March 8, 2014

Open Thread: Pitt-Clemson

Filed under: Basketball,Open Thread — Chas @ 2:47 pm

Guess who has two thumbs, but has been without power in their house since 6am?

Yeah, it’s been a day. A bit overly optimistic that things were settling down last week. Now, I’m being pessimistic and saying it might not be until the end of next week.

Anyways, precious power on my phone is being used so it’s time to keep it simple. A Pitt win and they clinch 5th in the ACC and are relatively safe into the NCAA Tournament. A loss can drop them as low as 7th and puts them legitimately in bubble talk.

Hopefully power comes back soon so I can watch some of this. It’s on the ACC network syndication along with and ESPN Full Court package.

Brownell had benefit of a time out to set up Harrison’s inbound, Clemson’s spacing was loaded in Pitt’s end, saw no evidence they wanted anyone except McDaniels handling the ball. We should send Brownell dinner at Ruth’s Chris or at least a new white board; he smashed his claiming he did so to shock his players back from disbelief of losing 5 point lead in blink of an eye. I think he did it over anger & frustration. Good role model.

McDaniels and Lamar was a great matchup. Lamar won.

Comment by Old School Panther 03.10.14 @ 1:15 pm

Chick — Maybe you missed the fact that none of those players have signed. 2015 is a long way off and a lot can happen.

Sound familiar?

Comment by Hank the Tank 03.10.14 @ 1:24 pm

@old school panther, Obviously I am suffering from memory enhancement but tell me, didn’t The freshman Newkirk almost shit himself with surprise, but since he was running out of time he quickly farted and sank the shot. In doing so he barely beat one clock and the horn but not another clock and the scoreboard light. Then because it was called a basket on the floor they allowed it. Then we owned the over time.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.10.14 @ 1:31 pm

Pitt of Dreams, No actually there was discrepency between the scoreboard clock, which the bankboard was sincronized with, and the official clock. The official clock takes precendence and the oficial clock had another second. If you looked at the lit up scoreboard and his release it would have appeared otherwise. That was even clarified by one of the Clemson sportswriters.

Comment by Justinian 03.10.14 @ 1:31 pm

@Justinian, Sounds about as clear as a bucket of dog dip. All I know is we won , we won very lucky, and we won very lucky at the right time. It doesn’t get much better. How come they aren’t calling for the Clemson coaches scalp?

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.10.14 @ 1:49 pm

I tried to post link to McDaniel post game interview. Kid said he knew Josh’s shot was good. The way we were getting hammered by refs if there was any way they could have disallowed and given the game to one of the wealthiest ACC alumni associations they would have.

Sure Josh was surprised but instead of rushing it he pumped faked the two defenders (one was in position to block) and released at the apex with almost perfect form.

Comment by Old School Panther 03.10.14 @ 1:50 pm

I think most coaches ingrain in their players not to overthrow to the forecourt because if it’s untouched it comes back under the hoop on the TO with no time moved. If the ball is lofted high enough rather than a baseball pass there’s little chance of it going past to the opposite baseline untouched. Maybe not with 4-5 seconds, but 2 seconds yes.

Comment by Ghost of Hornman 03.10.14 @ 1:55 pm

I am very happy for Lamar who was the most improved player in the ACC this year even if not recognized as such. I am also thrilled that Talib was recognized as his contribution was certainly instrumental in our success. Switching position without complaint for his senior season and playing a key roll in leading us to the NCAA was a great accomplishment for the Big Kahuna from Kaduna.HTP

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.10.14 @ 2:00 pm

@Ghost of Hornman, There is no excuse for not lobbing the ball forecourt. There was no one guarding the inbound toss. Lob it anywhere that it is sure to get touched and the clock ends without us getting a shot. The only way they could have done worse is to pass the ball directly to Newkirk.

Did you see yesterday where Maryland almost got burned for fouling with a 3 point lead. Virginia worked a missed free throw play and tied to end regulation. Maryland hung on in overtime but I bet they think twice next time they have a point lead late.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.10.14 @ 2:08 pm

^3 pt. lead

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.10.14 @ 2:09 pm

From Bubble Watch:

Work left to do: Pittsburgh, Florida State

The ACC remains straightforward heading into the conference tourney this week. There are just two viable bubble teams in the mix: Pitt, which is flailing its way into the tournament; and Florida State, which got nothing out of Sunday’s home game against Syracuse and has to do some serious work in Greensboro, N.C., to earn a hard look from the committee.

Pittsburgh [23-8 (11-7), RPI: 41, SOS: 84] Is it overstatement to say Pitt’s season hung in the balance Saturday? Not really: A loss at Clemson would have added yet another so-so defeat to the body of work of a team with just one top-50 win, a 6-8 mark against the top 100, a nonconference strength of schedule ranked 238 and a 3-4 mark over its past seven games. And the Panthers were very close to losing. It took a last-second steal and score by guard Josh Newkirk to force overtime in Littlejohn Coliseum, and took the length of that overtime for Pitt to finally pull away. For most of the season, even as it lacked marquee wins — and kept missing opportunities to seal them — Jamie Dixon’s team was in fine tournament shape because it didn’t have bad losses, either. A loss to Clemson, in addition to last week’s home losses to FSU and NC State, would have totally tarnished that impression. As-is, Pitt might be able to avoid a bad loss in Greensboro and get in the NCAA tournament as a 10- or 11-seed, but there are no guarantees. What a weird season.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.10.14 @ 2:23 pm

“and took the length of that overtime for Pitt to finally pull away.” – Well he has that wrong!

23-8, 11-7 ACC, with losses by 1, 5, 3, 2, 4, 5 and 7 points in 7 of the 8 losses. Just doesn’t sound like bubble to me.
We should not need a win in the tournament to assure a spot in the Big Dance.

I think we are a 10 seed and higher if we win anything in Greensboro.

Comment by TVax 03.10.14 @ 2:32 pm

I am not confident or even very hopeful about Pitt’s chances in the NCAA’s this year as I have been at times in years past (last being the moment before Gilbert Brown shot the second FT), but maybe this is the year to surprise.

Let’s get in as a 10 and see what happens. Even as an 8 or 9 with any momentum(ACC and first NCAA game wins), it could be great fun.

Comment by TVax 03.10.14 @ 2:38 pm

I think we are in, barring an earthquake of upsets, and I don’t much care what happens in Greensboro. I do want to win at least 1 NCAA game however. Assuming we win an NCAA game I think one would have to label this season a success. We have exceeded preseason expectations despite injuries and our share of crappy luck. Any wins beyond that are gravy.

ACC preseason picked 6 to 9, finished 5th

pre season -might make the dance, might not
looks like we make it and maybe win one.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.10.14 @ 2:51 pm

I guess we are supposed to win our Thursday game VS a lower ranked team (like ESPN says). Then we get another chance VS a ranked NC team. Sounds like ESPN gathering stats to make us a suspect team. CBS brings the NCAA and we should respect more what they say.

Comment by Frank 03.10.14 @ 3:03 pm

@Frank – well that’s not good either.’s Jerry Palm dropped us one row to 11 after beating a tough Clemson team on the road. He has us “on the fence” in his bubble watch:

Pitt has played its way onto the bubble after home losses to Florida State and North Carolina State. The Panthers have just one win over a likely tournament team, which came against Stanford in New York. They also have a bad non-conference schedule, which could come into play if they get close to the cut line. They could really stand a win over UNC in the ACC tournament.

Comment by Pitt Dad 03.10.14 @ 3:46 pm

After comparing the details of our profile to other teams considered right behind us on the bubble:
1) We would be in today if the season was over.
2) We can still back into trouble by taking a “bad loss” Thursday.
3) It’s not just what we do; we were just leapfrogged by teams that beat more impressive opponents.

Bottom line: Just win baby. HTP!

Comment by San Diego Panther 03.10.14 @ 3:57 pm

Lunardi has us a 10 seed right now, and we’re definitely in. Like him or not, he has an outstanding track record, why bother with other bracketologists trying to make a name for themselves? That said, I suspect we need to win that 1st ACC tournament game…

QUESTION: Anybody know how the Jamison visit went? Curious if the Haughton commitment may push him elsewhere.

Comment by 1618mt 03.10.14 @ 4:03 pm

1618mt, I am sorry but I think you are mistaken. Lunardi has us on the bubble with 7 teams in below us. Let’s say 4 of the 7 teams in right below us win 2 games while we lose Thursday. That would leave 3 below us. Then 4 teams like non-qualifying Penn State get hot and win there conference gaining the automatic invite. Out we go.

This is not a likely scenario, and even then it could fall either way, but we could still miss the tourney and Lunardi has us on the bubble not in.

We can probably avoid any further discussion of missing the dance with a victory Thursday. we seem to be getting healthier and stronger, plus the Clemson boost has us thinking positive. Unless Notre Dame starts shooting like Buffalo Bill I think we ought to be all right.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.10.14 @ 4:29 pm

This is my scenario for winning the ACC. Wake Forest pulls away from Notre Dame in double overtime. The following night Pitt coasts to a 15 point win on balanced scoring and great rebounding to send the deacons packing. Pitt shoots 48% from the field and 85% from the line and sneaks past UNC when the Tar Heels miss 5 out of 7 free throw attempts down the stretch. The next night Talib Zanna has a career game against Virginia and the Panthers roll to a 10 point win. The final against Syracuse sees the Orange self destruct as they get in early foul trouble and Pitt never looks back behind 27 from Patterson and 16 from hot shooting Young. Jamie Dixon is injured when a Pitt fan knocks him off the ladder as he helps cut down the nets. The fan it seems was angry with Dixon for not running more.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.10.14 @ 4:49 pm

Also, I was comparing Gonzaga and Pitt’s resume.. Anyone have any idea why they are a higher seed than us right now?

Comment by ShorePitt 03.10.14 @ 5:34 pm

SOS22… I like the scenario! Sounds good to me…

Comment by Pittscript 03.10.14 @ 6:07 pm

@Spirt Clemson fans don’t care about their basketball team. Haven’t since Rick Barnes went to Texas & Oliver Purnell not being the answer. Obviously football is everything with baseball a distant second. Similar to SoCar where it’s football,baseball, women’s basketball then basketball.

Haven’t heard from Emel. Said he was going to Clemson for the game. Like to hear his input.

I planned on going but my wife reminded me that Friday was Grandparents day at the kids elementary school. Didn’t see the game. Spent my time on Disney watching Dog with a Blog & Jessie.

Obviously missed an exciting final last few minutes.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 03.10.14 @ 7:14 pm

I still remember how a young UConn team beat Pitt at the buzzer in the BE tourney. Then went on a roll. Hopefully the experience at Clemson will help propel Pitt into a good post season.

Comment by gdodson 03.10.14 @ 7:16 pm

@Pitt-cocks fan, The game wasn’t that good. I was sitting there getting pissed off til the last 5 seconds of regulation. Then My eyes almost popped out of my head when I saw Nuke with the ball. I screamed YES! so loud the neighbors had to hear. Then it went in and they argued about it for about 5 minutes. The first 2 minutes of overtime were like a Pitt high light film, then we let them start to come back and Robinson had a gaff late but then it was over and we won. The last part was incredible. I am real happy I gotb to see it.

Comment by spiritofsection22 03.10.14 @ 7:26 pm

@Spirt Read the game thread when we got home on Sunday. Based on the comments, I probably would have turned of the the game at halftime and went outside to do something. I would have spent that time pissed off at what could have been with DJ and a healthy LP & TZ.

Clemson and SoCar are good examples of what can happen when you replace a known high quality coach (Clemson Barnes) or try to catch a up & comer (SoCar – Odin & Horn). Doesn’t always go well. SoCar replaced Horn with ex Kansas State (and Huggy Bear protege Frank Martin. He was suspended for last conference game of the year for verbally abusing a player.

BTW, most fans wanted Gregg Marshall to replace Horn when he was fired. Marshall was born in S. Carolina & coached at Winthrop in Rock Hill, Supposedly wanted the job. Rumor has it that he was passed over due to marital problems caused by a dalliance with a cheerleader.

Comment by PITT-cocks fan 03.10.14 @ 8:30 pm

I would almost take the second team ACC straight up vs. the first team.

Comment by Iron Duke 03.10.14 @ 8:35 pm

Nice work by Cam, Jamel, Josh and Mike to make the ACC MBB All-Academic squad. Panthers had four on the team as did VA Tech to lead the way. Imagine that recruiting scholar-athletes to a major university or kids like LP and TZ who are in post- graduate studies! That’s like crazy! H2P! UPone

Comment by UPone 03.10.14 @ 9:36 pm

@UPone – nice info. And the 8 from Pitt and VATech make up half of the 16 total chosen.

2014 All-ACC Academic Men’s Basketball Team
Player, Class, School – Hometown – Major
Jamel Artis, Fr., Pittsburgh – Baltimore, Md. – Arts & Sciences
Jarell Eddie, Sr., Virginia Tech – Charlotte, N.C. – Psychology
Marcus Georges-Hunt, Georgia Tech – College Park, Ga. – Science, Technology & Culture
Trae Golden, Georgia Tech – Powder Springs, Ga. – Science, Technology & Culture
Rodney Hood, So., Duke – Meridian, Miss. – Sociology & Visual Arts
Will Johnston, Jr., Virginia Tech – Midlothian, Va. – Human Nutrition, Food & Exercise
Donnavan Kirk, Gr., Miami – Pontiac, Mich. – Community & Social Change
Josh Newkirk, Fr., Pittsburgh – Raleigh, N.C. – Arts & Sciences
Marcus Paige, So., North Carolina – Marion, Iowa – Journalism/Public Relations
Jabari Parker, Fr., Duke – Chicago, Ill. – Undeclared
Joe Rahon, So., Boston College – San Diego, Calif. – Economics
Trevor Thompson, Fr., Virginia Tech – Indianapolis, Ind. – University Studies
Joey van Zegeren, So., Virginia Tech – Hoogeveen, The Netherlands – International Studies
Coron Williams, Gr., Wake Forest – Midlothian, Va. – Liberal Studies
Cameron Wright, Jr., Pittsburgh – Cleveland, Ohio – Business-Marketing
Michael Young, Fr., Pittsburgh – Duquesne, Pa. – Arts & Sciences

Comment by TVax 03.10.14 @ 10:34 pm


First I heard that. Thanks. Explains what I thought I saw.

Good to know my eyes are still working though… even after a Miller Lite or two.

Comment by PittofDreams 03.11.14 @ 5:56 am

Upone & Tvax, FWIW, F Aron Nwankwo is also on academic scholarship in Premed .. and made the honor roll.

Comment by wbb 03.11.14 @ 6:52 am

Yeah. Where is Emel? Does anyone recall if Clemson had a really cute cheerleader with red hair? If so, I can guess where he is—or where he wants to be.


Comment by pmdH2P 03.11.14 @ 7:48 am

Just looked at Lunardi, he now has us 10 seed in Midwest facing KENTUCKY with winner playing KANSAS!!! No other region is even close to that hard. Hopefully by Sunday nite we will be out of this bracket. Unbelievable !!!!

Comment by Pittman4ever 03.11.14 @ 9:23 am

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