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February 8, 2014

We’ve got ourselves a nooner.

Let’s get this out of the way quickly. Obviously it’s ESPN3.com or ESPN Full Court’s package. But there are plenty of other outlet options for this one. Root Sports Pittsburgh, Sports Time Ohio, YES, NESN, CSN Fox Sports South and others.

It’s been a decade since Pitt faced the Hokies in basketball, but it seems like nothing has changed. In the Big East they were a bottom feeder with rare spurts of slightly below average performances. In the ACC, more of the same.

Because of the basketball only morons of  Big East history, VT only played basketball in the Big East for four years. They finished last in the conference/division three times. This year in the ACC, VT is dead last with only one conference win (Miami). But on the plus side, they did beat the Hoopies.

Their head coach was hired on the cheap and out of desperation. The new VT AD is all but being forced to declare the guy a dead coach walking for the few VT fans that actually notice they have a basketball team and not pining for Seth Greenberg.

Let me try to put this in perspective how bad VT is. It isn’t simply that the mere act of playing VT will hurt Pitt in computer rankings. VT is ranked lower than Rutgers in KenPom.com. They are the lowest ranked team in the RPI among major conferences (and I’m even including the AAC, Big East and A-10). DePaul. DEPAUL is considered better than the Hokies.

To put it mildly, losing to VT would be a disaster for any team.

The Hokies have a local product on their squad in Devin Wilson. Most major conference teams that pursued Wilson did so on the football side as a wide receiver. Wilson really wanted to play basketball, though, and VT was one of the only major conference programs to offer on that side. As a freshman, the guard is playing over 30 minutes a game, which as much as anything speaks to how shallow the depth is at VT.

Speaking of shallow depth: Pitt at the center position.

“You talk about losing guys and anybody is going to be concerned,” Dixon said. “No team is deep enough to lose its second- and fourth-leading scorers. There’s only so many things you can withstand.”

Not only is Zanna Pitt’s No. 2 scorer (12.8) and leading rebounder (7.6), but the Panthers also are still trying to replace Johnson’s 8.8 points a game.

Rutgers transfer Derrick Randall, a 6-9 junior, has averaged three minutes the past two games. Joseph Uchebo, a 6-10 sophomore junior-college transfer, replaced Zanna against Virginia but was yanked within a minute after a defensive breakdown.

Instead, Dixon is relying upon his four freshmen to provide depth while learning on the go. Mike Young starts at power forward but is the best post defender so he moves to the center when Zanna is out. Jamel Artis is getting more minutes at power forward, and Josh Newkirk and Chris Jones are seeing time in the backcourt.

“We’ve got four freshmen that have to get better in the eight-man rotation,” Dixon said. “They’ve got to improve. To me, that’s encouraging because I know they will.”

The center position has been one of constant flux since Gary McGhee graduated. Khem Birch and Malcolm Gilbert transferred out in consecutive years. Steven Adams was a one-and-done.

Uchebo is not confident in his rebuilt knee yet. Randall simply is overmatched. There are rarely enough centers for any team to build something like depth at the position. It’s the one spot where teams are always taking flyers or trying to develop a guy.

Hopefully Pitt will put VT away quickly and keep Zanna on the bench so he can stay off his ankle as much as possible.

Perhaps the biggest concern for Pitt in this game is looking past it. Syracuse comes to the Pete on Wednesday night. I think I would be more concerned about looking ahead if this was a Saturday-Monday turnaround. With the extra days, there’s no reason for Pitt not to focus on crushing the Hokies





Tossing Thabeets, Nice comments. Coming into this season I would have never imagined them doing as well as they did this season. I thought they should have won the Syracuse game. The Panthers totally exceeded any of my expectations. Yes I’m disappointed with the play in the last few games. But as I see it fromm where our expectations were coming into the season, we still playing with house money.

Comment by Justinian 02.09.14 @ 10:52 pm

#12 Creighton loses to unranked St. John’s (15-9, 5-6). The sky must be falling in Omaha. Blue Jays falling dead on the ground.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.09.14 @ 10:59 pm

If you don’t click, you can’t get Smy-zik. He is using the blatherites to drive his readership. He hasn’t written a negative basketball article on state penn despite their 60 years of ineptitude. Why? Because we click on him, the state penners love to read about negativity on pitt and even the community college of west virgina has caught on. Just don’t do it. He has no insider information that we don’t have here, so why acknowledge his lack of knowledge. He used the Pitt teams for years to drive his clickership! Click on Gorman and Dipaolo. At least they are more balanced.

shmitlik is like mark madden…. a shock jock against pitt because he knows people have trouble looking past a car wreck. He has played us like a old guitar.

As far as tournament worthy, if Pitt is not selected, we need to respect that. The committee typically does a great job. The problem I have is that we are definitely in the top 68 in the land, but we know the rules. No big wins, no big losses. So my expectation is a loss with the cuse and an overtime with nc. That is just consistency. I sure am pushing for a big upset Wednesday, but it is hard to imagine with the current injury situation. Carpe’ orange.

Comment by dhuffdaddy 02.10.14 @ 12:09 am

To gc from way up top, slow reader here.

Currently in those athletic spending rankings Pitt is almost dead last. But that’s with Big East money. Add the June ACC money on top of that and Pitt is in the middle of the list, at about 77 million. I like that ranking a lot better.

Comment by Caw Miller 02.10.14 @ 7:44 am

I have to laugh at those posting here criticizing Dixon and blaming him for the teams lethargic performance. This seasons only bright spot going in was the team had two 5th year seniors to provide leadership. No one had us ranked among the top 40 teams. Now after over achieving all year long the two keystones of the team get hurt along with the 6th man and those posting here expect the same results. He isn’t frigin’ Kresgin. Dixon just coached a tremendous game to beat VTech.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.10.14 @ 9:17 am

I watch Pitt games and listen to announcers make excuses for the other coaches. Miami lost their whole team to graduation. NC State plays a lot of freshmen and sophomores. Blah Blah Blah. Never any mention to the turnover — especially on the front line — that Pitt has endured the past two seasons. And guess what, Pitt is 20-4.

Jamie Dixon should immediately put in the HOF if he gets this undersized, injury ridden team to the tourney.

I’ve heard so many people complain that Dixon refuses to play “his best five guys.” Well, he did that against VT, won the game with them, and guess what? People still complain.

This is all ridiculous. Do none of you remember Paul Evans and Ralph Willard. I sure do.

Comment by Denny 02.10.14 @ 9:55 am

Those posting here still bemoaning the loss of Kehm Birch and worrying that Young and Artis could follow similar pathways after the season are amusing. Dixon can’t make this the perfect fit for all who apply. He has a great track record of helping players reach their full potential. A lot better record than any clown coach at UNLV for sure. He has a great record of graduating players. He has the 5th best won loss record during his tenure of any program in the country. We all hope that will lead to more success in the NCAA tourney and hope that those who come here love it here and stay. Those who want to leave should go and those who continually find fault with his coaching should find another team to follow. Many of us remember this program before JD when we used to win 20 games about once a decade and rarely made the tournament. This week I read all kinds of explanations for our current struggles. Everything was suggested from not enough practice time on offense to the coaches rigidity scaring the players from playing to their potential. Did anyone consider that the best players are all hurt, because that is the problem and a big one. Dixon just worked a miracle to win two games with half his team injured and freshman class that is like an anchor on the court. Give the guy a break and get off his back.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.10.14 @ 10:11 am

agree Spirit, that’s why I give us zero chance of upsetting Syracuse or being able to run with NC down there. Patterson had three airballs, and threw the ball away at least two times in tight game. My guess is the thumb injury lingers for a while.

Zanna’s sprained ankle is not going to miraculously disappear this week. Our rebounding vs VA Tech was non-existent. Unless Michael Young does his Dejuan Blair impersonation, I see long nights vs Syracuse and NC.

Syracuse has too many weapons and NC is just going to run us out of their gym.

There will be a lot of hand wringing and Dixon bashing this week, gleeful articles from Cook and Smizek, and a lot of I told you so’s.

Consider the source and take them with a grain of salt.

We will have eight days to recover and regroup, and then the real season begins. We will then find out what this team is made of.

Comment by gc 02.10.14 @ 10:11 am

Caw Miller, we will move up a little but don’t forget the other teams will realize an increase in revenue as well. We need to sell more seats at Heinz, this year will be tough due to the lackluster home schedule, not enough Pitt Fans, and spoiled sports fans in Pittsburgh.

We need more Penn State games, and others like it to fill the seats. An SEC game would help, but we need a competitive Pitt team and marquis opponents to fill seats. Yes, even WVU. Youngstown State doesn’t travel well enough.

Comment by gc 02.10.14 @ 10:20 am

Bob Smizek is the most negative writer on the planet. It’s amazing to me that he has been able to make a living writing about sports. He shows very little insight and despite the years he’s been writing about sports, he hasn’t gotten any better.

Comment by Justinian 02.10.14 @ 10:31 am

I’ve never heard of a 20-4 team, ranked #25, and in 3rd place out of 15 teams in the ACC get torn up as much as this Pitt team or coach.

Yes, the last couple games were not great, but they did win. Our shooting has got to improve, hell, many things have to improve.

I’m open to critiquing, I do it myself, but the silliness of “Dixon sucks”, “this team is lousy”, “so and so stinks”, is frankly, sophomoric.

Seriously, think about this for a second. If the average Joe came on the Blather, and read these 300 comments, without knowing a thing about Pitt basketball, the only assumption that he could come too (many of them, certainly not all) would be that…………….

Pitt is about 9-15, in 14th or 15th place in the league, a bottom feeder, and their RPI he’d have to guess is about 275.

He would probably also assume, that the program is in such a shambles that Pitt basketball hasn’t been to the NCAA Tourney since the mid-90’s!!

Comment by Dan 02.10.14 @ 10:43 am

@ Justinian, yeah, you portray Smizek kind of like he was one of us Pitt Blather contributors, his major flaw checklist:

Little insight, check,
Negative to a fault, check,
Hasn’t gotten any better at writing after years of practice, check.

Sounds like he is a loyal Blatherite to me. LOL.

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.10.14 @ 10:45 am

People who are criticizing Smizik haven’t actually read his latest. He gives Dixon credit for his accomplishments and describes the past two near debacles for what they were. Pittsburgh sports writer are not paid, nor do they have any obligation, to promote Pitt. Pitt has to do that.

Dixon sure loves to ride on his pathetic non-conference schedule and brag about his wins. The fact that he gets so defensive about any criticism shows he knows the fan base is divided about him.

You can harangue at the bloggers who criticize Dixon all you want. You will not change attitudes. Nor has anyone given you the right to tell people to go find another team. My suggestion is stop reading the criticism if it makes you resort to name-calling and childish behavior.

Dixon’s pathetic recruiting is all on him. Latest rankings show us next to last in the ACC.

If I want to watch a slo-down mo-down, I’ll go to junior high basketball games. Pitt needs to get some shooters fast, even if Dixon goes back to the JC ranks. Obviously, his virtuous nature and absolute knowledge of hoops isn’t persuading high ranked high school seniors.

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.10.14 @ 10:48 am

So I hear Lamar and Talib are injured…anyone know the prognosis of their injuries, and when they might be able to play basketball again?

Comment by Lou 02.10.14 @ 11:00 am

I’ll keep saying this … you can increase offensive tempo by shooting quickly, however, that will not prevent the other team from doing so .. just like many other teams in the past that have been unable to speed Pitt up.

The only other ways to speed the the game up is by creating turnovers and rebounding .. and lately Pitt has been doing neither.

Comment by wbb 02.10.14 @ 11:12 am

Dr. Tom, You must be confusing me with someone else. I think the Pitt basketball team has done a remarkable job this year. They lost their center after one year and two experienced players who transferred out. Their productive 6th man is has been lost for the season. Unfortunately they are banged up right now an they need to get healthy. Also I don’t expect freshmen to be seniors.

Comment by Justinian 02.10.14 @ 11:23 am

I have bitched about the non-con as much as anyone. For selfish reasons, not for the team to get better, to help their RPI, but so I can go to a couple good non-con games. For the fans.

However, all teams play patsies. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like it. Every team has about 10 home non-con games.

I’m mad, because all 10 of our home non-cons are against patsies. I’d like at least one or two good games.

With that being said though, you can’t say Jamie “pads” his schedule with victorys.

They all do it.

The difference is some teams may only play 7 or 8 patsies, opposed to 10.

So, if you’re gonna rip Dixon for “padding” his schedule, then you have to rip them all. They all do it.

It’s not like Dixon gets 10 free wins, and other teams only get one or two or even none.

Teams that have a better home non-con, still get 7,8,9 patsies and “pad” their victory’s too, just not 10.

Comment by Dan 02.10.14 @ 11:25 am

@Tony in Houston, I didn’t call anyone any names , I simply stated that I find attitudes like yours amusing. If you feel harangued by that or my suggesting you find another team too bad. I have never heard Jamie brag about anything, it isn’t his nature. So where are you getting that criticism? The recruiting failures you refer to are bizarrely absurd. Dixon had the best record in the Big East while consistently having the rating services rate Calhoun,Patino , and Boeheim ahead of him in recruiting. Why should the ACC be any different. I don’t care if we are rated last in recruiting as long as we win. Dixon isn’t going anywhere. The university loves him and the season ticket list is long enough that if you prefer the JV games nobody will miss you. As for the pace and talent levels , Jamie’s doing a great job and this years team has already far exceeded any reasonable pre-season projection. Now we are struggling because of several injuries to key players. Even Wooden couldn’t have overcome that. IMO You are way out of line. Considering the injuries I think Dixon did a great job to pull out wins in the last 2 games. Why are you so critical and what makes you think Pitt has reason to expect more than what JD has given us. I expect Smizik to try and dig up controversy but there is no reason for Blatherites to buy into his dirt.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.10.14 @ 11:27 am

Latest from SBNation:

Pitt a 6 seed facing 11 seed SMU
link to sbnation.com

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.10.14 @ 11:28 am

@Lou, Your question is extremely valid but you won’t find the answer in Mr Smizik’s column because he doesn’t ask. Instead he writes articles blasting the coach and program. God forbid he report some real news, rather than his wacked out opinion.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.10.14 @ 11:30 am

TonyinHouston, you just repeat the same points over and over.

Dixon wins without top recruits. It’s a proven fact. What is the point of even mentioning where Pitt’s recruiting classes are ranked?

The fan base isn’t divided about Dixon. 90% like him, 10% are the vocal ignorant delusional minority that thinks Pitt can do better with the head coach.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.10.14 @ 11:34 am

spiritofsectio22:
I suspect you are a paid employee of Steve Pederson’s directed to this blog and others to blunt criticism.

You have written nothing to change my mind. But save up your energy. You’re going to need it as we roll through the conclusion of this season, the ACC tournament, and a post-season tournament.

Dixon isn’t as popular as you claim. You are right, however, Pitt BOTS adore him, Pederson is too incompetent or lazy to try to find anyone with an impressive NCAA remedy, could never get Sean Miller to come back to Pitt because Arizona pays Miller very well, and we have Dixon for years to come.

Maybe Dixon could spend as much time and effort recruiting as he has done getting himself raises.
It’s amazing that for as cheap as Pitt is, the university is paying him nearly $1.8 million a year.

According to a report issued on December 7, 2013,
Dixon is the 24th highest paid college basketball coach at $1.8 million. No one begrudges Dixon his pay. Past tournament failures and subpar recruiting (there is no excuse for lack of talent and blaming it all on injuries – he is the recruiter and program CEO)indicate Pitt may have reached its Dixon ceiling. More of that talk will emerge if he and his team stumble through the rest of this season and end up with a high NCAA Tournament seed, or an invite to the NIT.

He seems to be very sensitive to criticism and reads his criticism. The next step is to try to improve. After all, aren’t we all engaged in trying to become better at our life’s work?

link to businessinsider.com

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.10.14 @ 11:46 am

@TonyinHouston – what I like most about that bracket is the geographic placement – Milwaukee followed by NYC (if we are so fortunate). Much better than where Pitt teams usually get sent.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.10.14 @ 11:47 am

@Wardapalooza, You accused me of over reacting prior to the Vtech game. I wish you were right, but I was, and with the injuries we are now facing there is plenty of reasons to be concerned. JD really has some work to do now if we are to get the 3 wins you guaranteed. At least we managed 1 of them. I hope the others come a little easier.HTP

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.10.14 @ 11:48 am

Wardapalooza:
Thanks for confirming my comment about hitting a Dixon ceiling. “Wins without top recruits.”

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.10.14 @ 11:49 am

I’d say recruiting has been above the line, except that Sleepy, Birch, Adams and now Mostrella did not have the impact you would hope for. Birch probably hurt the most because we lost a solid recruit because he came early.

The non-com was particularly bad this year because the NY tournament gave us Stanford and Texas Tech, the Jimmy V gave us Cinci, which wasn’t thought highly of at the time, and the ACC Big Ten gave us PSU instead of anyone good.

Comment by gc 02.10.14 @ 11:56 am

Pitt Dad, please … these brackets are meaningless. First of all, Pitt will be seeded on what they do through the ACC Tourny, not thru Feb 10. Second, every year the selection committee seems to use different criteria for selection and seeding … however, the one constant is non-con games, thus don’t be surprised when Pitt once agins is seeded lowered than expected and position in the Mountain or Pacific time zones.

Comment by wbb 02.10.14 @ 11:58 am

@Tony in Houston, Seriously you might consider being a little more realistic in your Dixon evaluation. He is 24th in pay and he has the 5th best record in the time he has coached. He has had his team in the top 20 at some point every season he has coached. Sounds like he makes about what he deserves to me. There was never any real consideration of attracting Sean Miller because when you have the best coach the University has ever had it isn’t smart to pursue other options ,and even Smizik agrees with that. Your assumption that Dixon is sensitive to criticism is almost as absurd as your accusing him of bragging. I have never seen a single article to back up your theory. I don’t think the type of athlete Dixon attracts is because of any lack of effort as you suggest either. I think he prefers the under the radar types like Wright,Patterson, and Zanna. If you look at UNC’s roster they have a gym full of All Americans and their hall of fame coach has already lost a half a dozen games to teams they weren’t supposed to lose to. Meanwhile Dixon has our kids over achieving as usual. Please limit your criticism to things that have a factual basis rather than just slanted opinion. I think you will find that I can also be critical of Dixon but like your opinions of him you seem to want to misstate my agenda as well. Linking me to Smiling Steve isn’t going to get you on my Christmas card list as an example.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.10.14 @ 12:16 pm

Smizek’s piece works. His technique sells newspapers! Mark Twain wrote a great humorous story about it, called, something like, “How I edited an agricultural newspaper.”

In the story, Twain says he took over editing the paper while the owner went on vacation. He started writing ridiculous things like, “It’s time to pick the turnips from the trees.” Everybody was talking about what he was writing. Circulation went way up!

Here we are talking about Smizek and his no-nothing negativity when Gorman wrote a great piece which gives us an insight into this team’s great chemistry. It starts off with Robinson talking about Wright as a jokester who works hard every day in practice:

link to triblive.com

Comment by Howard 02.10.14 @ 12:21 pm

This talk about seeding is way premature. With the injury issues facing our team there is no guarantee we are going to make the NCAA at this point. It took a minor miracle to get by Vtech at home, unless we get healthy that could be about it.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.10.14 @ 12:22 pm

Amen Brother Denny: I watch Pitt games and listen to announcers make excuses for the other coaches. Miami lost their whole team to graduation. NC State plays a lot of freshmen and sophomores. Blah Blah Blah. Never any mention to the turnover — especially on the front line — that Pitt has endured the past two seasons. And guess what, Pitt is 20-4.
Jamie Dixon should immediately put in the HOF if he gets this undersized, injury ridden team to the tourney.

I’ve heard so many people complain that Dixon refuses to play “his best five guys.” Well, he did that against VT, won the game with them, and guess what? People still complain.

This is all ridiculous. Do none of you remember Paul Evans and Ralph Willard. I sure do.

Comment by Denny 02.10.14 @ 9:55 am

Comment by ptbreezeb 02.10.14 @ 12:25 pm

Just got a text from Gorman and he said Jamie wasn’t sounding too optimistic on the conference call. I think we are in deep do do with these injuries.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.10.14 @ 12:28 pm

Dixon’s ceiling is contending for a national title. He does that about 30% of the time. the 2003-2004 team, the Blair team, and the Wanamaker team all were legitimate title contenders heading into the tournament. They lost in the tournament when they shouldn’t have. Does Dixon deserve blame in those losses? Yes. How often should Pitt contend for a national title?

Spirit, I said you were overreacting before Lamar was hurt. Pitt gets enough wins if Lamar is healthy. But if Lamar misses time, then I could see Pitt missing the tournament. But still I think even without Lamar Pitt beats BC, NC St and FSU.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.10.14 @ 12:36 pm

I don’t know who Pitt’s top 5 guys are … they seem to vary from game to game. Heck, you can argue that Artis was the best player vs UVa, yet he has had 1 point since. Newkirk was terrible vs Miami but was one of the best 5 vs Va Tech,and so on, and so forth

Comment by wbb 02.10.14 @ 12:40 pm

@spirit:

I wonder if Dixon is thinking of sitting Patterson for the Syracuse game…

Comment by Howard 02.10.14 @ 12:59 pm

@wbb – I know all that. I was just commenting that, all things being equal, if the bracket turned out that way I’d be happy.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.10.14 @ 1:00 pm

@Wardapalooza, Patterson hasn’t played well since Maryland and this hand thing doesn’t look like something that is going away anytime soon. Zanna is about half there. Our bench isn’t coming around at all and we will be lucky to win 2 more games let alone 3. I am not certain we will win again this year. I’m not some pessimist either as I thought we were a top 10 team coming out of the Clemson game. I hope you are right, but I’m pretty certain you are wrong. Zanna was throwing up double doubles and Patterson was the best player in the conference. There is no one on the bench to replace them and their injuries won’t heal playing 35 minutes plus twice a week. I think we are totally screwed.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.10.14 @ 1:02 pm

@gc good point on how non-con schedule played out this year.

@@ good points on impact of injuries.. too bad this team is not that same that play Syracuse close there. Would like to see a rebound on Wednesday but just feels we are tailing off now due to injuries and ‘cuse is for real this year.

@@ I had a question earlier. Does anyone know with ACC money when/how that hits and if Pitt has stated if it will up its budget for coaches and programs then?? Thanks,

Comment by Pittscript 02.10.14 @ 1:03 pm

IF Patterson’s thumb has not improved significantly from Sat. to Wed., then Dixon faces a lose-lose by playing him: he prevents the thumb from properly healing and jeopardize future games, and hurts our play against Syracuse at the same time since he is a liability on the court. IF Patterson is still hurting, please sit him. Give the minutes to Artis.

Also, I hope he proves me wrong, but I do not think Syracuse is a good match up for Newkirk, because of his size vs the length of that zone.

I’d give Patterson’s minutes to Artis and pray he plays D. Otherwise, it’s the equally thumb-challenged Jones to help.

Comment by 1618mt 02.10.14 @ 1:09 pm

@howard, Adams had a hand injury similarly taped last season and wore a brace for 2 months.Shot about 40% from the free throw stripe. Jones has played the whole year with a thumb injury and is to have surgery after the season. I would be very surprised if Patterson returns to anything resembling the player he was 3 weeks ago. 7pts. and a half dozen boards is all I see Zanna doing too. He is half the player he was before the Virginia game. The worst part of the Patterson injury is he might not be much help at all. He was a shooting liability against Vtech. There is no one on the bench ready to step up. We are in deep do do. Dixon coached a great game to get us past the Hokies , two weeks ago it would not even have been a contest.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.10.14 @ 1:11 pm

@1618mt, Dixon traditionally gives playing time to those who play defense. Artis is not on the top of that list. A one game rest isn’t going to fix a thumb that severely injured. There might not be enough time left in the season for it to heal. Playing through the injury without practicing has been the approach with Zanna. That obviously isn’t working out too well and I have even less hope for Patterson’s shooting hand. I repeat I think we are screwed. I wonder if TonyinHouston still thinks I am employed by the University?

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.10.14 @ 1:23 pm

It’s pretty simple why Pitt is struggling… Pitt is struggling because they have players hurt. And Pitt is screwed if Patterson is not 100% healthy and if you watched his shots on Saturday you know there is no way he’ll be 100% for Wednesday. I would actually sit Patterson if he’s not 100%, the uneducated college experts (Ron Cook) try to say this is a big game, but actually if Pitt lost it really isn’t going to hurt them much…(though winning would really help seeding in March). You need Patterson 100% in March…if ANY chance playing slows his recovery…sit him.

I find those that want to see Dixon fired are the ones who only watch Pitt college BB games and no others. It’s just plain ignorance.

Out of his top three guys he has one out for season and 2 others playing at half speed. Any wins at this point are a plus.

Anyone notice how Arizona played when it lost Ashley…loss to Cal and should of lost to Oregon at home (they won by 2 at very end..sound familiar) ..How about Notre Dame when they lost their main guy..they are a bottom ACC team after being predicted to be at the top.

Comment by milobloom 02.10.14 @ 1:38 pm

@milobloom, Please don’t use the term “ignorant” to describe posters critical of Dixon. They can throw out all kinds of uninformed incorrect bs but they are very sensitive to being called names. We wouldn’t want to hurt any feelings here at the Pittbather.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.10.14 @ 1:50 pm

Spirit, do we really know that Patterson’s thumb is in that bad of shape? The article in the paper seemed to imply otherwise. If his thumb is really that bad, then year, this is not going to be a good finish. I’d still rather see LP’s time given to others if we see a repeat of Saturday. Newkirk, for example, was a much better player than Patterson on that day.

Comment by 1618mt 02.10.14 @ 1:50 pm

The way Pitt reports injuries we’ll never know how bad the thumb is injured. But from how bad his shots were off and how many open shots he passed up I would say on Saturday it was pretty bad.

Comment by milobloom 02.10.14 @ 2:02 pm

Amen Spirit & milo!:@milobloom, Please don’t use the term “ignorant” to describe posters critical of Dixon. They can throw out all kinds of uninformed incorrect bs but they are very sensitive to being called names. We wouldn’t want to hurt any feelings here at the Pittbather.
Milo:
It’s pretty simple why Pitt is struggling… Pitt is struggling because they have players hurt. And Pitt is screwed if Patterson is not 100% healthy and if you watched his shots on Saturday you know there is no way he’ll be 100% for Wednesday. I would actually sit Patterson if he’s not 100%, the uneducated college experts (Ron Cook) try to say this is a big game, but actually if Pitt lost it really isn’t going to hurt them much…(though winning would really help seeding in March). You need Patterson 100% in March…if ANY chance playing slows his recovery…sit him.
I find those that want to see Dixon fired are the ones who only watch Pitt college BB games and no others. It’s just plain ignorance.

Comment by ptbreezeb 02.10.14 @ 2:28 pm

Its so easy to be critical! Sure I would prefer to see a more up tempo game plan – Ive said so! But it was clear to everyone that HCJD was extending the leash when he had all his horses. Now his 3 reserves are freshman (JN, JA & CJ is a redshirt who needs post season surgery). Give me a break. Dixon lost players to the NBA, graduation & transfers – he reloaded, switched conferences and got burned with injuries and still is representing!!! And he generally coaches his players into overachievers by stressing Defense & unselfish play. Ya he’s horrible! Oh, and he – through self inventory – brought back slice who clearly is the Yang to his Yin (both on the bench & in the living room). Yup the non conference grip is justified (I pay a lot to see Savannah State?) yet there is no doubt the cards got shuffled at some tourneys (beyond even ADSP’s control! & next year we are going to maui).

Comment by ptbreezeb 02.10.14 @ 2:39 pm

A large part of the slow pace the last two games was the opponent. Va Tech in particular made sure to use the entire shot clock. Many possessions they took almost the full 10 sec to cross mid-court. 22 of their 53 shots were 3 pointers leading to long rebounds and additional possessions which also lasted almost the full 35.

As we’ve seen in the past with ND, when an opponent wants to slow down the game, unless we can get out in transition there is little we can do to speed it up.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.10.14 @ 3:59 pm

link to scores.espn.go.com

WVU sure knows how to score – why can’t we be more like them? Even whipped up on DeAndre Kane.

Be careful what you wish for.

Comment by TVax 02.10.14 @ 10:02 pm

Arizona played great teams in Non-Con.. Not everyone plays IUP fellas.

As far as Dixon I can care less if he loses 15 games a year as long as they are against real competition. I also don’t care if we barely make the tourney as long as we are actually in in past the first 3 days. I care about MARCH. I give two shits what he does against Gannon and West Texas Baptist. I don’t even care if he wins the ACC ever. Recruit legit D1 Guys and win in March. If he does that over his 45 year tenure ever I will be happy. I still think we go to the final four. We need to get Archie Miller before he goes to NC State and they kick our ass.

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.11.14 @ 12:29 am

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