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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





The new chancellor is an impressive Pitt guy. Sounds like a good fit. He has an awesome network and will keep the research money flowing.

Wonder how he feels about budgeting for sports?

Comment by notrocketscience 02.08.14 @ 7:08 am

Time for a beat down. Keep Zanna on the bench, or in the treatment room. Randall and Artis are plenty good to beat this team.

Way to go wrestlers, our first ACC championship!

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 9:02 am

notrocketscience – fully agree and I have the same question.

His quote in the P-G doesn’t give the impression that he’s an avid sports fan:

“This is the city where my mother grew up, where my family was born, where I spent a lot of my childhood. In fact, I spent part of second grade here, met my wife here, developed by preferences in professional sports here.”

No mention of Pitt sports…and how many folks on this site – or any other similar one – would describe their interest in sports the way he did?

My money is on he maintains the status quo on sports.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 02.08.14 @ 9:04 am

Joe I think you are right

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.08.14 @ 9:16 am

Reading thru CBS top 25 and one this morning, Pitt has been replaced by the likes of SMU, are you F’n kidding me. They have comments for each team some of those comments for the 5 and 6 loss teams say the Buckeyes have only one loss to a team outside of the top 50 RPI. Hey A-holes Pitt doesn’t have a loss to a team outside of the top 19 RPI. Gonzaga and Witchita State don’t play anybody but somehow that’s ok. I don’t understand the gripe people have against Pitt, yes they have had their problems winning close games to quality teams but they have pounded almost everyone else. After they kill the Hokies today they will be 20-4! Who expected this team to have a record like that before the season! Certainly not any voters for the polls it took forever for them just to get votes. If anything this team has over achieved so why don’t they get the respect that they have earned unlike many in the top 25!!!! H2P!!!!!!!

Comment by Steve h 02.08.14 @ 9:18 am

@Joe Lawrence I interpret that quote snippet another way: At least he mentioned sports. It’s not like he said “screw Pitt football.” There’s no way to tell at the moment what his posture toward the program might be.

Seems like a great choice from what little I’ve been able to Google. I know some folks at NIST who say he’s awesome. What a great way to keep the momentum going on Pittsburgh as a growing center for science & tech.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t quite hit it off with our AD and sometime later this year encourages Smilin’ Steve to pursue his “life’s work.”

Comment by BATR 02.08.14 @ 9:25 am

@ steve h, Maybe they saw the Miami game.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.08.14 @ 9:31 am

BATR – from what I have read, he will be an outstanding choice for a large research university like Pitt.

Your comment about not hitting it off with the AD made me chuckle…who knows, maybe that could happen…imagine the cheers on this site and others -haha!

Seriously though, if you were taking the chancellor’s job would you spend much time during your first couple of years dealing with athletics with so many other areas to oversee? I think SP gets a hall pass for a while unless he really steps in it in something off the field.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 02.08.14 @ 9:37 am

Today’s games that can help Pitt’s RPI/seeding:

North Carolina State over Miami (Fla.) (NC St. will struggle @ Miami)

Duquesne over George Mason (GMU does not have a conference win. They have a chance today. But the Dukes should win a close game)

Lehigh over Loyola-Maryland (Lehigh should win a close game at home)

Maryland over Florida State (MD likely drops another at home, but it should be close)

Howard over Hampton (Not likely)

Loyola Marymount over Pacific (At LMU, should be close)

Albany over Hartford (At Hartford, should be close)

Fresno State over San Jose State (Fresno St. should win at home)

Cincinnati over Southern Methodist (In a close game, Cincy’s 15 game win streak comes to an end at SMU)

Texas Tech over Oklahoma State (OK St’s 3 game slide ends, but TTU win not make it easy)

Cal Poly over Hawaii (Not likely)

And Pitt must beat VA Tech.

Comment by xfmrman 02.08.14 @ 9:39 am

link to thekeyplay.com

Off topic rankings of Athletic budgets for yinz guys that think we should be more competitive.

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 9:41 am

@Joe, yes you may be right, he’ll maybe let the Athletic Dept slide for a while. He doesn’t seem like a hatchet man whose first job is to clean house (again from what little I know).

Still, eventually everyone wants to put their own stamp on things. And let’s hope he realizes that sports should not be just a sidelight, that if he really wants to continue to raise Pitt’s national profile, that sports can really be a valuable avenue to do just that.

A lot of people object to the idea, but big-time sports really can be a “front porch” to a university.

Comment by BATR 02.08.14 @ 9:43 am

Dixon should sit Zanna and try to rest his ankle for next week. If we can’t beat these guys without Zanna where are we going to be if he doesn’t get back to 100%. If Zanna isn’t 100% next week he should sit then too. Position in the conference and seeding isn’t near as important as being healthy for tournament time. Rankings aren’t going to help us get points if Talib stays hobbled.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.08.14 @ 9:43 am

@Joe

He went to Benedictine College undergrad—and I am surprised to Google it and find out that they have a sports program, including football.

But, he went to grad school at Pitt. I think that it is a no brainer that Pitt is where his heart is for sports. Does, he care about sports? He mentioned Pgh as his “pro ” sports city in the commencement speech. A good sign.

I say that we ask the Zoo to get his a full supply of T-shirts delivered today.

H2P and H2Patrick Gallagher. Welcome home!

Comment by pmdH2P 02.08.14 @ 10:11 am

Gc – very interesting link. When looking to understand a situation or a problem it is always instructive to “follow the money”. That list shows why Pitt is and always will be a fair to midland football program.

All of those schools at the top of the revenue list are dominated by football revenue, TV and on premises. All of them have huge on campus stadiums that they fill every game. Almost all of them DO NOT have a pro football presence in their market to compete with.

Let’s face it, Pittsburgh is a pro football, more specifically, a steelers town. Pitt football will never inspire the interest or the following to drive enough attendance to justify an on campus stadium needed to drive the revenue needed to CONSISTENTLY compete at the national level.

We need to appreciate Pitt hoops where at least we have a fighting chance. No pro basketball, a full on campus facility, in an urban campus with a good national reputation is enough to give Pitt a shot.

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 02.08.14 @ 10:11 am

Sorry meant to type “middling” not midland. Damn auto correct.

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 02.08.14 @ 10:14 am

@gc, that link nauseates me.

As Boubabcar said, you can pretty much look at the top 20, and it’s the top 20 in the football rankings.

Oh, you could nit pic, Minnesota and Cal aren’t, but, pretty much everyone else.

Actually if I was a Minnesota or Cal fan, I’d really be wondering what was going on.

But, I digress, that is a very telling list.

You can’t spin into something good either, it’s not good.

Comment by Dan 02.08.14 @ 10:25 am

While these revenues are pre ACC which will help a bit, it is telling. We are the Pirates competing with the Yankees.

Winning over the non Pitt alumni is the key.

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 10:35 am

As far as the chancellor, seems good. Saw someone on a thread say he was an avid Pitt fan??

I could say that too, right on the Blather, I don’t know why you’d want too, if you didn’t know.

Time will tell I guess.

Hopefully he’s the type that see that athletics can not only coexist with academcis, but enhance the university overall.

Comment by Dan 02.08.14 @ 10:38 am

All those posting here concerning the new chancellor wondering how he will treat athletics might want to consider that he would have to be anti sport to find a future athletic director worse than what we have.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.08.14 @ 10:45 am

off topic but interesting

link to cbssports.com

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 10:50 am

Budget numbers are depressing, we’re probably maximizing our dollars at 6-6 in football and perennial hoop appearance in the Tourney.

Spread is 20 today. Better beat it…

Comment by Iron Duke 02.08.14 @ 11:23 am

wbb, love the idea. One more sellout when we play at home. Eliminate another snoozer.

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 11:26 am

I don’t see the new chancellor chasing bad money, he has a university to run. Pitt football does not generate the $$ that most major college football programs generate. It would be follish of him to spend millions on a football coaching staff that can’t turn a profit. It’s about the $$, always.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 11:30 am

Lets beat the nutered turkeys. Hail to Pitt.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 11:32 am

Marietta – didn’t have my glasses on and thought you were “MarinatedMike”… haha

We really need a big win today for a number of reasons…not the least of which is I live in Central Virginia and am enjoying the hibernating Hokies.

Comment by Joe Lawrence 02.08.14 @ 11:47 am

Let’s Go Pitt!

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 12:03 pm

Nutered / neutered, they are still turkeys.

Lets go Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 12:14 pm

can’t miss today !

let’s go Pitt

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:14 pm

Cam Wright is our best perimeter defender…not even close

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:15 pm

Pitt can’t miss. Hot shooters vs bad defense?

They just announced the wrestling team’s accomplishment beating the Hokies for ACC regular season crown.

H2P!

Comment by Pendlum 02.08.14 @ 12:17 pm

File Van whatever for VT when he gets it underneath, he lays bricks from the foul line! UPone

Comment by UPone 02.08.14 @ 12:17 pm

Oops, foul,

Comment by UPone 02.08.14 @ 12:18 pm

he did it again….first TV timeout we up 13-5 JD brings in Artis, Nuke and JOnes…..we lose all offensive momentum….had a chance to blow them out…now 13-11

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:20 pm

I just don’t understand that at all

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:21 pm

We kill our own momentum. Why oh why…

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 12:22 pm

especially this game, wanted an early blowout to take Zanna out and rest ankle

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:22 pm

playing down to their level

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 12:23 pm

Poor defense by Robinson

Comment by alcofan 02.08.14 @ 12:26 pm

no wonder we didn’t score for 6 minutes…it was self induced by all the scrubs being in

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:27 pm

Another 5 minute scoring drought. Wright with his usual first half scoring, not much from Patterson then the bullet to Zanna, finally.

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 12:28 pm

Daring us to shoot the 3’s. Hot early, now not so much.

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 12:30 pm

surely they know, they’re killing any mo…we developed at beginning of game…they do watch the tapes.

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:31 pm

When did Patterson hurt is thumb?

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 12:31 pm

Pitt started loose then micro-coaching is doing us in. I just don’t understand coaching I guess.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 12:31 pm

New chancellor looks like a power forward.

Comment by alcofan 02.08.14 @ 12:33 pm

Airball Lamar, no rebounds, team can’t run, offense sucks-can’t defend anybody man to man because we are too slow. Looks like a final four team to me.

Comment by cas myzlinski 02.08.14 @ 12:33 pm

Is Gallagher a football guy ?

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:33 pm

Screaming at the TV….just awful play by Pitt.
Terrible defense, double teams getting split and Pitt sloppy with the ball. Just overload the damn defense and stop making it a mensa deal with all the weave. It is wasted against the zone!

Comment by Dan 72 02.08.14 @ 12:33 pm

Why is this a close game?

Comment by Pendlum 02.08.14 @ 12:34 pm

Patterson with two airballs ohoh.

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 12:35 pm

crap lamar’s thumb is f8cked up just in time for Cusey game !

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:37 pm

Zanna hurt, now Patterson, can we just forfeit the Syracuse game?

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 12:38 pm

funny their coach looks like a jd clone, won’t sit his ass down either, stands on court, etc.

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:38 pm

Patterson & Jones must have hurt their thumbs in practice..like Adams last year. Maybe they need to tone it down a little…

I think this team lost it’s confidence in the 2nd half of the Duke game and reinforced by Virginia….now we’re struggling against VT at home….beating Miami in OT didn’t help at all.

We can’t run now either with Zanna hurt…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 12:39 pm

Micro-coaching issue. Just let the guys play ball. This game should not be close. Pitt is beating its self.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 12:39 pm

letting this scrub team dunk on us,,,,not once but twice now…sheesh

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:43 pm

Boy do I miss Dejuan, our bigs are so soft. getting dominated by some stiff

Comment by cas myzlinski 02.08.14 @ 12:47 pm

that mass substitution at the first TV timeout killed us…and any chances of a first half blowout…

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:47 pm

those kids aren’t good enough (yet) to bring them all in at the same time….he’s done that now in the last 4-5 games…and it’s just killing us.

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:49 pm

I still don’t see us losing this game but our coaching is killing what momentum we have. I just don’t get it.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 12:49 pm

No post presence at all for Pitt. Getting murdered on the boards. Time to panic!
With Patterson now hurt (why does Dixon push so hard in practice…)we are not a very good basketball team.

Comment by Dan 72 02.08.14 @ 12:50 pm

We are 20 point favorites based on Vegas odds. Maybe I should have taken the points.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 12:51 pm

Va Tech is outrebounding Pitt 14 to 9. Rebounding is essential for Pitt and had been arguably the essential factor for Pitt in the Howland-Dixon era.

I believe Pitt has been beaten on the boards the last 3 games and this is more of the same. The opponents are getting 2nd chances and Pitt isn’t.

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 12:52 pm

You go back and look at the Stanford or TT game…we blew those teams out in the 1rst half, because we didn’t sub in anyone for the first 7-9 minutes and then it was only Durand Durand.

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:53 pm

I mean, c’mon…F injuries, this team has lost it’s will. Defense and rebounding are now suffering. Tired of peaking in the second week of January.

Comment by Iron Duke 02.08.14 @ 12:53 pm

Pitt 41 Texas Tech 18

Pitt 43 Stanford 23

They were blowouts in the 1rst half because we basically played only 6 guys

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 12:56 pm

It only figures that J. Eddie their 3 point shooter awakens versus Pitt after being terrible all season. Van Degrin (sp) must be fouled hard when he gets the ball down low. No dunks! The hokies are playing about as well as they can. We have got to rebound better! Go Pitt! UPone

Comment by UPone 02.08.14 @ 12:56 pm

If you are a player doing well in the game and the coach takes you out you get upset and lose interest in the game. It’s happening over and over this year to Pitt’s players. They sit and lose any momentum gained becoming tentative. It’s definitely a coaching issue.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 12:58 pm

well if Lamar can’t shoot and that appears to be the case…we’re in real trouble…maybe win this game but I mean against Cusey and UNC

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:00 pm

Wow. A lot more crowd support for the kids jumping rope at halftime than for the Panthers.

In fairness, the jump ropers are performing better.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 02.08.14 @ 1:00 pm

If you’re up 13-5, on the edge of a double figure lead and possible blowout,,,last thing you want to do is put in Jones, Nuke, Randall & Artis all together, the immediately went to a double team a mid court, got a turnover scored and then Pitt ddn’t score for almost 6 minutes…duh

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:02 pm

I hope they got some Red Bull at the half. I was falling asleep in my seat here at the Pete. No action offense. Going to come down to last 5 minutes as no team is playing good enough to make a run.

Comment by Pendlum 02.08.14 @ 1:03 pm

The coach should not be doing his best to help the other team. This is ridiculous.

Comment by Carmen 02.08.14 @ 1:06 pm

stupid high ball screen defense

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:07 pm

they’re starting to go to isolation matchups.

Show them a Zone….coach !

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:08 pm

yea we’re 19-4…but this is ridic

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:11 pm

Jamie is losing his team. He needs to chill and let them play basketball. These guys are afraid to shoot.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 1:11 pm

looks like decade dixon has them ready for this game as well.

Comment by goalie44 02.08.14 @ 1:12 pm

How many fast break points today for Pitt? I’m ready to go UPitt on this team. Some if the worst basketball I’ve seen from Pitt outside of the 2012 team in 15 years.

Comment by Iron Duke 02.08.14 @ 1:15 pm

him standing the whole game shouting is wearing on me, I can imagine what it does to the players.

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:15 pm

NIT

Comment by Chick 02.08.14 @ 1:17 pm

need to do something to change the flo, mo of this game….zone, trap, press, something,,,,same old thing ain’t cuttin it

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:17 pm

JD just screaming in the time out. Players look generally uninterested. Was hoping to see someone actully playing the game fired up.

Comment by Pendlum 02.08.14 @ 1:17 pm

finally get a transition chance..and they can’t make a layup….oy vey

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:18 pm

Dixon is a trainwreck. Miller Time. Archie that is.

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.08.14 @ 1:20 pm

somebody gonna make a killin on Va Tech +18.5 lol

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:21 pm

Wright is now our go to guy…with all due respect to him, we are toast…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 1:22 pm

When we play a half decent team we look below avg.

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.08.14 @ 1:22 pm

Holy Artis. Gross

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.08.14 @ 1:22 pm

Patterson shooting airballs with and without the wrist wrapped. Artis can’t dribble. Rip on Cam all you want but he has over 30% of Pitt’s points.

Comment by Pendlum 02.08.14 @ 1:23 pm

this va tech coach is actually outcoaching mister anxiety

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:24 pm

Ok, gents, is it Lamar’s wrist, loss of Durand, Talib ankle not 100%, early start, or do they need a shot of adrenaline and believe in themselves.

Lot of time left.

Hail to PITT!
-al-

Comment by Oregon_Panther 02.08.14 @ 1:26 pm

My wife is watching the game with me and thinks I need to chill. I think she is right, no sense getting a heart attack over this game.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 1:26 pm

Wright double clutches nearly every time he goes to the hoop, a la JJ Moore. It is maddening. Zanna and Young never go up strong. And then they get shoved around under the hoop. The team is playing with no fire and Dixon just seems to think the best option is to scream like a lunatic the whole game. Real fun to watch.

Comment by Carmen 02.08.14 @ 1:27 pm

Patterson can’t shoot now but he should be able to drive to the basket. Of course if he’s fouled he won’t make FT’s…

Nevermind…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 1:28 pm

This is the worst played basketball i have ever seen in my 36 years.

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.08.14 @ 1:29 pm

come on get Lamar out of there….just screwing him up now more

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:31 pm

Patterson is hurting this team. Need to sit him the rest of the game. He isn’t going to help win and only help lose at this point.

Comment by Pendlum 02.08.14 @ 1:31 pm

Patterson…zero points and 4 TO’s… :-(

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 1:32 pm

slice needs to bear hug on mr anxiety and plop his butt in that chair

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:33 pm

He has to get Patterson out for a couple minutes, he’s killing us. I have a ton of respect for Cam, he may not be our best, but he is our steadiest player.

Comment by Iron Duke 02.08.14 @ 1:33 pm

Patterson is not effective. He needs to be on the bench.

Comment by Boubacar Aw 02.08.14 @ 1:33 pm

This has been the least fun two weeks I can remember

Comment by Antiguafor200Alex 02.08.14 @ 1:34 pm

i hate playing these teams in the Coastal division of football. strange things happen

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:34 pm

wow you mean he finally thought of more ‘ball pressure’. lmao

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:35 pm

Agreed …need to pull Patterson. No way we win this game playing like this. What a disgrace.
Anhilated on the boards. Terrible coaching, playing, defending and rebounding.

I have had enough. So tired of peaking in January.

Comment by Dan 72 02.08.14 @ 1:35 pm

stupid high ball screen defense again…teams can go to that play,…anytime

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:36 pm

This is by far the weakest team under the basket I’ve seen in the Dixon – Howland era both in rebounding and going up to the rim.

Maybe Dixon should take out Patterson and bring in Randall to play along side Zanna. At least we may get some rebounds and putbacks…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 1:37 pm

83%’r misses both……

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:40 pm

Wright is the only guy who came to play…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 1:41 pm

you can’t lose to a team that wears pumpkin shoes…come on…

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:41 pm

Dan – I wouldn’t say they peak in January – JD wears them down – and they stop playing for him – even the announcers said they look lifeless.

Comment by markp 02.08.14 @ 1:44 pm

thinks it’s time to locate Eddy…don’t you

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:45 pm

The collApse is complete with Pitt clanking fts

Comment by Dan 72 02.08.14 @ 1:45 pm

maybe the zone for a possession…just to confuse them…get a turnover….that last play doesn’t happen with the Zone

Comment by Emel 02.08.14 @ 1:46 pm

Im sure we will win by 3 and our fanbase will be happy. Yeah we dug deep and lamar was hurt garbage. Oh and this kid from VT is 200% better than robinson. Way to recruit leas than 10 miles from campus dixon

Comment by Upittbaseball 02.08.14 @ 1:46 pm

VT is the better team on the floor. Were getting
CRUSHED on the boards!!!

Comment by Dan 72 02.08.14 @ 1:49 pm

Everyone will be using a 2-3 zone against us the rest of the year. We can’t penetrate it and can’t shoot from outside…especially with Patterson hurt.

We won’t win too many more games this year…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 1:52 pm

You got to be kidding me with this game….

Comment by Panthoor 02.08.14 @ 1:53 pm

Jamie Dixon is becoming Ben Howland

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 02.08.14 @ 1:53 pm

how many of the last 4-5 games does Pitt just stop scoring in the last 5 minutes?

Comment by markp 02.08.14 @ 1:54 pm

The UCLA Ben Howland that faded late in his career at UCLA

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 02.08.14 @ 1:55 pm

Lamar is VT’s best player at the moment.

Comment by Carmen 02.08.14 @ 1:55 pm

Fifty plus years of Pitt sports, football losses to Uconn were the gold standard. Win or lose today is the new champ.

Comment by cas myzlinski 02.08.14 @ 1:56 pm

He grabbed Wright’s arm after the steal…should have been a foul there.

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 1:58 pm

Just what we need….OT with Zanna’s ankle hurt. The only way now Pitt can get close to 60 points a game is with an OT game.

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 2:01 pm

Cam had a nice day but you gotta be kidding me. Does nobody have the balls to want the ball

Comment by cas myzlinski 02.08.14 @ 2:01 pm

Robinson came through in the clutch, great game by Wright. Patterson as a liability, didn’t see that coming.

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 2:01 pm

How could you not want more of this scintillating game?

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 02.08.14 @ 2:01 pm

Been thru many painful NCAAs but this is the most painful 2 weeks in a long while. Lucky to be in OT

Comment by Dan 72 02.08.14 @ 2:02 pm

Dan72, two years ago was a much more painful 4 months.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 02.08.14 @ 2:04 pm

Looks like VT is playing big…they look a lot taller than Pitt. Rebounds are killing us…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 2:06 pm

poor shot selection…

Comment by markp 02.08.14 @ 2:07 pm

If we were playing VT and Miami this tight in football I’d be psyched

Comment by Iron Duke 02.08.14 @ 2:08 pm

Wow. Airballed 8 foot floater from straight away.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 02.08.14 @ 2:08 pm

JD has lost this team

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 02.08.14 @ 2:08 pm

would somebody tell Zanna he needs to play thru the elbow. can’t just quit-what a pussy. can’t believe he trashed Birch about being soft

Comment by cas myzlinski 02.08.14 @ 2:09 pm

Pitt May not score again

Comment by Dan 72 02.08.14 @ 2:09 pm

Unbelievable…

Comment by Panthoor 02.08.14 @ 2:11 pm

Sit Patterson Dixon you idiot! He can’t even shoot FT’s.

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 2:12 pm

Atlants – my feelings too…wow we hit 50 in 43 minutes

Comment by markp 02.08.14 @ 2:13 pm

Hey Pitt fans…we may be looking at 2 OT’s!

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 2:15 pm

12 offensive rebounds for VT….pathetic…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 2:17 pm

Cannot say I agree with a single move by Dixon
In the last half hour

Comment by Dan 72 02.08.14 @ 2:17 pm

Lets go 4 OT. Can’t get enough of this quality basketball.

Comment by Iron Duke 02.08.14 @ 2:17 pm

Holy SH**!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What is wrong with them

Comment by Fred 02.08.14 @ 2:20 pm

Patterson with third airball, why?

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 2:20 pm

I’m numb. Jamie is making every poor decision today.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 2:21 pm

Starting to drink heavily. Why Patterson isn’t being
Subbed for is beside me

Comment by Dan 72 02.08.14 @ 2:21 pm

The ESPN3 music reminds me of Mario Kart. Which is exactly what this is-a bunch of humanoids driving around like fools crashing into each other.

Comment by Panthoor 02.08.14 @ 2:21 pm

Did we really just set up a play for a guy that’s 0-for everything today?

Comment by Antiguafor200Alex 02.08.14 @ 2:23 pm

Fred, aside from Patterson’s sprained shooting hand and zanna’s gimpy ankle, lots of other things.

I honestly don’t understand Patterson being in there though. The only thing hat can happen is he hurts his hand more than it already is n

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 02.08.14 @ 2:23 pm

Thank God I had a prior engagement and couldn’t make it to this game. WTF is going on???

I can’t wait to hear how rebounding is the problem when we can’t put the ball through the hoop.

Comment by ECH 02.08.14 @ 2:24 pm

Hey! We might win by default…eventually.

Comment by Panthoor 02.08.14 @ 2:27 pm

Pitt should be able to out rebound these guys now the rest of the way with 2 bigs out…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 2:27 pm

We are winning the war of attrition

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 02.08.14 @ 2:28 pm

poor shot selection

Comment by markp 02.08.14 @ 2:28 pm

I find myself hoping Tech makes their fts as we
May not get the rebound

Comment by Dan 72 02.08.14 @ 2:29 pm

twice in a row – way to eat the clock up without scoring

Comment by markp 02.08.14 @ 2:30 pm

If this goes to a third OT, I may miss my tee time.

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 02.08.14 @ 2:33 pm

Do you foul?

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 2:34 pm

Another OT coming kids?

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 2:35 pm

if i’m young or artis i transfer out tommorow.

Comment by cas myzlinski 02.08.14 @ 2:35 pm

Newkirk needs to make 1

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 2:36 pm

The shortest guy on the court is getting the rebounds…should get Nuke more minutes…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 2:36 pm

Is there no such thing as a bad win? That’s the question right now….

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 2:37 pm

And there was noooooo doubt about it!

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 2:37 pm

NEVER IN DOUBT. #H2Pitt

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 02.08.14 @ 2:38 pm

Using up the shot clock at the end of games and getting off horrible shots because they are rushing has to stop.

A win is a win.

Comment by notrocketscience 02.08.14 @ 2:38 pm

Yay! We broke 60!

Comment by BATR 02.08.14 @ 2:39 pm

What a game! Newkirk comes through.

A win without scoring from Patterson.

Learning how to win the close ones.

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 2:40 pm

Horrible all around. Someone needs to tell Dixon you don’t run the shot clock down EVERY time when there’s no one on roster who can create own shot. And just ONCE I’d like to see him be gracious in a handshake instead of acting like a 12-year old who’s forced to do it.

Comment by Antiguafor200Alex 02.08.14 @ 2:40 pm

GLASS HALF EMPTY: these last few games are the real Pitt

GLASS HALF FULL: with a win on Wednesday, all will be forgotten

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 2:42 pm

Who was dumb enough to set line at or bet on Pitt at +18.5? Given recent struggles they’rd unlikely to score 19 in a single half

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 02.08.14 @ 2:42 pm

Whine all you want but learning how to win when the game is on the line will pay dividends later.

Cam Wright’s best game.

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 2:42 pm

VT at home is the only team we could have beaten ..in the NCAA

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 2:43 pm

I don’t think they knew about Patterson’s thumb in Vegas.

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 2:44 pm

Artis wasn’t out there because he can’t play D…there’s no excuse for Young not getting more minutes though.

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 2:44 pm

Question, do you rest Patterson against Syracuse and possibly NC to get him healthy for the last 5 games and for the tourneys?

Or keep laying him so it doesn’t heal and he’s 80% and shoots 1 for 9 or 5-15 the rest of the season?

Comment by CNorwoodAZ 02.08.14 @ 2:46 pm

Slice better find that big man for next year.

Jamie likes Newkirk at crunch time. Get used to it.

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 2:46 pm

Still trying to figure out who we are going into tourney. I feel like we need Wednesday more than ever cause we may lay some tress down the road. And a win against cause all but punches our ticket.

Comment by Pauly P 02.08.14 @ 2:49 pm

Terds

Comment by Pauly P 02.08.14 @ 2:49 pm

Patterson made some defensive stops, two foul shots and a tough field goal down the stretch. Jamie is going to have him gut it out. Did you notice he took the tape off his hand late in the game?

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 2:49 pm

Did Patterson injure his thumb in practice? He looked fine in the Miami game.

Comment by gdodson 02.08.14 @ 2:53 pm

Will Pitt’s 2 OT wins against lousy competition keep us in the top 25?

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 2:56 pm

depends on what a handful of other teams do that are ranked near us

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 2:58 pm

Patterson, Jones and Adams last year all hurt their thumbs in practice. Maybe Dixon has one of the assistants break their thumbs if they don’t listen to his micromanagement during practice ;-)

Seriously though, he needs to tone it down some in practice IMO.

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 2:59 pm

I was at Pens game so don’t know if this was posted last night …. but Pitt’s win yesterday vs Va Tech gave the Panthers its first ACC wrestling league championship

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 3:06 pm

Yeah, I hear JD’s practices are still intense. No rest, just heavy legs and thumb injuries. Did you notice how slow Pitt reacts to getting rebounds? They look tired.

Comment by gdodson 02.08.14 @ 3:07 pm

So if we lose to Cuse and at Chapel Hill, are we approaching or on the bubble?

link to cbssports.com

Maybe a better question is: does it matter? Is this team really capable of anything that makes it worth all the angst?

Comment by BATR 02.08.14 @ 3:09 pm

Looking at the positives, another 20 win season, and a win in double OT sure beats a loss in double OT.

Now the negatives, nah, I don’t have that much time.

Comment by Dr. Tom 02.08.14 @ 3:17 pm

BATR…if Patterson’s thumb and Zanna’s ankle don’t heal soon Pitt will struggle in the NIT.

Dixon shortens the bench in February and early March. Artis & Young aren’t going to be happy…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 3:19 pm

Meanwhile, Michigan with 5 losses is still in the top 10….not for long though.

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 3:21 pm

Some of our shooting problems might have been solved if Mostella cood reed or rite!

Comment by isnore 02.08.14 @ 3:28 pm

Man, I’m 19, dad is an alumni, sister is as well, wanted to be at pitt but had cold feet leaving my hometown of Carbondale, Northeastern PA . I grew up watching Krauser and Fields..I just don’t see that fire right now that those teams had, but it could be a lot of things. We are banged up, but a win is a win. I think coach has to give Nuke more freedom to break someones ankles and get to the basket because he can , and I think he is very important going forward. I think we have people who can score other than Patterson and Wright, but I think Coach has to let the reigns loose a bit, and Newkirk has the most physical gifts on this team, athletically. I don’t think we are as bad as we have been this past week or two, but we need to get a fire up this team’s ass or something because I want to see them WANT to kill teams, and stop being passive.

Comment by Fred 02.08.14 @ 3:42 pm

Perseverance! Both for the fans and the team!

Hail to PITT!
-al-

Comment by Oregon_Panther 02.08.14 @ 4:01 pm

I was accused of over reacting yesterday when we accurately predicted how we were likely to play. I’m sorry but I was right.

Comment by spiritofsection22 02.08.14 @ 4:04 pm

In my opinion, Jamie is coaching down his team instead of the opposite. If he would only let his starting five play uptempo basketball the players would score more and draw more fouls.

There is no such thing as a bad par or bad win. We did come close losing to the worst team in the ACC and in our house.

Injuries are part of any athletic game. It’s better to rest an injured player than risk further complication. In my opinion, Jamie is playing with fire by playing injured players.

Bring on the next team. I’m not sure my heart can take it though.

Hail to Pitt!

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 4:18 pm

The only way that I see us beating Syracuse is for Jamie to give them a couple days off and tell them before the Syracuse game just go out and have fun.

Comment by Pittman4ever 02.08.14 @ 4:39 pm

@Fred, excellent post!

Comment by Dan 02.08.14 @ 4:58 pm

Fun Facts:

Both teams combined for 1-19 in FG attempts in the OTs; VT was 1-13.

Geo Tech was leading by one with less than 10 minutes left but UVa finished on a 22-1 run to end the game.

The rich get richer — in FB, Mich is opening next year vs FL in the Cowboy Classic, and will make $6M for its participation.

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 5:03 pm

correction — Va tech went 0-13 in FG attemtps in OTs.

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 5:04 pm

“clang”

Comment by Dan 02.08.14 @ 5:05 pm

Wanted to reign in my anger before I commented.

No there are no bad wins (or pars) but this was as close as it gets.

Let me start with an open plea to Jamie…”it doesn’t have to be this way”. Stop being as stubborn as a mule! Patterson played with one arm all game and gave a gutty effort but JD should have subbed for him on offense every time down the floor.

My biggest beef is with Michael Young who played 27 minutes without a rebound. Normally that would say it all, but he was constantly late for weak/help side defense and allowed himself to get pushed under the basket time after time. It was the worst game I have seen him play this year at a time where we needed height and strength underneath against a much taller opponent.

Hats off to JR and Wright who gutted out the win.
Newkirk had a decent game with a lot of minutes.

The weave we run against the zone simply does not work as it moves side to side instead of inside to outside. Any team playing a zone will let you run that all day.

Obviously we are a very damaged basketball team, injury, coaching and ego wise. Stop with the murderous practices and just give these guys a day off please Jamie!

H2P…but exhausted.

Comment by Dan 72 02.08.14 @ 5:16 pm

@spirit, I was being sarcastic yesterday when I said another game like Miami, 46-45 I picked.

Comment by Dan 02.08.14 @ 5:20 pm

New Chancellor was at Pitt during our worst football and basketball years (early 90’s). He has an undergrad degree from small liberal art school. Sport may not be a priority of his

Comment by Pitt fan in Atlanta 02.08.14 @ 5:20 pm

Chris Mack, yet another Pgh media member who is a PSU alum, makes Ron Cook looks like Einstein.

This morning on The Fan, he was talking about how Dixon’s players cannot compete in the offense-oriented ACC. If that idiot would just take a look at the standings, he would see that 3 of the top 4 teams are defensive-oriented, slower-tempo teams. He also implied Mike Young is another Dante Taylor; I have no doubt he will be proven wrong in the next couple years as Young will get stronger and more confident.

Mr Mack, if by some chance you are reading this, you remain easily the biggest Ahole I’ve ever heard on sports talk radio over the past 30 years … and that is really saying something.

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 5:25 pm

@Jackagain, hard to believe that a team that won two games during the week would drop out of the top 25 they are already in.

However, if the pollsters actually watched the game???

Let’s hop they just see that Pitt won two games and move on.

Comment by Dan 02.08.14 @ 5:25 pm

Dan 72, Young had 7 rebounds the other night while Newkirk probably had his worst game. Artis remains scoreless for the 2nd straight game after leading the team against the best defensive team Pitt will play this year.

These are freshmen we are talking about

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 5:28 pm

@wbb, what a stupid statement for him to make.

I’m as pissed off at the way they’ve been playing the past couple weeks as anyone else on this board, but, the facts are the facts.

Pitt is 3rd in the ACC, out of 15 teams.

Duke still prob has to play, so we could easily be tied for 3rd.

Can’t compete.

Only a stupid statement like that, from that guy, could make me start defending Pitt after there last two games.

I could see that comment if we were 12th or 13th.

Comment by Dan 02.08.14 @ 5:31 pm

Pitt had to find a way to do without an effective Patterson, who injured his thumb in an overtime victory at Miami on Wednesday night. Patterson had a wrap on his hand in the first half. He took it off at halftime, but his play did not improve much after that.

“We’re not going to make excuses,” Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. “Everyone is hurt and banged up. He didn’t practice (Friday) or Thursday. It is what it is.”

So Patterson’s thumb is not a practice injury. And JD did rest him.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.08.14 @ 5:39 pm

What a game Cam Wright played, on the floor, over the table, chasing rebounds, floor burn city. He is the reason we beat a VT team playing over their heads. Thanks as well to Eddie for fouling JR on the three point shot, that tied the game. Everyone covered the other concerns pretty well but the rebounding, or lack thereof just made me sick! We pulled that slimy, filthy, win outta the dumpster but I’ll take it with a haz-mat suit on! H2P! Hail to Panther wrestling as well! UPone

Comment by UPone 02.08.14 @ 5:40 pm

WBB – Fresman are no longer freshman at this time of the year and after this many games. No F’n excuses. It is not Wooden science to know that you have to block out underneath, that you just cannot pass the ball around the outside of a zone, that in Pitt’s man to man defense, help side defense is everything, that you have to make your FT’s, etc etc etc. Enough excuses!

Comment by Dan 72 02.08.14 @ 5:47 pm

Rumor has it that our new chancellor’s extensive recruiting ties in Florida clinched the decision to offer him the position.

well, just trying to lighten it up a bit after that sorry effort.

Comment by dinosaur 71 02.08.14 @ 5:53 pm

OK, he doesn’t have any connections in Florida.

But his wife has family in the area, and it is his dream job.

Comment by dinosaur 71 02.08.14 @ 5:58 pm

Dan 72, I didn’t disagree with you that Young had a bad defensive game,and I agree that he and Artis continue to sruggle on defense. But they are hardly the first freshmen here to do so.

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 6:00 pm

Amen, UPone

Comment by steve1 02.08.14 @ 6:11 pm

Dan 72, one more thing. With Adams going to the NBA, and the 3 transfers of big men leaving the program in the last couple of years, fact is that I don’t remember natural freshmen getting so much critical PT at the 4 or 5 in the Dixon era. The only I can remember was Blair who obviously was much stronger than the average frosh.

I still say this is the bigger reason why Pitt is struggling. They have a power forward at center who is on a gimpy ankle. They have two very promising, natural freshmen playing the 4 who probably never had to play real defense before or rebound against taller, stronger opponents.

This is certainly not the first Pitt team to struggle offensively; however, this team is not being baled out by rebounding lately.

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 6:24 pm

BTW, according to ESPN, VT outrebounded Pitt 43 to 28. This has got to change.

Comment by wbb 02.08.14 @ 6:32 pm

Dixon is dangerously close to losing Artis and Young. He clearly hasn’t reached them, they aren’t getting better and are actually regressing.

Leaving them on the bench for the last few minutes of the game and ALL of both over times was a huge risk. Dixon had more confidence in an injured, one handed, totally ineffective Patterson than he did either of them. He had Patterson playing the four, when they desperately needed rebounds and Zanna was no where near 100%.

Young and Artis had to get the message, their coach doesn’t trust them, at all.

Sometimes coaches need to have faith in their players even when it isn’t necessarily earned. If Dixon thinks he can this year win without those two, he is either delusional or misguided. If he thinks the way to reach them is to continue to show his disgust with them, he’s taking a big risk. If he keeps telling these kids how badly they suck, eventually they are going to believe him.

Don’t be surprised if Young pulls a Birch at the end of the year and leaves. This time I won’t be so quick to blame the kid for being too soft.

Comment by Boubabcar Aw 02.08.14 @ 6:44 pm

I didn’t get to see the game live. And my DVR ran out at the end of regulation so I didn’t see the 2 OTs. Here is what I noticed.

VaTech ran down the clock every possession, taking 7-8 sec just to get the ball across mid-court, which seriously shortened the game. Pitt didn’t look like it was burning the clock. More like looking for something that would work since LP started passing up shots once he missed the first three.

Being outrebounded was a big problem but the 6 blocks were just as bad.

Wright’s play was amazing but so was Robinson’s 4 pt play.

Artis got 14 minutes and did nothing with them – 0/1 shooting, 1/2 on FTs, 2 OREB, 1 assist, 1 steal, 1 TO, 1 foul.

Zanna has almost completely disappeared.

And yet, it’s a W.

H2P!!!

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.08.14 @ 7:30 pm

And here’s what CBSSports.com thinks (not that I really care):

“Pitt’s lackluster performances highlight mediocre resume”

link to cbssports.com

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.08.14 @ 7:34 pm

@Boubabcar — I agree with your observations. Jamie is pulling a head case on this team. He’s way over the top in his management style and it is showing in his players’ on-the-court play. If things don’t change, and I suspect they won’t, Jamie will lose some of his freshman class.

Comment by MariettaMike 02.08.14 @ 7:37 pm

Chris Dokish tweets this afternoon:

“Despite injuries to their 3 best offensive players, criticism from ungrateful fans, & attacks from a-hole national media, Pitt is 20-4 (8-3)”

“Of Pitt’s 11 scholarship players, 7 are freshmen or sophomores. And 4 of the 11 are battling injuries, including one out for the year.”

Retweeted by Chris Dokish

“?@BrianBatko Just saw Lamar Patterson with a big ice pack wrapped around his hand as he left the Pete. #thumbwatch”

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.08.14 @ 7:49 pm

Oh no! True freshmen struggling in the middle of the conference schedule when they are asked to do more because of injuries to the leaders on the team. Come on guys. Both will be fine and stars for Pitt for a long time.

Jamie’s fine. He is who he is and the kids he and his staff recruit know it too. The only reason this team is struggling right now is their top 3 scorers are injured, requiring true freshmen to step up when they’re not ready.

On top of that, these less talented teams are taking the ND approach to playing Pitt. Run clock, limit possessions and make it low scoring affair. It’s backfired the last two games. Cincy and UVA played it to perfection.

These last two wins, despite being disappointed, are actually huge wins. Pitt keeps beating the teams they’re supposed. The younger players are learning to win games they have no business winning, hopefully setting up this team to pull a win out against one of the big boys.

Make no mistake, this team needs to get over the hump and beat a premier team but … They have lost to #7 Cincy because of missed free throws, they lost to #1 Cuse when the had a very late lead, they lost to UVA on a 3 at the buzzer. Yes Duke ran them off the court but only because of a 90 second stretch with 10 minutes to go.

Is this team top 10 – HELL NO. Are they top 25 – HELL YES. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year and they are now 20-4 (8-3). Why all the hate? Yes, they’ve struggled RECENTLY and it’s been disappointing BUT they’ve only lost to really good teams.

Pitt Nation needs to relax. Having said all this – next week is HUGE. Go Pitt!!!!

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.08.14 @ 8:02 pm

@Tossing – well said. I’m with you.

On the other hand, I’m glad I had an Alumni Association (not Pitt) Board meeting today or there might have been some broken things in my family room.

H2P!!!

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.08.14 @ 8:04 pm

If I’m not mistaking, Pitt is undefeated against top 5 teams at the Pete. If Patterson & Zanna don’t get better soon that record will fall hard…

link to sportsblogs.post-gazette.com

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 8:07 pm

6 min left in the first, Cincy trailing SMU by 10!

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.08.14 @ 8:10 pm

Thanks Pitt Dad – even the good teams struggle. Duke went thru a stretch where they almost dropped out the top 25 – now they’re playing like a Final 4 team again. This is just one of those natural ebbs and flows of the season. Hopefully, it makes Pitt better. Today we saw Cam and Robinson step up. That has to be good – right?

Some people get too tied up with what the national media think. CBS, in particular, seems to really bash the team. I get it to some degree but I don’t think Jamie expected the ACC to be as bad as it is.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.08.14 @ 8:15 pm

Tossing…what’s troubling fans is the way Pitt is playing now…not the way they were playing the NC and early ACC games when healthy.

The selection committee looks real hard at how a team is playing going into March. The overall record will look good, but I’ve seen teams with 23 wins not make the Tournament.

Kentucky was 21-11 and the defending NC and went to the NIT last year because they played poorly going into Tournament time.

It’s hard to relax with all these injuries…..we’re starting to look like the Pens…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 8:21 pm

Well said Tossing Thabeets.

Boubacar, I think you are one of the most knowledgeable basketball guys on here, but I disagree regarding Artis and Young. They will get their chances and have to know next year they are it.

Today Artis had 1 point and 2 rebounds in 14 minutes and is obviously lost on defense. Young had 4 points and 0 yes 0 rebounds in 27 minutes.

Patterson had his worst day as a Panther but was still more reliable down the stretch than either of those guys would have been.

This was a very frustrating game and we are definitely trending downward, but it is due to injuries more than anything else.

I for one am very glad to see Newkirk come on and contribute during crunch time. Cam Wright had his best game as a Panther. Robinson came through with a huge three when needed most. For once the other guy made the dumbest of fouls.

Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.

Some of you guys need to hitch up your big boy pants.

I am sure the players are just glad to get out with a win.

We probably were not going to beat Syracuse with a totally healthy team including DJ.

Comment by gc 02.08.14 @ 8:25 pm

Pitt Dad…I loved the comments below the lousy SeeBS article…

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 8:31 pm

Indeed, Jackagain, indeed.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.08.14 @ 8:35 pm

Crowd at Pete was a bit sparse but seemed to me more die hard Pitt fans. So even though less people it felt better than Duke game to me

Honestly not sure how the team won with a hobbling Zanna and Lamar playing one if the worst games possible. Hopefully, it will be healed enough by Wednesday. Overall, very ugly game.

Although Cam deserves tons of praise. He had an awesome game. Robinson played great. And Newkirk had huge bounce back game. I really like how he was pressing the PG in second half. It really took VA tech out of rhythm as seen by FG percentage tanking from around 50% in first half.

Jamie is over coaching? So now that’s what y’all are saying. He has a team that many of you said would be .500 at best that’s with DJ playing at 20-4 without DJ for conference games. If you thought the team would be that bad then you have no right to be bitching about the coaching. Cause according to your astute basketball knowledge the team is way over achieving. You can’t have it both ways.

What was Dixon supposed to do play Artis and Young more even though neither deserved to be playing and then lose the game? Then you would have said oh I can’t believe Dixon played those guys. Young isn’t going to transfer. His minutes have been up lately. He had a bad game. Big deal Freshman struggle at have to sit. And Dan they are still freshman especially a guy like Mike Young he needs to get stronger. He won’t be a a sophomore until he gets a whole spring and summer of legit training and lifting. Cause I’m pretty sure being stronger will help you finish better.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.08.14 @ 8:39 pm

@@@@@

It is obvious that most of the comments
today have been written by people who
have never coached or player sports
at any level; particularly the college
level. The negativity and sarcasm
for a school and team of choice is difficult
to understand. The team is 20-4!

Comment by JR 02.08.14 @ 8:44 pm

Jackagain, Kentuckys RPI was 57. Pitt’s RPI right now is 23. So yeah if Pitt’s RPI falls 30+ spots and Lamar misses the rest of the season (Like Kentucky’s best player last year) then Pitt will have the same resume as Kentucky last year.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.08.14 @ 8:50 pm

Jackagain – the frustration I understand 100%. Pitt hasn’t been very good going back to the UMD game. Vent all you want.

It’s the doom and gloom, players are gonna leave, Jamie sucks stuff that drives me mad. Every game I watch, they mention Pitt being a top 5 program for over a decade. Yes, they’ve disappointed in the tourney but look at most of their losses. In hindsight, they lost to VERY good teams.

2002: Kent St – bad
2003: Marquette – DWADE Final 4 team
2004: OK ST – Final 4 team
2005: Pacific – bad
2006: Bradley – bad
2007: UCLA – Final 4
2008: Michigan St
2009: NOVA – Final 4
2010: Xavier
2011: Butler – Finals
2013: Witchita St – Finals

11 appearances in 12 years. 6 of those losses to Final 4 teams and only 2 really questionable losses – The Pacific and Bradley games. Why are people upset again?

Pitt’s had some bad draws in the tourney and played against teams better than their seeding is what I see here. Add in some bad luck and there you have it. That’s what makes one and done tourneys so unpredictable.

Enjoy the success this program has had – the best run in School history.

JR – I just don’t get it. They’ve beaten the teams their supposed to and although they don’t have a signature win, they’ve competed hard in those losses.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.08.14 @ 9:10 pm

i dont understand the criticism of dixon screaming at the players, most of the people doing that criticizing do exactly the same thing about the players and the coaches pretty much all the time.

Comment by deepelemblues 02.08.14 @ 9:11 pm

Wichita St – Final 4 obviously

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.08.14 @ 9:11 pm

I missed the game today. Sounds like I missed a lot of frustration. I just read over the comments. I especially appreciated gc and Tossing Thebeets.

A win, is a win is a win. Pitt found a way to win a close one and that is always good.

The box score shows there there were three individual efforts that bode well for the future:

1. Wright led the team in scoring.
2. Robinson hit 3 of 4 threes.
3. Newkirk hit his free throws.

Comment by Howard 02.08.14 @ 9:16 pm

Pitt played two games this week and won them both. The style points obviously were not there, but the team found a way to get it done. Winning close games is a skill and Pitt was able to make it happen twice this week. Although fans did not expect close games, Pitt was faced with them and made enough plays to win. Pitt has lost these games many times over the past few seasons. James Robinson and Cam Wright are winners and wouldn’t let Pitt lose today. I am impressed. Miami and Virginia Tech made both games low possession, defensive struggles and Pitt didn’t make enough shots early to force a faster pace. The only thing Pitt can do to speed up a team that is determined to play slowly is make shots, get a lead, and force the other team to pick up the pace because they are playing from behind. That didn’t happen this week and Pitt still won. It’s not the worst thing that could have happened.

If Zanna & Patterson can get healthy, Pitt will be back to normal and has the ability to play with the best teams in the country. If not, then hopefully Pitt can win enough games to make the NCAA tourney. Injuries happen. Pitt has 8 days off after next Saturday’s game. That will be very helpful.

Comment by Omar 02.08.14 @ 9:51 pm

Unranked SMU crushed #7 Cincy by 21. Not even close from the opening tap. I wonder how many Cincy fans are ready to run Mick Cronin out of Ohio?

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.08.14 @ 9:59 pm

Oh, and unranked KState beat #15 Texas by 17.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.08.14 @ 10:00 pm

Yes Omar! Yes!

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.08.14 @ 10:00 pm

Well said Omar.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.08.14 @ 10:01 pm

Looks like #23 playing #24 will help Pitt stay in the top 25 as well.

Comment by Jackagain 02.08.14 @ 11:17 pm

Didn’t see the game today…but I’m glad I didn’t..Listen folks..we CANNOT score..period!!…we are a one trick pony (Patterson) and when that pony isn’t working..neither do we..I would be shocked if we win one game in the tourny

Comment by Keith 02.08.14 @ 11:27 pm

Pitt Basketball…we give you more for your sports dollar! Ugly game, but there were positives: Cam Wright’s game. Robinson’s big 3 and 1. Newkirk hitting two big FT….Sounds like an excuse, and maybe it is, but I think part of the reason VT had a rebounding advantage is that so many of their shots bounced so far away from the rim that they were beyond our bigs reach…Put me with the group that believes there are no bad wins. H2P

Comment by HbgFrank 02.09.14 @ 1:05 am

Tossing: We already know all that. All you are doing is making excuses. Where is your focus on this fact: Dixon has never beaten a higher seeded team in the ?NCAA Tournament?

Dixon owns the recruiting for his program.

Maybe we expect too much from the ation’s 19th highest paid coach.

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.09.14 @ 7:05 am

Dixon’s record is outstanding. He is a great coach and the program is more successful now than ever. The only thing that matters in the tournament is winning it. Not the final four or eight or sixteen. Winning it for 99.99% of schools is nearly impossible.
Enjoy the success the program is having because it will not last forever.

Comment by notrocketscience 02.09.14 @ 8:09 am

Omar, Good Points. I am concerned about Lamar Paterson thumb injury. In my experience, those things don’t get much better in 3 days. Also I wonder about Talib Zanna’s ankle injury. It’s difficult to completely heal when you compete every few days. I remember back when Aaron Gray was having an excellent year and he injured his ankle in the Washington game. After that he wasn’t the same again that season. Zanna’s game is his quickness in center position. Hopefully his ankle will continue to get better. The unfortunate thing for the Panthers is that Patterson and Zanna are Pitt’s two top scorers.

Comment by Justinian 02.09.14 @ 8:18 am

To sum up what has been said:

dixon sucks.
Long live Dixon.

We are so bipolar on this board (me included).

Right now though i am of the opinion to defend dixon.

1. Dixon does not make young miss all his bunnies…do we really think its dixon’s fault, “making” young play tight?
2. Do we really think dixon is forcing newkirk to not drive when the drive is there?

I would love for someone to total the number of minutes per game played by freshmen this year? Would not be shocked if it is DOUBLE the next-most year.

In short, we were all (me included) saying, right after adams and moore and the others left, that this team might not even make the NIT! So i for one am nothing but impressed with what dixon has done this year, and am grateful to have at this point as many wins as we have.

Missing the reverend on this board! We need his positive vibes….

Comment by DD 02.09.14 @ 9:06 am

We knew this team was thin because of all of the defections. Few predicted a good year when Adams left.

We also knew that this team would only go as far as Patterson and Zanna could take it, with some bench scoring from DJ.

First DJ goes down, second Zanna is hobbled, now Patterson has an injury to his shooting hand. Not sure when it started but may answer some questions about his production vs Duke and VA.

Half the board wants to blame Jamie.

I can understand the idiocy from the commentators and pundits and the dope that did the post game show, but anyone that has played, or coached sports at almost any level knows what injuries do to a team, especially a team with little depth.

What is the Steelers record with and without Polamalu in his prime? And that is on a team with 21 other players, not a basketball team with four other players.

The next two games could be real ugly, but probably not as ugly as many of the comments on this board will be.

Comment by gc 02.09.14 @ 9:45 am

How many of you have played on a sprained ankle or with a staved thumb? Most of us that have played know that it is not much fun, and impossible to play anywhere near your best. And sometimes impossible to play at all.

Comment by gc 02.09.14 @ 9:50 am

TonyinHouston –

Jim Calhoun – UCONN 1986, First Final 4 1998 (12 years)
Jim Boeheim – CUSE 1976, First Final 4 1986 (10 years)

Last year was the first time Cuse made the Final 4 since 2002 – another 10 year run.

These are two NCAA legends. The DUKES, Kentucky’s, UNC’s and Michigan St.’s of the sport are the exceptions not the rules.

If you said this team would be 20-4 and 8-3 in the league before the season, people would have called you crazy. This team is young and a lot of young players are getting playing time. This will pay off next year and the year after. No one on this team is leaving early ala Birch and Adams. This team has a great young core coupled with a few top 15 recruits coming 2015 that could turn out to be special.

Enjoy the ride. Pitt has a coach who gets the team to the tourney every year and wants to be in Pittsburgh.

Comment by Tossing Thabeets 02.09.14 @ 10:00 am

DD,

1. who critized Dixon for Young missing bunnies?
2.. why pick out Young for missing bunnies since it seems to be a team epidemic? I think Zanna has missed more than Young, and Artis missed a wide open at a critical time vs UVa.

Now let answer my own questions
Pitt misses bunnies because they play against bigger, longer and more athletic big men.

The fact that Artis didn’t go directly back up with a putback but instead chose to go to other side of the rim is evidence of that.

Artis is 6’7 and clearly better suited for the 3 than the 4, Zanna is clearly better suited for the 4 than the 5, and Young now has to play the backup for Zanna.

Now I am glad JD is our coach and is better than over 90% of the other NCAA coaches but my biggest criticism of him (and I been posting this for a long time) is that his players continually have to play out of their natural position … and this has been going on for some time.

JD always seem to have an overabundance of players in one position and void of other positions.

Comment by wbb 02.09.14 @ 10:09 am

Agreed with the out of position thing…and its going to continue into the future with so little 5s unfortunately.

Not on thus post but in past posts its been suggested that dixon’s biggest message to young is, dont shoot…and thus when he does, he is tight. Minor point though.

Comment by DD 02.09.14 @ 10:17 am

Very few teams in college have a traditional center. Young and Artis miss layups because they try to avoid contact rather than getting fouled. If you go up strong, then you will get fouled. The opposing player only has 5 fouls and will eventually stop to stay in the game. That’s about it. Also, the pump fake is your friend.

Comment by Omar 02.09.14 @ 10:52 am

some needed perspective for all of us

link to sportsblogs.post-gazette.com

Comment by wbb 02.09.14 @ 10:52 am

OK, we are all so very smart with our comments after a game is over. Let me ask everyone to instead put themselves in Dixon’s shoes looking forward, not backwards.

How do you prepare for Wednesday’s game against Syracuse. Let’s assume that Zanna will play, but is not 100%. And, Patterson is able to play, but is not able to score more that 10 points. So, who do you play? What do you do to get us a win?

H2P

Comment by pmdH2P 02.09.14 @ 10:55 am

Omar, don’t you think that avoiding contact and trying to make the basket is a freshman thing? These guys are used to being the dominant player, and making baskets against less dominant, taller and athletic players … better to make the basket if you can, than missing and shooting fouls)

Comment by wbb 02.09.14 @ 10:59 am

pmdH2P, Zanna and Patterson do not scrimmage, and the rest of the players run plays that don’t involve those two.

I still say the biggest issue though is rebounding. As I keep saying, Pitt has been putrid in shooting many times before but has been baled out because of its rebounding. Va Tech ad 19 2nd chance points vs Pitt’s 6.

Comment by wbb 02.09.14 @ 11:03 am

Face it fellows the near future of the Pitt basketball program over the next 2 years is bleak. With 6 teams in the ACC having top 25 recruiting classes and Pitt adding virtually nothing I don’t see a 20 win season anytime soon. The only positive I see is the return of Slice and I can see recruiting getting better in the future maybe as early as 2016

Comment by Chick 02.09.14 @ 11:07 am

OK I’m one of the “bipolar” fans that DD described above. I figure many of us are. Yes, we’re VERY grateful for the consistent winning over more than a decade, but yes, we’re also frustrated by the lack of late-season and tournament success. And by the style of play.

It’s just human nature. The familiar gets stale after a while. Yes, I know many other schools would love to have this level of success. I get it. Being upset at the annual Pitt chokefest in the tournaments doesn’t make me a bad fan, though, IMO.

Also, it’s the style of basketball. I have gladly made the 3-hour trip to Pgh many times over the years to witness awesomeness like the DeJuan Blair teams. It’s just hard to justify that when you see the snooze-ball that Pitt lapses into as in the last two games. I’m not going to sit here and keep telling myself that I should WANT to see that type of game, just cause it’s Pitt.

Am I an unreasonable, spoiled fan? Yeah, maybe, probably…still, it’s just human nature.

Comment by BATR 02.09.14 @ 11:10 am

I can admit that my comments during yesterdays game were out of frustration but somethings have got to change. To start, I have three kids around Talib Zanna’s age and I would be real proud if he was my fourth. Seems like an incredible young man who accomplished more in 20 years than I have in almost sixty. That does no change he fact that four his entire career we have talked about his weak hands. The next problem is with Lamar, this team peaked when we rebounded and ran with Lamar leading the break and using his passing ability and vision to lead to easy baskets. Thumb or no thumb, no rebound, no fast break baskets. Last I like Young and Artis, and thought they should have played more. Quite frankly if they haven’t figured out the defense yet, seems that should be on the coaches.

Comment by cas myzlinski 02.09.14 @ 11:11 am

It was an ugly win against an inferior opponent, but a win nonetheless. Twenty wins is nothing to sneeze at.

It’s anybody’s guess what the new chancellor will do with athletics. Like almost everyone else here, i hope Smiling Steve is sent packing to an early retirement. There is no reason Pitt can’t be more successful in sports, all of them. The new guy needs to meet with the alumni who provide financial backing at some point – and Pittsburgh isn’t suburban Washington, DC. Pittsburgh gets into it with all its teams when they are successful – not just the Redskins , which is how it is in suburban DC.

Comment by Penguins Fan 02.09.14 @ 11:18 am

@wbb, thanks for the Paul Zeise PG blog link. It has some details about Patterson’s thumb injury. Sounds to me like he could be ready for Syracuse:

“Patterson’s thumb is banged up, that much is obvious, but he said it isn’t something that is going to require surgery and is something that should heal with a few days of rest. He said he hurt it during the Miami game but he isn’t sure when it happened. He obviously was off the mark – 1-of-9 with a few air balls but he kept fighting through it and kept battling. That was impressive to me – he was in pain, couldn’t get the ball to go where he wanted and yet he kept fighting to win the game. He said that the injury was on the inside of his thumb and that made it tough to figure out how the ball felt coming off his hand and it is something he has to get used to. In the first half, he wore a brace but he said it felt awkward and cut off his circulation so he took it off.”

Comment by Howard 02.09.14 @ 11:23 am

@chick,

Not so sure about that. Jeter and luther, on top of 2 more years of robinson and dj and uchebo, and 3 more of nuke, dj, young, jones, and artis…i certainly would like to think we will be highly competitive for the next 3 years and beyond. We just need a juco center!

Knock on wood, if you can say anything about dixon, its that his players seriously improve every single year…think of if thatis true for the above mentioned 9 (9!) players…next year might not be much improved but 2 years from now i certainly hope is not “bleak”.

Comment by DD 02.09.14 @ 11:53 am

Hopefully LP and TZ get a couple days to rest and heal. They will both need to be better to have a shot at either game this week.

I totally agree with wbb, rebounding is the biggest issue for this team. Zeise is right, they HAVE to get more from Young and Artis in that area. I don’t care if either scores, but they have to rebound.

Pitt will need to be the team that limits possessions and shortens the game vs. UNC and Cuse. That should be easy because we often do that without really trying. They also need to keep Cuse off the offensive boards. Syracuse is long so Young and Artis have to play more. The small lineup with Newkirk wont cut it.

Lastly, Pitt needs to get off to a fast start. We can’t be playing from behind. Put the pressure on Syracuse, and hope they have an off night.

Comment by Iron Duke 02.09.14 @ 12:06 pm

Iron Duke, I agree rebounding will be key on Wednesday and Saturday. Young has to do better, he is averaging 4.7 per game. Artis is at 3.2 in a lot less PT. They need to show up to help Zanna.

Comment by gc 02.09.14 @ 12:14 pm

Today’s games that can help Pitt’s RPI/seeding:

Youngstown State over Detroit (In a close game, Detroit should win at home)

Penn State over Illinois (Illinois will extend its losing streak to 9 against the Nits)

Comment by xfmrman 02.09.14 @ 12:21 pm

Sometimes “ugly” wins aren’t so bad. Just hold your nose and put it in the W column. I would have loved an “ugly” win against Navy or Georgia Tech or North Carolina in football. How nice would that have been!

We are in the home stretch. The grind of the season is apparent. Hope we can rise to the occasion and somehow manage to get “ugly” wins against Syracuse and North Carolina. H2P!

Comment by Panther Fan in Hoopieland 02.09.14 @ 12:50 pm

Amazing how the Pitt FB delusional optimism never trickles into basketball. Every Pitt fan should get up and thank God that Jamie is our coach and can manufacture perennially great regular seasons.
March is a crap shoot. It really is. Our number will come up eventually, but you gotta be in it to win it.

It amazes me how Dixon is micromanaged as much on this blog yet every Football coach that has come here (most Works-in-progresses) have been mediocre at best is given a “oh well, talent, time and the stadium experience excuses” come out to protect them. Spare me.

We’re banged up and this is the dog days of February. I fully expect us to beat Syracuse on Wednesday sending locals and national media into a proverbial backpedal/JD is a “master” gurgle fest.

Unbelievable. Enjoy the journey people– ups and downs….the best destination is extremely rare to happen.

Comment by PaulyP 02.09.14 @ 1:40 pm

I do agree with an earlier poster that it is clear from most of the posters here that they have never played or coached an organized sport beyond the elementary school.

Comment by PaulyP 02.09.14 @ 1:41 pm

The question was asked, “what would you do if you were Dixon (for upcoming Cuse)? First, there are 4 full (24 hour) days between yesterdays game and Wednesdays.Zanna and LP should be in that contraption that Hines Ward used to heal quickly. Secondly, Jamie needs to lighten up and let the kids breath and make mistakes. They want to beat Syracuse more than anybody-let them go out and do it. Jamie, its time to LET THEM PLAY, if they lose they lose to the #1 team in the land, no disgrace in that.

Comment by pittman4ever 02.09.14 @ 1:46 pm

Smizik is “Pitt Bashing” again. What’s different is his target today isn’t the Football Program.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.09.14 @ 1:46 pm

As for football… it looks like Mike Haywood could be returning to the sidelines.

link to collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com

Comment by PittofDreams 02.09.14 @ 2:09 pm

DD, Chick only posts after bad Pitt basketball games. He’s not even worth responding to.

Dixon wins no matter who is on the team. He has a proven track record of doing so. So until he starts losing, there is no reason not to expect 20+ wins and a tournament appearance.

I don’t know how you can say Dixon doesn’t let players make mistakes. Newkirk made plenty against Miami but still played a ton. Mike Young played a bunch against VA Tech and had plenty of time just to play.

But anyways about Wednesday, Dixon coaches really well against Jimmy B. So if Lamar can shoot Pitt will have a chance. Hopefully the crowd will be loud and intense. I know I’ll be there fired up.

Comment by Wardapalooza 02.09.14 @ 2:24 pm

In meetings yesterday so I followed the game via these posts and watched entire game last night. If Zanna & Lamar were full strength I we would have been up 10-14 early; but Eddie got hot and “Oh no here we go again” set in. Saw a lot I like, lot I didn’t. Cam & JR have leadership you can’t teach. Fatigue I think explains Young’s defensive lapses, his weak side help was better in Dec. Joe O running & good mobility, aware of passing & driving lanes on D, should see more time. Newkirk much more aware of screens and weak side. The driving will come. We’ve heard about Lamar’s improved conditioning, the fresh will benefit from off season regiment and could be significantly improved next year. Big concern is rebounding, even healthy Z struggles with physical big matchup, losing rebound wars is too often. Want to believe we can beat Syr will need Patterson & Z healthy and that might be too much to expect.

Comment by Old School Panther 02.09.14 @ 2:27 pm

Syracuse on Wednesday is going to be a REAL GOOD test as to whether this Team is able to right itself… and I’m NOT even talking Win.

Taking Cuse to the brink… again… would be a pretty BIG positive at this point.

But, something tells me that a WIN could be in the cards despite Pitt’s recent struggles.

Could be that Pitt just matches up well with the Orange.

I’ll leave it to others more knowledgeable to say whether that’s actually the case.

Comment by PittofDreams 02.09.14 @ 2:30 pm

It appears that Pitt may be getting a visit from former USC quarterback Max Wittek. Visiting Texas, Louisville, and Hawaii, as well.

Comment by Mailman 02.09.14 @ 3:18 pm

Mailman, I read that also. If Pitt wasn’t in dire need of an immediate backup, I wouldn’t even see this as big news … as I have faith that Voytik will develop into a productive QB.

Comment by wbb 02.09.14 @ 3:25 pm

What a game gents. Pitt had so many opportunities to make a basket, make a pair of FREE throws, make an important stop, get a critical defensive rebound and they just couldn’t do it. That is fantastic, because they won. The idea I am told, is to win the game. Pitt did that. Well done. The only downside in my opinion is that Steve Pederson will look like a genius as the new Chancellor will say “you are so awesome for selling out this place for 12 years running when the product deserves about 50% capacity”. I will extend you even further!! NOOOOOO!

To beat Syracuse, I think Pitt needs to play slow. Painful as it seems, playing deliberate against a zone works. Many passes, find the seem and exploit it. That said, Patterson needs to shoot well. It was obvious that he wasn’t going to shoot and only pass during the game yesterday and the defenders knew that, which led to turnovers.

Pitt will be fine cupcakes. The short bus will pick us all up one day. It just won’t be tomorrow. We are being seasoned for a lifetime of mental illness due to our administration keeping Pederson on this job. As far as rankings are concerned, we should be quite proud. Pitt is ranked as the 57 or 59th best university which is terrific. Our basketball team and football team outranks our academics! LOL, true. Perhaps the new chancellor was a disgruntled doctorate student back in the day as far as athletics is concerned and he comes here and states we will win championships without compromising academics. He hopefully figures out that the endowment will grow much more quickly when the sport teams are highly ranked, for that is where the water cooler brings out the pride and the money!!

Comment by dhuffdaddy 02.09.14 @ 5:50 pm

This team is frustrating lately, but with the injuries we have and how bad we have played, we are still ranked and doing well in conference play. You play to win the game! If we realistically asked ourselves at the beginning of the year if this team would be at the top tier of the ACC, many would’ve laughed. Let’s get healthy and make a run in March! Hail to Pitt!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 02.09.14 @ 5:57 pm

A simple question flolks….does pitt win a ncca tourney game this year?…
Yes
or
no???

Comment by Keith 02.09.14 @ 6:07 pm

one word answers please..no wut if questions!!

Comment by Keith 02.09.14 @ 6:11 pm

Keith yes one.

Comment by Frankcan 02.09.14 @ 6:12 pm

I’m watching an entertaining PSU IL game. John Johnson helped. But not enough.

Comment by steve1 02.09.14 @ 6:23 pm

Chick is probably Joe D incognito…

Comment by The Hagen 02.09.14 @ 6:37 pm

Paulyp, lets be clear about something here,

We micromanage our football coaches WAY more than Dixon. :). Or at least as much.

As an aside, Pitt pessimism, of which i complain about more than once on thus blog, is unfortunately well founded for most of us. I went to pitt 87-92…talk about teams that disappointed! For those who were there all i have to say is ball state and vanderbilt. Football seriously underachieved too. Unfortunately that is our common history no matter when you went there.

Comment by DD 02.09.14 @ 6:37 pm

@Keith – yes and more than one with the right seed/bracket. Sweet 16 is not inconceivable. Neither is a second round out.

Comment by Pitt Dad 02.09.14 @ 7:18 pm

@Keith – yes. We win everything until we play Arizona.

Comment by Howard 02.09.14 @ 7:37 pm

No news on new WR coach i hate the way chryst drags these hires out.
It all ways makes me think he is waiting untill every one else hires there man and he will take what is left to get him cheap.
i am most sure i am wrong but that is how it seams to me .
i know it has only been 6 days

Comment by Frankcan 02.09.14 @ 8:23 pm

Women’s BBall blows 17 pt lead///top scorer didn’t play – anyone know the reason…

Comment by markp 02.09.14 @ 8:30 pm

Keisel was out due to injury. Don’t know what the injury is. It must have happened during the Maryland game on Thursday because I took my daughter to the GT game last Monday & she was fine.

Comment by Nick 02.09.14 @ 8:58 pm

no one followed simple rules..ugh…anyways….anyone want to discuss pitts ncaa resume??….we don’t have one!!..we do not have a bad loss…or a good win???

Comment by Keith 02.09.14 @ 9:17 pm

I didn’t read Smizik’s comments, both his opinion piece and response to readers, to be Pitt bashing.
This team is in trouble.

Comment by TonyinHouston 02.09.14 @ 9:41 pm

Keith, yes! One game! Out in the second! We get a bad seed, shocker, and play a tough team in second round and they go on to final four! Again!

Comment by Sweet Caroline 02.09.14 @ 9:56 pm

Man i just went over to that smizik thing. I am glad i am just a little old blatherite! The negativity of some posters there is, well, someone needs a happy pill!

Comment by DD 02.09.14 @ 10:08 pm

Talk about bipolar, here’s my long-term optimism and short-term pessimism:
Dixon had the Big East’s all-time best win %;
Never had the list of future NBA stars as the HOF/NC coaches behind him on the list;
Consistent conference overachiever based on experience and depth;
Lowest ever experience and depth this year;
Greatly exceeded my expectations to date this year;
Without DJ, Zanna, Patterson, not enough left to beat a last place team;
No hope of winning again soon until Zanna and Patterson are healthy.

Comment by San Diego Panther 02.09.14 @ 10:25 pm

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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