few three’s would really have helped against Syracuse’s zone defense.

James Franklin was apparently at Mt Lebanon today, hopefully it was just to meet with Pedo St recruit Apke, and not an attempt to flip Alex Bookser.

The media attention and the drooling local media has done over this guy has been absolutely sickening. Have always thought the amount of attention the Pittsburgh media has given Penn St is ridiculous, but this is just over the top.

Hail to Pitt and beat Cuse tomorrow! I can’t wait…

Comment by Pap76 01.17.14 @ 4:50 pm

Emel:

Better that the 3 point treat is 6’4″ than 6’8″.

Comment by xfmrman 01.17.14 @ 4:51 pm

But sometimes Sutherland did not seem interested in playing defense.

Comment by xfmrman 01.17.14 @ 4:53 pm

threat*

Comment by xfmrman 01.17.14 @ 4:54 pm

btw Coleman hasn’t seen the floor much since conference play started.

If he’s put in, it’s to try to hack on Z and then try to make him retaliate with a cheap foul.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 4:58 pm

That’s why I make sure to point out that he is not Derrick.

Comment by xfmrman 01.17.14 @ 5:00 pm

Coach K has had his hands full this year trying to guide the future NBA superstars and teach them the nuances of the college game of which no one knows on his omnipotent level. Don’t write off the storied Tarheels either as the loss of so many great athletes to the NCAA’s ridiculous rules have proved to be just another obstacle to Hall of Fame coach Roy. He is sure to right the ship shortly. Of course they trail Pitt , who does not ever play anyone and only bullies a bunch of patsies and Syracuse who has one of the best teams in program history.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 5:02 pm

@ Pap76

Franklin fit’s the media agenda, so yes he will be treated in a grand messianic manner and very similar to another guy (charlatan) who sometimes can be found at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Funny how this stuff is played out in sport as well.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 5:03 pm

College Basketball Talk has the game of the week at 4pm tomorrow. You might want to tune in to watch #9 Oklahoma St. 2losses vs. #15 4 loss Kansas. You wouldn’t want to miss it , Kansas were to lose there is a possibility they might fall out of the top 20 all together.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 5:15 pm

@ sos22….espn is also pumping that game.

Guess they want as few as ppl as possible watching Pitt beat Cuse.

This might a good sign. lol

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 5:20 pm

From Myron Medcalf:

No. 22 Pitt at No. 2 Syracuse, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN:

Nope. Nope. Not again. Not doing it. I’ve learned my lesson about picking against the Orange in Syracuse, N.Y., this season. Not happening this time, even though I think Pitt could pull off the upset. Pitt has kicked off ACC play with a league-leading 51.6 percent clip from the field. And James Robinson has the country’s top assist-to-turnover ratio (5.33). That will be critical against a Syracuse squad that’s fourth in defense turnover rate, per Ken Pomeroy. But Durand Johnson’s knee injury puts even more pressure on Lamar Patterson (2.4 TPG) to be a playmaker and 3-point shooter. By forcing things, he committed seven turnovers in a win over Georgia Tech earlier this week. And when a team is rattled, Syracuse will pounce. Jerami Grant is capable of dominating this game. And Tyler Ennis will be a problem all afternoon for Pitt on both ends of the floor.

Prediction: Syracuse 76, Pitt 70

Comment by Pitt Dad 01.17.14 @ 5:24 pm

Another Nigerian Center

(H)Akeem Olajuwan; stats at University at Houston

Sophomore Year: 8 ppg & 6 rpg
Junior Year: 14 ppg & 11 rpg
Senior Year: 20 ppg & 13 rpg

Olajuwan’s front court mates were All-American Clyde Drexler (6’7″), strongman Larry ‘Mr. Mean’ Micheaux (6’9″) and lefty Michael Young (6’7″).

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 5:34 pm

Collectively known as Phi Slamma Jamma. That was a whole lot of fun to watch.

Most fun game to watch was #1 Houston vs #2 Louisville who were known as the ‘Doctor’s of Dunk’.

In the NCAA Final 4 of 1983.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 5:39 pm

Pap76 he was in pgh to see a 6 foot 8 300 pound ot named sterling and if he goes to penn state next year i will be very up set becuse his dad and mom both went to pitt.
if he was my son they would not get in my front door i would tell the kid if you dont want pitt ok but make it UCLA or ND but dont you even look at penn state or WVU i might even say ohio state or bama but no penn state

Comment by Frankcan 01.17.14 @ 5:39 pm

Why watch projected 1 seed Syracuse play the patsie pasting panthers when you can watch Kansas’s storied program take on the mighty OK St led by their All American ESPN touted star guard.

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.17.14 @ 5:56 pm

I’m glad our posts aren’t this long….

link to syracusefan.com

Comment by Jackagain 01.17.14 @ 5:56 pm

I’m glad our posts aren’t this long….

link to syracusefan.com

Comment by Jackagain 01.17.14 @ 5:56 pm

“It’s going to be a beatdown. Syracuse will win by double digits.”

Michael Wilbon on PTI

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 6:04 pm

Dan 72 – I like Seattle at home not sure the line but I think they win by 4.

I also like the Bronco’s by 8 against the Pats. I just see Brady having a bad game call me crazy.

I like Cuse to win. I think they win by 7.

We are getting really good but Cuse is already really good and home.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.17.14 @ 6:12 pm

Check this out titled, Know Thy Enemy:

link to espn.go.com

Comment by Jackagain 01.17.14 @ 6:15 pm

IMO, a very poignant article

link to espn.go.com

Comment by wbb 01.17.14 @ 6:27 pm

Thx jackagain for that link.

Typical arrogant Cuse fan. Love this line.

“Syracuse is more explosive offensively, but (at this particular time) more prone to offensive slumps.”

Yep this is why Pitt is avg’g 78 ppg in ACC games and Syracuse is only avg’g 61.8 ppg.

But let them go ahead and believe their own false reality. Cuse will be the one slowing the tempo of this game, not Pitt.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 6:35 pm

Opened at Pitt +5 @Bookmaker

Those of us who had +4.5 were pretty close.

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 01.17.14 @ 6:37 pm

And that guy must be awfully young for Pitt had some excellent teams in the late 80′s, one with Smith & Lane even won the BigEast regular season title on Cuse’s OWN Carrier Dump floor.

And the Brian Shorter, Sean Miller, Bobby Martin teams of the early 90′s weren’t bad either.

Syracuse thinks they’re a blue blood, but in reality they have one (1), count in one national title.

What they are is: Classic Underachievers.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 6:40 pm

Gotta blame some of the schedule on the NCAA using the RPI. A lot of these “bad” teams Pitt plays help the RPI more than playing a mediocre BCS team. Also, just scheduling a home and home with a random BCS team doesn’t always make sense. Say Pitt schedules a home and home with Nebraska. Playing at Nebraska provides Pitt really no benefit in terms of recruiting. Playing a random team in NYC makes more sense. Or playing a small school that will win their small conference and will have a decent RPI makes more sense. Also, any of the top teams don’t want to come to Pittsburgh because it won’t help their recruiting. You saw that this year with Georgetown and Nova.

Comment by Wardapalooza 01.17.14 @ 6:41 pm

My guess is we want this game and need it more than they do. Hope they believe they are really number 2.

Comment by gc 01.17.14 @ 6:45 pm

Pittbaseball
Thank you for your weekly negativity towards Pitt. If the Panthers win tomorrow we won’t hear from you for a week

Comment by Chick 01.17.14 @ 6:49 pm

Something neat I found on the net. Check out photo numbers 3 & 4.

If anyone ever drank at the Luna Bar on Centre Ave & Craig.

This is what sat there about 70-80 years before we drank there ! lol

link to pittsburghmagazine.com

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 6:50 pm

Photo #12 Oakland pre Cathedral Of Learning, that has to to be Soldiers & Sailors Hall.

Photo #11 You could take a Sternwheeler trip to Morganhole for $1 (don’t know why you would, but apparently ppl did, maybe for laughs)

Some of these pics are so clear, looks like they were taken yesterday.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 6:59 pm

News flash the chemical found in wv water was fluoride dr tom it is unfamiliar to them .new t shirts here in central pa. Violate the state.

Comment by Paul Shannon 01.17.14 @ 7:02 pm

“Syracuse is more explosive offensively, but (at this particular time) more prone to offensive slumps.”

Yep this is why Pitt is avg’g 78 ppg in ACC games and Syracuse is only avg’g 61.8 ppg.

But let them go ahead and believe their own false reality. Cuse will be the one slowing the tempo of this game, not Pitt.

Comment by Emel 01.17.14 @ 6:35 pm

Syracuse (per Kenpom):
Avg possession on D is 20 seconds (last in the nation)
Avg Possession on O is 18 seconds (same as Pitt) Last season was 16.7sec (#41)
Tempo 62.4ppg (#343 of 351) Last season 64.2ppg (#252)

Emel, I believe that you are right. Pitt will not be the team to slow the pace.
Pitt has made a effort to playing faster this season. The converse appears true for the Orange.

Comment by xfmrman 01.17.14 @ 7:44 pm

EMel – Cannot thank you enough for the Luna photo link. I could do an entire blog of Luna Stories.

I frequented the place all 4 years at Pitt (after Quin Ques- pronounced Chi chis) closed. Another 3 years after that while I worked in the printing business at Addressograph Multigraph on Baum/Bigalow and every single trip back for Pitt or Steeler games for the next 27 years.

I can remember Larry (bartender/part owner) sneaking us out the back door during raids and we would literally walk thru the old amusement park rides.

Just stunned at how it once looked. My aunt told me that at one time Oakland was the richest place in Pittsburgh.

Thanks again….go Pitt…

Comment by Dan 72 01.17.14 @ 9:41 pm

This OKC/ Golden State game is great. KD and Steph Curry lighting it up. Adams has had a couple of nice plays on both ends…Well I won’t agree he’s a thug, but yeah, definitely gives guys the business sometimes. He’s on his way to fouling out of this one.

Comment by SilverPanther in NYC 01.17.14 @ 10:29 pm

Chick. My opinion was asked so keep your comments to yourself. I hope we win. I just dont see it. I forgot koolaid folks think we will make final 4.

Comment by Upittbaseball 01.17.14 @ 10:41 pm

Pap76, Of course Franklin will try to flip Alex Bookser. Didn’t you hear he’s going to dominate the state of Pennsylvania and recruite every corner of the state. If I had known he was going to be here, I would left work to drive home early…… so I could run the son-of-a-bich over!

Comment by Justinian 01.17.14 @ 10:44 pm

I actually liked Bill O’Brien, this guy makes me hate Penn State even more.

Comment by Justinian 01.17.14 @ 10:47 pm

Emel, thanks for the pictures. I saw the “Four Seasons” in Soldiers and Sailors in the 60″s. It must have been redone inside. There were “stage” boxes when I was there. We had those seats. The other couple was my drunk fraternity brother and his date. “Terry” became a dentist! I remember people yelling at “Terry’s” drunken antics. Frankie Valle actually told “Terry” to shut up. When I went to see the show “Jersey Boys” in the City, I had the same flash back

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 01.17.14 @ 11:17 pm

Tough position to put Chris Jones into. This could set the kid back. I hope not. I’m going to say some prays.

Comment by Old Pitt Grad 01.17.14 @ 11:21 pm

LOL The Luna Bar. The sign over the bar said, “It’s nice to be nice”. Nice my ass. The joint had a bartender who was a double for Russia’s SOB Premier Nikita Khruschev and in my years of drinking cheap pitchers of rot gut (Iron City) I never saw Nikki smile…NEVER.

The beer was super cheap and the place was a hangout for fraternity members (I think mostly from Sigma Chi).

The bathroom stunk like a sewer! Despite all of the Luna’s shortcomings it was one of the best bars around the campus in the early 60′s.

Comment by isnore 01.17.14 @ 11:37 pm

It’s great to see new Panthers step up most seasons!

Fellow Panthers, don’t miss out on my latest business venture – a monthly sports auction house. Our sports auction ends tomorrow – bid live or on-line: link to auctionzip.com

Comment by dishman 01.18.14 @ 12:08 am

When the LCB showed up at the Luna they would put everyone in the basement until they were gone. Oh the good old days. The Luna and Haddon Hall.

Comment by Jp 01.18.14 @ 4:58 am

More “junk” from the Mark Turgeon show this week. When commenting on their season so far and their 3-2 record in the ACC, Coach Turgeon states something to the effect that you could look back and see that they deserve their record but IF it were different, he could see them having won the Pitt game to be 4-1.

Really? WTF? You think you should have won the game at the Pete? I’m definitely starting to not like the Terps.

Expecting a good game today and a great game next Saturday where I will see them at Comcast Center dismantle Maryland again.

Comment by TVax 01.18.14 @ 7:40 am

Terry Fair vs Lamar Patterson, winner take all.

Comment by alcofan 01.18.14 @ 8:20 am

TVax, Trugeon is delusional, they got their butts kicked. I figure I should have won the 300 million dollar lottary too. He’ll get another shot at the Panthers at Maryland. Let’s see if they can do better. Go Panthers, let’s bring home a W from the Carrier Dome.

Comment by Justinian 01.18.14 @ 8:45 am

Lamar,brother of Perry.

Comment by alcofan 01.18.14 @ 8:46 am

More fun facts: 2016 (early) Pitt commit, Maverick Rowan scored 35 pts last night

2015 commit Damon Wilson dominated a tourney he played in last weekend

Pitt just offered 2014 prospect Kobe (yes Kobe) Eubanks, a 6’5 swingman who tweeted he was very happy at the offer. He supposedly is a great scorer … and probably a sign that Pitt will never see Mostella

Pitt is also in hot pursuit of a 6’9 JUCO. Late season pick-ups from last year (Mostella & Uchebo) may be failed experiments … jury is still out …. but thankfully Artis has been a pretty darned good player for a frosh

Comment by wbb 01.18.14 @ 8:53 am

I remember the Luna still being open in the 80s, but assumed it no longer exists. Any idea when it closed?

Comment by wbb 01.18.14 @ 9:11 am

I got drunk at the Luna while still in high school, Larry even cashed a check for for an older buddy, he was 17 or 18, so we could keep on drinking after we ran out of money.

I was the only one that was sober enough to drive, got rubber in all four gears in my buddies 442 going down Ellsworth after 2 in the morning, ah the good old days.

The Luna moved up the street years ago, may still be open.

Comment by gc 01.18.14 @ 9:35 am

Amazing job at Kennywood recreating Luna Park.

Comment by gc 01.18.14 @ 9:39 am

My history could be way off but the pictures of Luna do not have the “h” at the end. What is the history behind that?

Will be a good game today and I expect our troops to dismantle the orange zone as usual. Would solidify season should we score more points than the orange. Will be traveling during the game so best of luck to the mustard and blue!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 01.18.14 @ 10:10 am

dhuffdaddy,I assume you re talking about ‘Pittsburg’

If you look at much of the old newspaper accounts and other writings, you will see it was quite common to leave the H off until early last century. I have no idea if the name was officially changed, or if it was never used correctly in the first place … but Pittsburg was much more common until less than a 100 years ago

Comment by wbb 01.18.14 @ 11:33 am

Would that make him duffdaddy?

Comment by spiritofsection22 01.18.14 @ 1:30 pm

7-0 Cuse run spells doom for Pitt

Comment by Dan 72 01.18.14 @ 6:03 pm

Nice try Pitt. This game will make us a better team. Ps we better find some scoring and soon

Comment by Dan 72 01.18.14 @ 6:10 pm

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